Share a cultural exchange with us, helping with projects in our home near Gandia, Spain



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    within 6 days

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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    We are a mature couple, living 15 minutes by car, 20 minutes on bicycle from the Mediterranean in an old house with large grounds that we are renovating. We offer food and accommodation – your bedroom and bathroom kitchenette and sitting area are now completely finished! We are both qualified English teachers, so your English will rapidly improve with us. Mike is retired, was an engineer and a UK teacher of Design and Technology, Computing and Business studies so very good at imparting his practical knowledge. Helen is an experienced volunteer with large International NGO's so she does expect volunteers to Spain to be as enthusiastic and willing as herself. Helen is also qualified as an Accountant in England Wales and France and is surprised to know that some of you need to learn some skills that I have in this area. I am willing to train you in Finance if your desire is to start a small business or become self-employed. We are amateur musicians but usually, we only gig once a week. If you are musical we can have some fun here.
    We like to call ourselves “up-cyclers” as we renovate what we find/buy cheaply, from furniture to olive mills. The help involves a few skills and we do like candid people who say what they can do and what they cannot do but would like to learn, so from plumbing to painting or soldering to scrapping. Not all our ideas have worked out and we like people who learn from mistakes. We work closely with a homeless men's shelter so you might like to be involved in fundraising activities, collections and or sorting and maybe some catering duties. MAY 2020 we need help for the Shelter so if you are charity-minded and free in May please contact us.
    We are vegetarians who eat fish about once or twice a week, but if you need meat I will pay for it and you can cook it yourself. We are good cooks and would be happy to share our culinary skills to anyone interested in vegetarian cooking. We do not drink alcohol but don’t mind if you do and everyone smokes outside of the house including us. We can communicate well in Spanish, French, German and of course English. The house is a ten-minute flat walk to the village, which has bars, banks, etc. and a bus to Gandia. If we like your driving and you have a valid license we will offer you a car when you are with us. Bikes available.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Charity work
    Language practice

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We go out once a week to explore a region nearby, try and find out the history, what economic activity took place and any art installations we always gravitate towards. You will be welcome to join us. Sharing our desire to not throw away anything that might be reusable - eg I have plants on old toilets, helps us all think laterally. We only want people who before they throw they ask themselves can this be reused by us or anyone else because to us dumping is our pet hate. We like language and film and always talk about what we have just seen or heard. We have lived and worked in several countries and did so to get a real feel for the country - we will do our best to share our experiences with anyone. Also, we love learning, and so hope for a mutual cultural exchange.

  • Help


    We would like a couple (any orientation) and expect 4-5 hours 5 days a week in return for board (we eat 3 or 4 times a day when we are doing physical work) and lodging - your own bedroom and bathroom and kitchenette and sitting area, thank you to the 2019 summer team of workawayers. Specific task that need attention, a few are urgent due to Storm Gloria are as follows. Note we can do all these tasks and have done them all before several times but often need another pair or hands - repair and paint ceiling, install shower, hang pictures and mirrors, put shelves up, decorate "African memories room" change one set of external doors from aluminium to real wood, skim/render some walls, plant new trees, prune olive and fruit trees before mid-March, floor tile summer kitchen with remaining tiles to form hopefully a beautiful unique mozaic, ironwork painting - only before end of April, wood shutter and external doors renovation .. NOTE general housekeeping duties double when the number of people living here doubles so help with this is also needed. NOTe we reuse as much as possible so often the work will take longer than if we simply bought new.

    We also have some old, not vintage, music equipment that needs fixing then selling or upcycling into??? Electronic or music knowledge would be great for this but Mike can do this but his wrists get tired quickly. We have old furniture that needs upholstering which Helen can do but needs hands to keep the tension etc and if you stay long enough you could learn this very useful skill.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English French German Spanish

  • Accommodation


    Self-contained linked one bed flat - see new photos.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The house is a ten-minute flat walk to the village, which has bars, banks, etc. and a bus to Gandia. The celebration Fallas is in March and in previous years the trains ran 24 hours a day from Gandia to Valencia from 17-20th March for people to get to the city safely. We have 3 bicycles as well.
    Gandia, the 10th largest city in the Valencian Comunidad, was the Ducal home of the Borgia, a vibrant medieval city; markets, theatre, cinema, concerts, great restaurants and bars, shopping centre, train station. Gandia beach is one of the best blue flag beaches in Spain and is nearly completely repaired after the last storms. Going inland you find the 'Via Verde', a 13km walk to Lorcha, and one of the feeder routes for the Camino De Santiago de Compostela runs beside our house. (The hotel in our village can stamp your Pilgrims Passport). The walk is flat because it is a disused railway line and passes through Moorish terraces and orange groves, an old hydroelectric plant and five spectacular tunnels hugging the Rio Serpis gorge. There are also hard climbs around the Cirque de La Safor... a huge crater said to be an 'energy portal' by some. Helen goes to various towns for Charity work and visiting friends so there is often a lift to Javea, Denia Moraira Gandia or less often Finestrat / Villajoyosa. Or just relax by the river - 4 mins on foot.UPDATE As YOUNGER PEOPLE CAN DO MORE - cycle to Gandia beach in 25 minutes, the nearest beach is 20 mins by bike. A days excursion along the river bed, through old railway tunnels then over the top track/road near the volcano crater is apparently AWESOME. The garden is really big and you can always find a quiet place to just bee within the property, just take a chair or blanket and find a spot. Blablacar is very popular in this area and as long as you have a debit card very easy to use around the Gandia area and then the rest of Spain then Europe.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Day out just 10km up the river from our house.
So you know we do clean up well.
Mike and Helen 2/7/2019

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Host ref number: 298386644541