Help our family to build an earth bag house and permaculture project in Central East Portugal



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    within 1 day

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We are a couple in our late 20's and early 30's living on a 7 acre piece of land in Central East Portugal. We have only been here for a few months but we have a child arriving in April 2020 and we are in the process of building a house on a cleared area of this land. So far we have dug the foundations and laid the first few layers of earthbags.
    In Autumn 2020 we would also like to create accommodation areas that could house guests in the future as a potential form of income.

    We have a brother and a friend living on the adjacent piece of land, used mainly for permaculture and rebuilding an old ruin. We work together sometimes as a community. There is also a new neighbour who comes for dinner sometimes. Between us there are 3 lovely dogs.

    We cook or provide two vegan meals per day on working days. There is a shared kitchen for you to use and make meals and breakfasts as you please. We ask that all shared meals are vegan. If you want to bring your own dairy/egg products for your own consumption at breakfasts and tea etc.. we are happy for you to do that but we ask that no meat is cooked in our shared kitchen. If you want meat there is plenty of restaurants in Castelo Branco.
    We also ask that you bring your own plant based soaps and other bathroom products. All our water is reused and we do not want it contaminated with any chemical products so we ask you don't bring them.
    Apart from this, we are very laid back and want you to enjoy your stay with us!

    We look forward to meeting you!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help with Eco Projects

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    This is an opportunity to put any eco-building skills you may have or want to learn to practice. There are many other pieces of land in the area being used for similar purposes and you are welcome to visit them and learn and get ideas.
    Castelo Branco, our nearby city, is only 15 minutes drive away. It has some cultural sites and and beautiful old town. You can get everything you need there.
    There are many local river beaches, castles and small villages.
    The Serra da Estrela mountain range is in sight of the land but 1.5 hours drive away through the mountains. A great place to visit when you are not working.

  • Help


    At the moment, we would like help building our home out of Earthbags. We will be building this house between now and mid March 2020. This is an ecobuilding project using the soil around us to fill sacks that create the walls of our house. This work is quite strenuous on the body and involves a lot of digging, lifting and clearing land etc... If you are interested in this kind of building we ask that you make sure you feel strong and fit if you want to come here. The work is enjoyable, we listen to music and take lots of breaks and with 4 people or more we can do a lot quickly so the work can be very rewarding. However, if you have any injuries or a weak back, this is not the work for you. If you feel healthy, it's a great opportunity to get fit and strong.

    Depending on where we are in the process, tasks could include:
    Filling and stacking earthbags
    Clearing land
    Cooking and cleaning (if there are a lot of workaways at the same time)
    Collecting firewood
    Cutting down wood
    Building a roof

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    In the summer months we have a bell tent that can sleep at least 5 but we will only put more than one person in there if they are a couple or friends happy to share.

    For the whole year we have a campervan that can sleep a couple or an individual.
    Should there be more than that, we also have 4 man tent. However we will inform you if there are already people using the van so you are aware if you will be in the tent.

    If you have your own form of accommodation (van or tent) and you will be staying in it, that is also great!

    We have a compost loo and an outdoor hot shower!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There is a great train and bus connection service from Lisbon to Castelo Branco and we are happy to come and pick you up.

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 334878182319