Learn about permaculture, sustainable living and construction in the mountains of Malaga, Spain




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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    CORONA: with the current situation we would be willing to take s.o. / couple who is really interested in permaculture / water management etc. ideally with some experience in agriculture & DIY/construction for some extended period.
    First 2 weeks would be especially careful until we know it is save.

    We are looking for help again: couples preferred - singles welcome, usually the stronger of them for the more heavy jobs like construction and permaculture landscaping, and the other for the less heavy jobs like cooking/vegetable garden ... best for 2 weeks or more.

    From June we also would like to host s.o. experienced with movie making for documentation of how a deserted plce gets converted into a lush green permaculture farm. S.o. with a drone for arial photos/videos would be great as well.

    We are STRICTLY NON SMOKING here !!! No drugs, no alcohol.

    In 2016 I took a permaculture design course. And now I am redesigning and reshaping big areas of our property. So interesting times. If you really want to learn something about practical permaculture design this is the place to go

    The huge 250000 liter water tank was built 2 years ago.
    In June 2018 we have built a huge 3 million liters water storage lake.

    So when you are interested in aqua retention landscapes, water preservation, making dry areas green again,
    then this might be a good time to help us here.
    Now we need water channels to capture rain water. An interesting project. And planting a hundred trees.

    Just around 500 meters of terraces have been built. And mango and avocado trees are waiting to be planted. Also about 4000 Vetiver plants (vetiver.org) to prevent erosion of the new terraces.

    We are a German couple around 50 needing help building a small spiritual and ecological center in the mountains of Malaga, Spain about 30 minutes to the sea.

    We are inspired by the large spiritual center Tamera in southern Portugal. We are combining practical spirituality with ecological living. Water retention technologies and landscaping, use of solar energy and permaculture gardening will help us achieving this.
    Recently we started plant nursery.

    Currently there is no seminar program or special daily programs offered besides the occasional meditations if helpers are interested. And actually most helpers are not.
    When asked the host also guides some little self exploration exercises or talks about future offerings.
    Depending on the group we also had people doing yoga together in their free time.

    The 50000 m2 hillside property is about 8 km south of the village Riogordo. A bus from Malaga to Riogordo (about 1 hour) is available.

    We don't want smokers, drugs and consumption of alcohol in our place, as it is not supportive of our goals. TV is also not available.
    We like to have people here, who want to contribute, be part of the team and learn something for their lives. We are NOT interested in people who are just looking for a cheap stay on minimum effort. (sorry just had such experiences :-(( ...)

    Internet access (no movies / downloads) incl. Skype-voice is mostly available.

    We live in the campo and around is beautiful nature, great for hiking.
    Also not too far are cultural sites like Malaga or Granada with the Alhambra.
    If our time permits you can join us on excursions, hikes or visits to the beaches now and then.

    During wintertime the weather CAN be cold and rainy for some days. And since our tasks is mostly outside you can then take your off days for a good book or so on the air sofa.

    In the summer it can be quite hot. So we might start work at 7:00 am and have a siesta to continue in the evening, when it has cooled down a bit.

    We are 'naturist friendly' and expect you to be at least a bit tolerant e.g. if people use the outside shower.

    After recent experiences in the future we require a whatsapp or phone interview. To set clear expectations for both sides.
    Please respect the system and respond to messages. A simple message will do even if you are not interested in coming.

    Everybody who eats/lives here, helps with washing dishes and cleaning the table, this are no working hours, it is a part of how we live.

    Since 2015, our first year with workaway, we had over 1000 workaway requests and more than 100 stays here from 10 day to 3 month. At a max of 7 people at the same time. Our mainly good experiences and progress in our project let us look excited into the new year 2019.

    If your main interest is learning Spanish you should better be looking for a Spanish speaking host.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    After my permaculture design course I am redesigning the whole land with terraces, swales, rain water harvesting, rain water storage in a huge 2 million liter lake, planting 100s of trees, using Vetiver to prevent erosion and restoration agriculture to restore a diverse ecosystem - so there is a lot to learn as well.
    you can learn a lot about construction with more or less conventional materials but unconventional ideas. Setting up natural stone walls, stairs, pathways. Planting trees and organic vegetables. Using solar energy in active and passive systems. Automating a house/property with the multi core Propeller processor.

  • Help


    A big part of the place is still in construction so there is construction help required. Mostly outside. Setting up the permaculture design for water retention landscape, the terraces, planting fruit trees, help in the organic permaculture vegetable gardens.

    Setting up nature stone walls, nature pathways on the extended property, rooting old cactus and rotten almond trees, cutting those to firewood for the fireplaces in the house.

    We just had a helper coming only in flip-flops to work the above mentioned tasks - this obviously can not work for safety reasons. So please bring some good shoes with you, this is a partly quite steep, stony mountain property.

    Do not expect to get only the jobs you like. Since all is in flow sometimes it is construction, sometimes clearing and weeding land, sometimes digging holes for planting trees ... - if you can adapt you can still learn a lot ...

