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I’m Ruth from Manchester, England, and for some reason have been blessed with the good fortune of living here. I’m in the mountains 8km above Samaipata. After many years of travelling I finally found my place- 1 ½ hectares, around 200 fruit trees and built my adobe house facing the famous El Fuerte. The ultimate goal is for self-sustainabililty which means working hard but also enjoying the fruits of the labour. Fires, music and vegetarian food (you can cook meat) under the stars and generally appreciating nature. An experimental indoor oyster mushroom project has just been launched so anyone who wants to be part of the mushroom millions monopoly is welcome! I ask a minimum of a week stay so I can organise food, and we work 25 hours per week (20 in tent) which volunteers can decide how to manage their time, depending on weather and projects. There are several like-minded people living close by to share ideas and help each other out for variety. No experience necessary but a willingness to contribute and exchange ideas and energy is essential. At the same time, any experience or knowledge of permaculture and/or natural building would be a bonus. Shroom connoisseurs would be particularly welcome right now.
I'll be honest-it's not the cushiest workaway round here but if you like physical work in the outdoors in a beautiful place, I'd really appreciate your help. I have 2 dogs and a cat who supervise and quality control all work and volunteers, random chickens always getting in the way and the occasional stray cow/horse so it's essential you are beast friendly.
I generally like to make the most of daylight so get up and go to bed pretty early so evening entertainment is up to you. I might occasionally play yahtzee or games if you let me win.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Chance to learn about living self sustainably and off grid in an area of Bolivian campesinos and like minded extranjeros. Living dictated by nature rather than schedules. Being so far from nearest shop/decent internet/24 hr elec can be quite an experience for some.
Orchard maintenance, growing veg/mushrooms, natural building. Languages-English and Spanish. And some really bad German(- just the most useless words n phrases).
Stargazing-I'm no teacher but there's a pretty good view from my place.
Vegetarian diet....seeing how easy, healthy n hopefully tasty it is!! More than happy to share cooking skills n tricks (both ways) n go more vegan-ish if vols want but also have no interest in converting anyone.
Help needed maintaining the orchard-harvesting, pruning, clearing.
Natural building, maintenance/restoration. The old house needs renovating-the roof is done and now I want a shroom room..which means digging foundations, levelling/tiling floor and laying adobe bricks(already made).
Currently (aug-oct 2019) work entails: clearing, clearing, clearing-with machete/hoe, pruning fruit trees, juicing oranges, planting veg, planting natural fences, indoor mushroom production, and some construction/building maintenance. Any experience/advice for indoor oyster mushroom project very welcome.
English (northern), Spanish
Coming back soon:(Double bed in small private volunteer adobe building and a single bed on a mezzanine in my home.)
Right now: Plenty of room for camping. Communal kitchen and bathroom with gas hot shower. Can hotspot internet if volunteers really need it and willing to pay for data but signal can be intermittent in bad weather. Electric is solar powered n therefore limited. With lots of rain it can be difficult/impossible to get a taxi but always possible to walk to town-8km...takes me 1hr to main rd, 1.5 to plaza. Im sure the government will install a zipline soon.
I have 2 dogs and a cat. The neighbour has two dogs n a lot of chickens that are often on my land so anyone with allergies should probably stay away. Being right next to Amboro there's also a whole host of insects....it's not like they're in your face all the time but they live here too. While I'm cultivating shrooms in my house I can't allow any insect repellent spray as the shrooms will soak it up but outside, vol room n tents is fine.
I am facing El Fuerte ruins and on the border of Amboro National Park about 100m (I think) above the village.
There is a multi-cultural vibe in Samaipata with more n more restaurants and bars by the day. Weekends are best for the market.
The weather is usually pleasant all year round but winter can get quite cold at night sometimes (down to 3º).
There are waterfalls, hikes n plenty of off road biking/motorbiking nearby with rentals n guides possible in town. Animal refuge, outdoor swimming pool n look out point all within walking distance of plaza. No problem if volunteers want to leave my phone number with tour agencies in town for tours further afield.
Easy onward transport to Santa Cruz, Sucre, Cochabamba and pretty much anywhere from Santa Cruz.
Taxis to/from village cost 50bs mototaxis 15/20bs but after lots of rain the only way is the 2 foot express....walking-1-2hrs depending how fast you walk.
Only one ATM in town- banco union- which doesn't accept all cards but changing US dollars is always possible in town.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week