I'm an archaeologist working in research in the CONICET @ University of San Luis, Argentina. I finished my PhD in the University of Buenos Aires and the Posdoc at UNAM, Mexico. I like traveling, I've done before using other sites and Workaway and I know it's a great way to meet local people and to have amazing experiences.
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You can improve your Spanish and learn about Archaeology and local culture.
Maybe in november 2019 we repeat, in that case the condition will be similar
We will conduct an archaeological dig for my research, with a very low budget but a lot of will and good vibes. The site is called Loma Rica de Shiquimil, you can find some information about it in the web as it is a very important archaeological site. This year we will be working in a project for local tourism development, together with the San José municipality and Comunidad Originaria (native community organization). We will be conducting an archaeological dig, establishing tracks for tourists, drone mapping, and a lot of outreach activities.
No previous knowledge is required, but if lots of fun to share with people of all kinds and make good friends. In total we will form a group of 10-15 people, between students, local volunteers and workawayers (FYI most participants speak only Spanish, i will be able to translate and give you directions for the digging in spanish, english or french).
You need to be willingness to volunteer at least one week but ideally two weeks, regarding the calendar below.
You will receive basic archaeological training. It is a very serious task that involves contact with national and native cultural heritage, therefore much respect is demanded. It is also an exciting activity and you will know archaeological sites and have a real experience as an archaeologist.
The help involves: we wake up early and have breakfast at the hostel. We travel by car 5 km to reach the archaeological site. You have to climb an stepped hill following a track (30/40 minutes, moderate/high difficulty) in whose summit are the remains of an ancient village. We will be working until the afternoon on the summit. We have lunch and rest one hour at about 1 pm or to be determined with the group. The tasks involve digging, using shovels, trowels, sieve, carrying buckets, etc. As objects appears (fragments of pottery, bone, charcoal) we will draw and take measurements. We also take a lot of pictures for photogrametry purposes, with drone and hand camera. We also take sediment samples and in the afternoon we will go down the hill carrying the findings. In the base camp we will clean the findings and organize everything. We might also perform mapping work and search for new archaeological sites.
Once in the hostel in the late afternoon you can do whatever you like. We will take dinner around 8 pm and shifts for cooking and washing dishes are required. San José town is very small, you can also choose in the evenings to go to Santa María (10 km) if you like to use wifi or go to a bar. During the days off, you can choose to relax, visit near towns like Amaicha or Cafayate (On free days, hotel expenses, transportation and food outside San José town will run on your own).
----READ THIS PART VERY CAREFULLY----
IT'S A VERY HARD WORK!!! We will be all day in the sun, heat and perhaps sandy wind. It's a very dry environment and no water on site. No toilet in the digging site, just the nature. We will always be in contact with the dirt, thorny vegetation and insects, so it is not recommended for allergy sufferers. Although accident insurance is hired for all the volunteers, it is the responsibility of each to take precautions and you need to have your own health insurance.
Must have appropriate clothing for the task as thick cloth trousers, hat, work or trekking shoes. Bring sunscreen.
You must be capable of carrying weight (10/20 kg) and climb hills (30/40 minutes).
Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese
hostel accommodation in mixed dorm-style rooms, shared bathrooms. You can cook, wash clothes by hand and use refrigerator. No wifi on the premises. Its a very simple and rustic place, nothing fancy (quite the opposite!), it's near a soccer field and can be noisy in the evening.
omnivorous daily meals are included: Breakfast, light lunch (in the archaeological site), dinner, snacks + fruits. Alcohol is allowed, but on behalf of each. Potable tap water.
special diets in behalf of each.
We ask help for cooking and to perform minimal housing.
Transportation: You must come on your own to the city of Santa Maria, Catamarca (It is two hours by bus from Cafayate and 4 from San Miguel de Tucuman) where I will pick you up, as we will be actually staying in the town of San José, 10 km south of Santa Maria.
If you are in Buenos Aires, best option is to go to city of San Miguel de Tucumán (also flights from Lima, Cordoba, Mar del Plata or Santiago de Chile).
options to San Miguel de Tucumán:
- flight: LATAM, Flybondi or Aerolineas Argentinas
- Bus: from Terminal Retiro (Buenos Aires) to Tucumán, several buses,
Then from San Miguel de Tucumán to Santa María: bus "transporte aconquija"
If you whant to keep travelling after this project, starting from San José to the north is all touristic places, like Amaicha (25 km), Tafi (100km), Cafayate (80 km), and further away Cachi, Salta, Tilcara, etc. So you can easily keep your travel from there.
Safety: In the town there are basic health services. As we will be working in the field, it is not recommended for highly allergic people. Please have Health Insurance.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week