Looking for a personal assistant and maintenance staff in quiet, ultra-rural Alcoutim, Portugal



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    within 4 days

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  • Description


    Both roles are now vacant!

    We are two humans, one cat and one dog, living in a semi-abandoned village in a super quiet area of Portugal (45 mins from the Algarve coast).

    I (Karren) am a writer and I have a day job that I do online. My partner James has an office job, and currently works from home too.

    This place is very remote, far from shops and towns and everything! It's perfect for someone who wants to stop moving around and just enjoy likes peace and nature. It's quiet, with very few people around, and a wonderful spot for walking, relaxing in the sun, writing and making art. We can lend you a bike if you would like to go and explore.

    If you are an artist or writer this could be a good opportunity. I'm happy to discuss how we could work together, and can offer mentorship. This situation would also suit someone who wants a place for meditation practice, yoga etc. I can offer teaching/mentoring/collaboration in the fields of writing, independent music journalism, independent publishing, political activism, feminist thought, self-development and spirituality (I've been a Buddhist for over 20 years).

    You could stay short term or long term, and we can work out a trial period to start with.

    Please see the details of the roles below, and let me know which of them you are interested in. If it seems like a good fit, the application procedure would involve two calls with you on Zoom or Skype.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You can learn about life in rural Portugal, in a small community where everyone knows each other.

    I can offer information/mentoring about writing, publishing, creative work, political activism, feminism and spiritual growth.

  • Host offers payment in line with the minimum wage

    Host offers payment in line with the minimum wage

    This host offers accommodation and payment.

    Host has indicated that they will pay at least the minimum hourly wage of their country for each hour worked and that accommodation will also be provided. They are asking for help with a business or business activity. Contact the host directly via the site messenger for more information and details about the wage provided. Any arrangements should be agreed in advance with your host.

  • Help


    There are two distinct roles:

    1. Personal assistant - now vacant
    2. Carpentry / DIY / outdoor help / gardening / looking after animals - filled until 1st August

    Role no. 1: I have advanced rheumatoid arthritis which means I need assistance during the day. I want to find a personal assistant for three and a half hours a day (up to 25 hours a week). Experience as a carer is desirable but not essential. It is very light work, but complex; the main thing about this role is being able to listen carefully to what I need and not to guess/assume. At the beginning there will be a lot of information to take on board.

    Here are some examples of help I need: opening the shutters in the morning, making a fire if it's cold, chopping vegetables and opening tins and jars, bringing in tanks of water and things for the kitchen, taking out waste water, compost and rubbish, cleaning, washing up and laundry, assisting me to do jobs around the house, coming with me for short walks.

    You would need to be a genuine, caring person, who is happy to be flexible in how they do things (for example to do the washing up in a very careful way so that it doesn't affect my health). You would need to be respectful and able to listen. Only apply if this is you!

    I'm an experienced and educated person who happens to be disabled and living with long term chronic conditions. A crucial element of the job is to treat me with respect as a full and equal human being.

    I would prefer my assistant to be a woman but if you're a man and you feel you might be able to do the job we can discuss.

    We can offer 30 euros per week towards travel expenses and/or money to help you get Covid tested if that is a requirement for travel.

    Let me know if you're interested or have questions about this role.

    Role no. 2: We have a house, a warehouse, outbuildings, an orchard and a field, and there are various maintenance jobs and gardening jobs to do. We'd like to create a wooden house, and have chickens and other animals. So this role is for someone who can do heavier, practical help for 5 hours a day for 5 days a week, with two days off per week.

    In exchange for these 25 hours we offer you your own room and whatever food you like to eat.

    If we agree for you to work extra hours on a specific project we will pay for those extra hours at 10 euros per hour.

    The main project is the wooden house, so if you have carpentry skills to do this, we can pay you for your hours after the first 25 hours each week.

    Examples of the help needed are:

    - Painting the buildings and walls
    - Helping to build a wooden house
    - Creating paths and gates
    - Helping look after animals
    - Gardening

    You would need to be aware that I am allergic to chemicals so you might have to do some jobs in a different way than you have done them before.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate
    Portuguese: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    I would like to improve my beginner's Portuguese. I can offer help with learning or improving English.

  • Accommodation


    You would have a nice room to yourself in a traditional Portuguese house with a bamboo ceiling to look up at when you're in bed.

    You will make your own food - we will buy/order everything you need according to your diet and preferences.

    I ask that you do not use perfumes or spray deodorant due to allergies (I would be allergic to you!!)

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are flexible about hours and time off, as long as we can make a plan for each day.

    We can pick you up from Vila Real de Santo Antonio or Castro Marim train station.

    There are many prehistoric sites in the area (and possibly more not yet uncovered!)

    From Alcoutim you can take the bus-boat to Spain and visit the village on the other side of the river, and see the castles on both sides.

    In Mertola has a castle, Roman city, old mosque, and great views of the Guadiana river in a deep gorge. Apparently there are also dragons.

    We hope to see you soon!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We can offer ethernet connection (wired connection) to the internet. Karren is electrosensitive and doesn't use wifi or mobile phones, so there would be some limitation on this in the property. We can explain it better when we have a chat with you. It is currently a slow connection but we hope to obtain a fast fibre connection soon.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We can discuss this with you.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We would need to look at this on an individual basis.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours per week

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Host ref number: 324753928474