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    At the moment several double and single bed rooms with terrace are ready as a guest quarter. The living room and kitchen is shared with us. In addition there are two almost finished rooms in separate building with private terrace as well.
    Usually we will have common vegetarian meals or you find food in the kitchen. If you need meat, you can walk to a nearby bar.
    In addition we have places for your tent (some with roof) / or you can use one of our tents. And in our wooden cabin there is a camp space as well.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    very special hike: El Torcal
    culture: Alhambra de Granada
    just across the valley: a beautiful mountain village Comares
    beaches at Torre del Mar / Nerja

    I am not shure what to do to get in contact with WORKAWAY.
    A feedback to a feedback, that I put in did not appear.
    I wrote several messages and even emails to workaway and got no response and nobody helped to put my feedback in, where it belongs.
    This is the second time in a year, that it is really difficult to get a response. So hopefully someone from workaway reads this now and responds - or many others will. ... didn't work either ...

    so now here the missing feedback for helper with profile name: peter1

    The helpers feedback requires a detailed reply which I put here with <<<

    i stayed 3 weeks with Markus and Ute.
    I liked the abundance of food and the other workawayers that I met there.
    It was really a place with high fluctuation.
    the work was intense although i am used to expanding lots of energy.

    concerning the downsides:
    the first day I came I felt like leaving.
    I was asking people where they are from.
    Most of the people there were germans.
    And I come from slovakia.
    So Markus told me it is ridiculous to ask where people are from germany
    when my country is only the size of belgium. whatever. nice welcome.
    <<< I am sorry, he felt like this. With having workawayers from all over the world now
    for more than a year we learned that communicating in a foreign language is prone to misunderstandings,
    much more than what happens even in your own language from time to time.
    Humor and jokes are another field of minunderstanding, even worse in foreign language.
    This might have happened here.

    i was offered a tent in garage while some workaweyers
    that came later were offered a room.
    <<< about the accomodation situation we communicated very openly ahead of time
    like other people who booked earlier taking the rooms and
    he said he was fine with the tent, that could be put into a new built garage
    should weather be windy and rainy. He never said anything about it while here ...

    but the thing thatI considered to be most rude is that on
    many ocassions when we ate together everybody spoke in german.
    like I was invisible. so after some time I really stop caring
    about what they want to say.
    <<< this time for the first time it happened that we had many german helpers.
    And while usually the language of communication here is english it happend
    many times that people automatically switched to german to talk to each other
    when Peter was not involved. I understand this does not feel nice for him.
    And also many times this was noticed and language switched back to English
    to include him again.

    Though I found out they treat everybody differently.
    Preferential treatment. Like at my basic school.

    Furthermore I did not find anything spiritual about the place.
    with the exception one meditation we did together.
    the profile misguides and reality is different.
    it was just work. the hosts were stressed and worked literally everyday..
    i felt cheated.
    anyway you cant build a spiritual center while not being spiritual in the process.
    <<< In our profile and the first information message to inquiring workawayers we clearly state,
    that the focus is currently on building and landscaping and that we do not offer
    a spiritual program for helpers. Most workawayers are not interested in this anyhow.
    For those interested, depending on the workload, we offer meditations and
    when asked after meals the host is happy to share his learnings from life and
    doing little spiritual exercises with the guests.
    He is right, at his time here, with up to 7 helpers we were very busy and decided to
    not take so many simultaneously in the near future.
    In addition we do not think spirituality requires use of drugs or psychedelic substances.

    anyway, i wish the hosts good luck and that they get what they are searching for
    <<< even while he rates us only neutral, we rate him GOOD,
    because he was very engaged in the partly physically challenging work.
    It is not easy to assign the very different helper
    personalities each a job, which fits their skills and background and where they can
    contribute and one which they like at the same time.
    He was generally very quiet, disappeared after work on long walks alone,
    did not complain and we had the impression that is how he is and that he was ok with it.
    So we are quite surprised by his feedback here.

    Seeing all the aspects above our takeaway for him is to 'speak up' if he
    wants or needs something or does not feel happy and there might be a chance to change something
    and get what he needs/likes. To get out of the victim state and take charge of your life.
    As Anthony Robbins states it:
    "The ultimate success formula: ASK"

    now we have it again:

    I think it is not a good practice of workaway to allow negative feedback, but censor the explanation for it. Also my feedback to the negative feedback of firsttime workawayer Rhona at our place was censored.
    Workaway does this without forwarding the helpers feedback to us the host so we are able to understand, what is going on.
    So here my comment about the negative feedback of workawayer Rhona.

    Usually we do not bother to write negative or bad feedback for helpers. And most are at least intelligent enough to not provoke us to write one.
    In this case I will reply to our first and unqualified negative with our qualified perspective.
    Rhona is a very immature and psychologically unstable person.
    It started already in the communication before she came. Her stories were confused and her excuses obviously inconsistent.
    But we gave her a chance anyhow. When she was here the confused storytelling continued.
    She stayed only for ~4 days. We tried to get a bit in contact with her, but she appeared really depressive and introvert.
    Her departure was a big surprise for us. Late afternoon, when we came down from siesta, she had just disappeared without saying a word.
    We found a little note:
    Ute & Markus
    I am really sorry.
    I have to leave.
    I have a family emergency.
    Thank you for having me here.
    Good luck

    Later we heard from neighbors, that she was walking some 7 km with heavy baggage in the heat of the afternoon to the next bus station even refusing an offered lift.
    So we are sorry for her, but can only warn other hosts and recommend her to find some emotional and psychological support to sort out whatever it is she is carrying inside her. And we wholeheartedly wish her getting better and more stable to find back to the happy side of life. In the tasks assigned she was not fast, but did the job. So not really anything to complain from this side.
    And as I have written in other feedbacks - it is important to communicate more and better - this increases the chance you get what you want/need. 'Ask and you shall receive'. Not 'run away and complain'.
    And among our 60% 4 star and 25% 3 star feedbacks we can live with such an 'exception from the rule', but we really do not understand it.
    Markus & Ute from Ananda-Luz

  • 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

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week on average - maximum 25 hours a week. some flexibility according to weather and work requirements is needed. Also some help with meals and cleaning expected.

These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (4.9)

Cultural exchange: (4.6)

Communication: (4.9)

Host ref number: 376695616531