A building and permaculture project on Morocco's Atlantic Coast

Country

Morocco

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    12  

  • last activity

    Last activity

    15/11/2019

  • Last email replied

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    100.0 %

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    Average reply time:

    within 68 days

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Contact Register
  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    I am a 49-year old Scot and my wife, 40, is from Argentina. We have two very young children, Gaia and Isaac. I am a jack-of-all-trades and have been many things in life, from soldier to TV presenter. I met my love in Ibiza where she had settled temporarily. We were both big travellers before meeting one another and still are, although there's less time for such things now.

    For some years now we've been building an eco-lodge in Morocco with our fisherman and farmer neighbours, just 15kms north of Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast.

    The Eco-Lodge lies between Azrou Issa and Al Faida, two small fishing and farming communities. Life is hard here and with less and less rain, and fewer fish in the ocean, it's getting harder. Many families have already left the land and gone to live in the town. There are almost 40 small families left, farming approx 100 hectares between them and grazing their goats, sheep and cows in the huge forest behind. The land does not produce enough and the forest is being overgrazed.

    We are running a long term project to regenerate the farmland and the forest behind using permaculture, holistically managed grazing, aqua-ponics and any other good ideas. The aim is to build a sustainable and profitable future for them, and us, and in so doing, to learn what works and what doesn't work in such a semi arid landscape before taking this knowledge to other places. To this end we have started the UK-based charity, which will exist to support, fund (where necessary) and guide this cooperative, and others after it, towards economic and social sustainability.

    The permaculture project is only just beginning and is ‘from scratch’.

    We do not need volunteers all year round and sometimes we are looking only for volunteers with specific skills.

    RIGHT NOW (DECEMBER 2016 - APRIL 2017) WE ARE ONLY LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS WHO CAN COOK 2 MEALS A DAY FOR 8 PEOPLE. BUILDERS WITH GOOD EXPERIENCE ARE ALWAYS WELCOME!!

    Volunteers will be accommodated either in a bell tent, in a half-finished bedroom or in the original farmhouse. Cooking and eating and relaxing will be in the house. It’s all very basic at the moment. Water is scarce so we wash in a bucket and the toilet is dry compost. The well water is good to drink. We are not vegetarian but different diets are not a problem. Volunteers will be expected to cook for themselves and help with other housework.

    We provide food, a mattress and a pillow. We do not provide sheets, blankets, towels or ANY work clothes. Gloves are provided only if the work really needs them for safety reasons (lime, etc).

    It can be quite cold if the wind is from the east so bring warm clothes, strong shoes and a 2-3 season sleeping bag.

    The area: The beach is 800m away. Moulay Bouzergtoun, a small village and one of the best windsurfing spots in the world, is 4km away. Essaouira, the nearest town, is 15kms along the beach (3 hrs walk) or an easy 15-minute walk up the hill and 30 min hitch hike along the coast road. It has a beautiful old medina and fishing port. It’s all quite touristy now but there is lots to do and see: music festivals, kite surfing, surfing and windsurfing, horse riding, etc. We buy our food at the fantastic weekend farmers’ market at Had’draa. Marrakech is 200km away.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Building
    Cooking / shopping
    Help in the house

  • Help

    Help

    RIGHT NOW (DECEMBER 2016 - APRIL 2017) WE ARE ONLY LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS WHO CAN COOK 2 MEALS A DAY FOR 8 PEOPLE. BUILDERS WITH GOOD EXPERIENCE ARE ALWAYS WELCOME!!

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Spanish, French (basic), Moroccan Arabic (basic)

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Volunteers will be accommodated either in a bell tent , in a half-finished bedroom or in the original farmhouse. Cooking and eating and relaxing will be in the house. It’s all very basic at the moment. Water is scarce so we wash in a bucket and the toilet is dry compost. The well water is good to drink. We are not vegetarian but different diets are not a problem. Volunteers will be expected to help out with cooking and other housework.

    We provide food, a mattress and a pillow. We do not provide sheets, blankets, towels or ANY work clothes (gloves, etc).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Please be aware that, although we live comfortably, this is not a luxury option! Also that we have a lot to achieve and want to host experienced and mature people only. You don't have to be super fit but there will some walking involved and over rough terrain. My wife and I are so busy there that we do not go into town unless it is absolutely necessary and therefore in your time off you will be responsible for your own transport, which means walking or bicycling. You are welcome to bring a car but the project vehicle cannot be borrowed.

    Although we do have internet, it is of the 3G plug-in modem type so it's not fast and sometimes it's so slow it's not worth using at all, usually in the afternoons. Do not expect to be able to watch much Youtube or download anything bigger than 100Mb. It's fine for emailing and Skype is ok sometimes.

    Although only 15kms north of Essaouira along the beach, the house is quite remote in that it is difficult to reach by normal car. There is a rough vehicle track to the road or a more direct donkey track uphill through the forest. The quickest way to town is to walk up this (a beautiful 15min walk) and then hitch hike. Or it takes 3hrs to walk along the beach to Essaoiura. By vehicle along the track and then the road is 30kms/45 mins.
    In your time off you have the beach and the forest to explore, the locals to interact with, and a few cafe's in the village of Moulay Bouzergtoun which is about 4kms away. If you are a good windsurfer this is one of the best places in the world, home of the world famous Boujmaa Guilloul.

    Essaouira is a beautiful, old, walled medina with a busy fishing harbour and lots to see and do (windsurfing, kite surfing, horse riding, cultural stuff, etc). It's very touristy now. There's also a fantastic farmers market at Had'dra every weekend that we go to for our food.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours maximum

View from the lower terraces
View from the forest
Every night a sunset
Relaxing on the beach, Moulay Bouzergtoun behind.
Abdullah and Si Mohammed, rendering with lime.
Our neighbours gathering for a wedding
Previous volunteer and his dome
Ayelen waiting for a wine bottle to set in position
Me making a wood burning stove from a gas bottle
Essaouira
The Serai, the heart of a big permaculture project
a previous volunteer helper building his first brick dome
The beach at dawn; the seaweed harvest










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