My husband and I live in the middle of the Atlantic, on the beautiful island of São Miguel, with our cat and dogs at home and chickens and cows at the farm. We have a home overlooking the ocean and walking distance to the beautiful hiking trails called Poço Azul and Lomba D'el Rei. I'm a holistic health coach and my husband is a conscious dairy farmer. Our small dairy farm is about 3 minutes away (by car). We work on a rotational pasture grazing system and our cows are pasture-raised and primarily grass-fed and quite happy. Our goal is to become a holistically managed farm practicing regenerative agriculture while providing artisanal raw dairy products. We love to spend our days outdoors, whether it be on the farm, in the ocean, soaking in the hot springs, crocheting on a bench, or exploring new trails.
My husband was born and raised in Sao Miguel and I was born in California to Azorean parents. I'm a native English speaker and my family always spoke Portuguese at home. I learned Spanish in school and lived in Chile, but it's gotten rusty. My husband is a native Portuguese speaker and learned English while we lived in California; he picked up Spanish immediately at work. So, we'd be happy to speak in any of these languages during your stay with us.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Travelers get the opportunity to experience how most people live here on the island. We are dairy farmers and that is the main industry supporting the livelihoods of most people on the island. It's very common that when time permits we'll take guests to visit a site or join us for a local festival. We want our guests to have an opportunity to help us further our mission while experiencing the island in a genuine way.
We receive many messages expressing interest in volunteering. Since our time is limited, please provide the following information when messaging us, otherwise we may not respond:
1. Review our list of projects and state which project(s) you feel your skills could be of most use.
2. Send us a link to any samples of your talent (i.e. your art, a website you built, photos you've taken, etc.) or request our email address and you can send them in that manner.
3. State when and for how long you are interested in volunteering.
Note: Volunteers will not be asked to help with any produce which will be sold to the public.
A. Cooking and Cleaning - We need someone to make meals, clean up afterwards, and deep clean the house so we're all in a comfortable environment. This is for you if you're one of those people that loves cleaning, organizing, and creating meals to share. We'd like to begin a low-FODMAP or GAPS diet protocol (GAPS = Gut & Psychology Syndrome) and can speak to you further about what this entails.
B. General Farm Chores - If you're not intimidated or put off by things like physical work or shoveling dung then you'll do awesome. This will give you the opportunity to get out of climate controlled indoor environments and be close to animals and nature while learning first hand about the challenges farmers face to put food on people's plates.
C. Dairy Farming - Do you know anything about raw dairy farming, beginning a cow share program, biodynamics, silvopasture, agroforestry, holistic land management, regenerative agriculture, creating fly barrels, wind power, or anything else related to sustainable farming? If you have an idea as to how to make our dairy farm more sustainable, non-toxic, organic, etc....we'd love to hear.
D. Raw Milk Products - Do you know how to make products from raw milk such as butter, ghee, buttermilk, curd, yogurt, etc.? If so, come share your knowledge with us!
E. Teacher of European Portuguese - I was raised speaking Portuguese, but never learned the written rules and need to expand my abilities when it comes to speaking and writing in a formal or business setting.
F. Carpentry - We need to make minor repairs to various pieces of vintage furniture.
G. Interior painting - We have a few rooms that need a fresh coat of paint.
H. Social Media / Videography / SEO - Adding content to social media pages, creating videos, etc.
We are asking volunteers to commit 5 days a week/5 hours per day. In return, we can offer you a private bedroom and 3 meals a day/ 5 days a week (we do not provide food on your days off). The meals can be anything from soup or bread and cheese to a hearty Azorean dish.
We may or may not be able to pick volunteers up from the airport. The options are taxi (about 35€), bus (best not to come too late or on a Sunday if you choose this option), car rental (3€ - 25€ p/day depending on the time of year) or hitchhiking (best if you're traveling light). It is about a 35 minute car ride from the airport to our home.
English, Portuguese, Spanish
Our volunteers can stay in their own bedroom in our house. We have 2 guest bedrooms: one has 2 beds (one double and one single) and the other has one queen bed. Our home has one bathroom that we will share. Please note that the Azores are very humid islands, so if you are highly sensitive to mold you might find it a challenging place to visit; most people are not highly sensitive, but it's something to consider.
You can soak some rays or stargaze on our rooftop, explore the nearby Poço Azul, or climb to the highest point on the island (Pico da Vara). There's also two cafe/restaurants walking distance from our house where you can mingle with locals and have a drink.
If you want to immerse yourself in peace and be removed from the confusion of city life, our home is suitable for you. We live like most people here on the island, meaning our home and lifestyle is simple, minimalistic and uncomplicated.
Here, you'll likely see cows walking the streets, listen to birds sing from an open window, and watch as time moves slowly. We have 1 indoor/outdoor cat and 3 outdoor dogs (we foster pets at times, so these numbers can fluctuate) at our home and we own a dairy farm with grass-fed cows and free-range chickens about 15 minutes away. We'd be happy to show you our farm and give you a taste of our healthy raw milk.
The city of Ponta Delgada is about a 35 minute drive away and the city of Ribeira Grande is approx. 20 minutes away.
The access road to hot springs (Caldeira Velha), a hike down to a gorgeous lake (Lagoa do Fogo) and one of the highest view points on the island (Pico da Barrosa - 947 meters / 3106 feet) is only about a 20 minute drive from our home (then you have to drive up to each of the locations).
The two tea plantations (Cha Porto Formoso and Cha Gorreana) are a short 15 minute drive away and are worth a visit to try the local organic teas and learn how tea is grown and harvested using methods that have changed very little in the past 130 years. In the beginning of May each year Cha Porto Formoso celebrates the beginning of harvest season. The highest point of the celebration is a re-enactment of a 19th century tea harvest in which dozens of people in regional costumes take part.
Other things to do for fun: scuba dive, visit the fumarols, various hot spring pools, many breathtaking lakes and hikes/trails, whale watching, swim with dolphins in the ocean, visit one of the other islands, cultural festivals, eat a traditional dish cooked beneath ground, surf, free dive and the list goes on...
- FREE Wireless internet
- We do not own a microwave.
The bus stop is about a 5 minute walk away and we've had many of our guests get around hitchhiking as it's commonplace here. But, the easiest way is with a vehicle.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours a day 5 days a week