Help at a home for retired donkeys near Arriondas, Asturias




Favourited 1300 times

  • rating

    Host rating

  • feedbacks



  • last activity

    Last activity


  • Last email replied

    Reply rate

    100.0 %

  • Last email replied

    Average reply time:

    within 2 days

  • Badges

    Top Host

 Min stay requested: at least 1 month

  • Description


    Important Notes about this WorkAway:
    • We are FULL for the months of October, November and December.
    • We have a MINIMUM STAY of one month.

    We are a project which aims to provide a quality home and life to donkeys rescued from all across Spain. Set up by Dutch national Marleen, our farm welcomes up to 8 volunteers at a time who stay between 1-3 months as getting to know the animals and routine does take some time. We are currently home for approximately 25 donkeys, 3 horses, 2 ponies, a pig, several cats and a dog.

    Daily tasks are primarily focused on animal care though also include gardening, household tasks such as cooking, and handiwork such as necessary maintenance or repairs. Housing is on-site and includes a variety of caravans and rooms in the house. Our property is 8 hectares made up of the main house, stables, cabin/cabaña, apple orchards, forests and meadow.

    We are looking to host those looking to continue giving our donkeys a better life, as well as those with interest or knowledge in: vegetable gardens, maintenance, handiwork specific to fences, cooking (for 8-10 people), or Spanish. We cannot accommodate those traveling with their own pets. Please note our farm is vegetarian (semi-vegan) and smoke-free. We do not have Wi-Fi, though phone coverage is average if needed.

    COVID-19 Update: Vaccination against COVID-19 is not required to stay at our farm, though it is highly recommended you receive the vaccine if it is available to you. As of Oct 14th 2021, 85% of the Asturian population is fully vaccinated (92,5% of the 12+ population). We consider the volunteer group as a bubble: social distancing is impossible and we are on the property together almost 24/7.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Volunteers will learn about animal care, gardening, and vegetarian/vegan cooking. You will be living, working and interacting with individuals from several countries, and cultural exchange is natural.

  • Help


    It is important to note that our working hours are different than some volunteering sites, as caring for animals can end in varied or long days. We have plenty of breaks, though you should expect to stay busy with different aspects of animal care or farm maintenance. A general schedule of a day is below, though it is highly subject to change depending on season or necessary tasks:

    • 07:45h - The day begins with feeding the donkeys their breakfast and cleaning the stables of any poo from the night before. This is also time for a quick check on all the animals to ensure they're doing well, and of course wish them a good morning.
    • 09:00h - Human breakfast time, which includes Marleen's famous porridge that you'll be thinking of long after you're gone.
    • 10:00h - Tasks are divided and typically split into a few groups, such as: Daily Care including hoof cleanings, brushings, and stable cleanings; Special Care including training and enrichment or special medical attention such as giving medicines; tending to the garden; and completion of any maintenance or repair projects. Each volunteer takes a few tasks and can do different ones each day. There's of course time for breaks in between.
    • 14:00h - Depending on pace of the tasks, lunch typically falls around this time. It is either eaten as a group or individually, depending on what everyone wants to do. This time also starts the siesta, in which volunteers can relax, spend time with the animals, or explore the farm and local area.
    • 18:00h - Donkey dinner time, which runs almost exactly like donkey breakfast.
    • 19:30h - The average time for dinner, which is cooked by a volunteer. Each volunteer will choose a day of the week to cook for the group.
    • 21:00h - The donkeys are brought back to their stables and given a final snack before bedtime.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Single or shared bedrooms in the main house, single caravans, and a shared cabin/cabaña.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We speak Dutch, English and Spanish with English generally being the common language spoken by everyone. Enviamos una bienvenida a nuestros voluntarios de España y otros países hispanohablantes.

    Asturias is in the north of Spain and bordered by Cantabria, Castilla y León and Galicia. It is situated in vast green mountains and nicknamed the Costa Verde. The area is perfect for outdoor activites such as hiking, kayaking, mountain climbing, and more - many of which can be done right in Arriondas. We are located 19km from the beach town of Ribadesella, and 16km from the spectacular Picos de Europa mountains. Volunteers must enjoy outdoor life, as we are located 3km away from the nearest village.

    Getting here;
    • Bus (ALSA): There are daily connections to Arriondas through Oviedo (68km / 1hr), Santander (130km / 2hr) and Bilbao (220km / 4hr). The most popular and suggested route is through Oviedo. Bus tickets can be purchased on their website or directly on the bus at the time of departure.
    • Plane: If you are flying into Spain or Asturias, the closest airports are Oviedo (OVD) or Bilbao (BIO).
    • BlaBlaCar: A popular option among volunteers, there are typically connections to Arriondas specifically from Bilbao or Llanes.
    • If you have any issues with transportation, please contact us!

    This WorkAway is managed by Marleen as well as a group of past volunteers: Rebecca, Stef and Steve.

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    It is possible to accomodate a campervan / caravan with advance notice.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Average 5h/day, 5d/wk

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

Accuracy of profile: (4.5)

Cultural exchange: (4.6)

Communication: (4.7)

Host ref number: 442985416842