My husband and I live in the middle of the Atlantic, on the beautiful island of São Miguel, with our cat, dogs, chickens and roosters. We have a small home overlooking the ocean and surrounded by pastures with one of the best beaches of the island only a 3 minute walk away. I'm a holistic health coach and my husband is a dairy farmer. Our dairy farm is about 15 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 an organic farm providing artisanal raw dairy products and grass-fed beef to consumers. We love to spend our days outdoors, whether it be on the farm, in the ocean, soaking in the hot springs, practicing yoga at the beach, crocheting on a bench or exploring some 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 a bit 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.
Below is our main project which we need completed immediately:
A. Website Design / Marketing / Social Media / Videography - We need skilled volunteers in this area for my holistic health coaching business. I am beginning my health coaching business and need help getting my marketing plan accomplished. Some things to work on: Add a blog to my website, create a teaser campaign for my rebrand, marketing strategies (concept development, timelines, budgeting, etc.), online marketing (SEO, adding content to social media pages, creating videos, etc.).
Secondary list of projects:
B. Dairy Farming - If you have dairy farming experience or have a related degree, we're interested in having someone help us make some changes to our operation. We're interested in things such as raw dairy farming, beginning a cow share program, biodynamics, silvopasture, holistic land management, regenerative agriculture, and alternative dairy farming innovations (i.e. creating fly barrels; wind power; etc.). If you have an idea as to how to make our dairy farm more sustainable, non-toxic, organic, etc....we'd love to hear.
C. Raw Milk Products - Do you know how to make products from raw milk such as butter, ghee, buttermilk, curd, etc.? If so, come share your knowledge with us!
D. GAPS Diet Cook - If you have ever followed the GAPS diet or have read the book, we're looking for someone to prepare our daily GAPS meals and take care of the clean up as well. (GAPS = Gut & Psychology Syndrome)
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 make minor repairs to various pieces of vintage furniture.
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 27€), bus (best not to come too late or on a Sunday if you choose this option), car rental (I can arrange a car for 25€ p/day) or hitchhiking (best if you're traveling light). It is about a 20 minute car ride from the airport to our home.
English, Portuguese, Spanish
Our volunteers can stay in their own bedroom in our house. Our home has one bathroom that we will share.
When our guest room is not available, we have had volunteers that opted to stay on our couch or camp at the nearby campgrounds (there are toilets, showers, and a small waterfall at the site + the beach is down the street).
You can practice yoga at the beach, swim in the ocean or just soak some rays when you stay with us because we're only a 5 minute walk to the beach. There's also a beachfront cafe/restaurant where you can mingle with locals and have a drink and a nearby restaurant where they bring the fresh fish of the day to your table so you can select the actual fish you will eat.
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, open your window and hear the ocean waves from your bedroom, listen to birds sing and watch as time moves slowly. We have free-range chickens, roosters, 3 cats and 1 dog (we foster pets at times, so these numbers can fluctuate) at our home and we own a dairy farm with grass-fed cows about 15 minutes away. We'd be happy to show you our farm and give you a taste of our healthy raw milk.
The village center is about a 2 min. drive / 10 min. walk away and you'll find some mini grocery markets, a restaurant and the fishing port there.
The city of Ponta Delgada is about a 20 minute drive away and the city of Ribeira Grande is approx. 10 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 10 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 drive away (or a 30 min. walk to Cha Porto Formoso) 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 TV nor a microwave.
The bus stop is about a 10 minute or less 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 (we have private parking at our home). We also have 2 bicycles, but be aware that the island is hilly.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
5 hours a day 5 days a week