We are an ecological preserve dedicated to the reforestation of damaged cattle land along Mexico's beautiful Pacific coast. With an emphasis on human centric tree crops. Over the last 20 years our project has helped to revitalize native populations of iguana, white tail deer, and provides sanctuary to an untold number of bird species.
Our current focus is 12 acres of organic tropical fruit trees on what was once a forest turned cattle grazing land. Over 3000 trees have been planted so far in this latest addition to the property, with many more on the way! Our end goal is a diverse and abundant agroforestry model in the vein of what Ernst Groetsch is doing in Brazil.
This is a large project, with many elements coming together to form a sustainable and profitable agricultural system that will improve the surrounding environment. You will have the opportunity to be involved in many different areas and learn sustainable tradeskills that will support you for as long as you walk around on this Earth. Some of our current projected priorities in the coming months are as follows:
1. Worm Compost System
2. Compost tea production
3. Sustainable building and design
4. Edible mushroom production
6. Animal husbandry
7. Chicken tractors
8. Bird watching blinds
9. Event management
11. Training in authentic Mexican cooking.
12. Organic garden management and design.
...just to name a few.
Our project also boasts the Latin world's longest Zipline course. While currently out of service to the public, we wish to revitalize the tourism aspect of our property once more as well.
If you love to work with your hands while being surrounded by natural beauty, then you have come to the right place. See for yourself the real Mexico from a perspective that few who come only as visitors get ever get the chance to experience.
Tall socks (a few pairs, for use in boots and to keep sand fleas and mosquitoes from biting at night!!)
Sheets – twin sized – queen sized, including pillow case, top and fitted
Towels & Sarong
Headlamps and flashlights with rechargeable batteries
Biodegradable shampoo, soap, and laundry detergent (if you bring non-biodegradable, you will not be allowed to use it)
A good stock of band-aides
All-natural bug repellent (All Terrain, Herbal Armor and Burts Bees are great)
Notebooks, pens, sharpies, art supplies
Long-sleeved, lightweight pants and shirts (very important for keeping away mosquitoes)
T-shirts, Tank Tops, Shorts, Skirts
Rain coat with hood
Dietary items and/or supplements that you will want to have during your time at Natura
Ziploc bags or Tupperware if you bring in food – to prevent ants and other insects from being attracted to your goodies
We highly recommend bringing tea tree oil and lavender essential oil- it solves a variety of jungle issues
Volunteers: PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN SHEETS (top, bottom and pillow case, recommended dark colors) AND TOWEL.
You are welcome to donate them at the end of your stay if you do not wish to continue to travel with them.
DO NOT bring any soap, shampoo, or conditioner that is not biodegradable!!!
If you smoke tobacco, bring only rolling tobacco, please avoid bringing cigarettes with filters!!
Be warned that the tropical jungle is not the kindest environment for material possessions. We recommend not bringing anything you are really attached to (clothes, jewelry, books, etc.) as things might get wet / moldy / stained / really smelly (even things such as books). Leather will especially be damaged.
Preparing for your trip to Natura? Here are a few important things to know when traveling to Manzanillo and living in the jungle off-the-grid!
Please be aware that there is NO ATM in Pancho Villa. There are ATMs in Manzanillo, as well as banks and a currency exchange office.
Note: Mexico is a relatively safe country, but like anywhere theft does happen. Please keep your personal belongings close to you and do not flaunt your camera, money or phone.
Natura has one well as well as a rain catchment system. The water is safe to drink because it comes directly from the well to our taps. You can bring your own bottled water or filter if you would prefer. You may be working with an array of tools so we recommend having your tetanus vaccine up to date. There is a clinic in Manzanillo and a hospital about an hour away in Colima in case of emergencies. Please send us two emergency contacts prior to arrival.
FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS
Natural, organic cotton tampons and paper wrappers can be put into the composting toilet system. All plastic must go out into landfill. Please be conscious of waste but be conscious of your personal comfort. We recommend bringing menstrual cups like Diva Cup or Saalt or bring period underwear.
We have some internet in some places at the farm. It is not perfect but will work for emergencies.
We encourage people to reach out to their loved ones to let them know you are safe and sound, though we also encourage limited use of the internet to not overload your already stimulated senses.
In case of emergencies, your family can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are starting to grow our own food and we also buy some conventional products. You will get food every week. You are responsible for cooking, cleaning and maintaining your food safe and in good conditions. A plastic box will be provided so you can keep your food and snacks. There is no refrigerator so meals should be made in portions.
Make sure to bring your own snacks as they are not provided.
The kitchen is open to use any time except for working hours. Kitchen cleaning is your responsibility as well.
Contact us if you have any questions about what to bring.
Manzanillo lies on the Pacific coast and is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. If this happens while you are here you will need to evacuate to a safe location inside or outside Manzanillo. You will be responsible for any costs incurred.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help with Computers / internet
Learn to speak like true Latino! Potentially part of courses on natural farming Construction, organic pesticide and fertilizer production and management, plant propagation and nature preservation.
We are 40 minutes from beautiful beaches and I will point you in the direction of all the best tacos in town.
While there is much to do, volunteers and employees will mainly be focused in the food forest in the near future, until we are sure that each an every tree we have planted is getting the proper care it needs to thrive. You will spend part of each day in the gardens, helping to produce some of the food you will be eating.
You will be provided with a schedule and given ample time each week to explore the interesting port town of Manzanillo, as well as natural attractions along these beautiful coast lands.
The converted shipping container/super adobe cabin has a kitchenette. It's a nice little house nestled in the hill amidst the jungle and flowering bougainvilleas. The comunal kitchen and adobe cabins are currently being remodeled. But the kitchen is still functional.
The house has a bathroom and room to sleep four people. We will provide staple foods such as rice and beans as well as an allotment of vegetables if the on-site gardens are not producing enough for a healthy diet.
Volunteers who prove their desire to work hard and become a team member may be offered employment full time, or on a seasonal basis.
I love it out here. While Manzanillo is not the constant tourist destination of Cancun or Puerto Vallarta, that only adds to it's charm. The pristine beaches are rarely over crowded and the locals are a lively and warm bunch. Fresh seafood galore with nice bars on the beach, casinos if you are feeling lucky, great food, and a toasty tropical climate that makes shorts and flip flops a necessity. Bring a smile and you will become quickly immersed in the culture!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week