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(During the Virus Crisis we temporarily suspended accepting applications. However, we are now again screening select applicants for consideration for the next few months. If you have talents or skills, or just want to learn some, we would like to hear from you.)
WELCOME to our Art, Habitat, & Heritage Institute site. Thanks for your interest. If you are interested in learning new skills, gaining experience, and making a contribution to our rather unique venue..."Come on down!" We need your help. We have a lot of general yard and garden clean up and planting to do. Also, I am partially handicapped, so I can use some people with stamina and interest for construction and maintenance. We have openings available now through 2020. Ideally, we want people who want to learn skills as a part of our International Intern Initiative, and can stay from two weeks to two months.
WHO WE ARE: WHAT WE DO
We are not a for profit business, but a private home where our 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, heritage center is digitally headquartered.
We inhabit a 2 acre site in the subtropical rain forest & wetlands of Lacombe, in south Louisiana. It is on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain: 40 miles to the New Orleans French Quarter; 35 minutes to the Gulf Coast. We are a progressive creative and educational venue utilizing heritage and entertainment to develop an appreciation for the preservation, protection, promotion, and presentation of the environmental, historical, and cultural heritage of the area, in order to pass along this heritage to future generations. Through our NGO we are heavily involved in our community so you will be immersed in our culture with us. It will be an experience that will last a lifetime.
My home is an edu-tainment venue based upon a modified Mayan Indian and Choctaw Indian theme. Help is needed for supervised construction on projects related to modified Mayan architecture, art, and agronomy. Started in 1973, I have built/am building it with my own hands according to my own architectural designs. It is still very much a work in progress, and due to unsuccessful knee operations I could use the help of those with the intellect and strength to do what I can no longer do, but can teach.
As a south Louisiana boy, I was raised to be polite and considerate to all. I try to accommodate my life to assure my interns maximum educational exposure and opportunity to learn and apply at no charge to them. During your contribution to our projects, circumstances vary and frequently dictate the daily task specifics, but our master plan remains consistent and constant. Through this profile, and our initial meeting with the intern, we attempt to adequately communicate the terms and conditions of the stay and help. I personally ask for pardon for misunderstandings due to language, poor hearing on my part, or lack of familiarity. We try to be clear, honest, and forthcoming.
We are neither ashamed nor shocked by others, or ourselves. Living with others who are unfamiliar is part of the cultural challenge desired by clients who participate in our International Intern Initiative through Workaway. We live together in my home and must make allowances, but not be uncomfortable in close quarters.
I am somewhat of a free and unconventional spirit, so I scratch where and when I itch, belch and fart appropriately, curse frequently, disagree when I want, and hug when happy. This is me. I am what I am.
I intend to give each intern the personal attention and affection they deserve from me as a responsible host. Female interns are accorded proper respect without deference. We try to vet everyone before we accept them.
Naturally, not everyone fits in. Each has a different idea of what they wish from the experience. Sometimes what they want does not match with what we offer. However, we always try to meet as strangers, but part as friends.
We need people with appropriate skills, or who are willing to learn, and can contribute to our progress. We are in need of construction help and landscape improvement. I am a retired building contractor and instructor, so you can learn from my experience while you help. This property is a progressive educational venue utilizing heritage, art, travel, environment, and entertainment to develop an appreciation for our many and varied projects.
We are designed to be unique and of interest to interesting people. If you wish to contribute to this unique and somewhat extraordinary venue, we encourage you to apply. Applicants will be considered and once accepted are entered into a hold harmless agreement with the host. We welcome interested and interesting people who can contribute to our mission. While there are openings for cleaning and hauling, digging, landscaping, and general grunt tasks, we are specifically looking for aptitude in electrical, carpentry, masonry, and other trades. If you learn, I teach. I also learn from you. Digital technology and computer skills that can be taught to me are also sought along with other creative talents.
I have led an adventurous and fairly exciting life, and know a lot, because I've done a lot. I invite you to share my knowledge and experience. Your ideas and help are needed, welcome, and appreciated.
We welcome interested and interesting people who can contribute to our nonprofit mission. As part of our LEARN-WORK-PLAY program, you will be taught skills and given training in various areas of our development and action plan. We are still definitely a work in progress. There are always several projects underway, some large, some small, to which you can contribute. It is called WORKaway for a reason. As our intern/volunteer/guest you are expected to contribute to our mission depending upon factors like weather, materials, etc. We are flexible and fluid in our helping arrangements. During your free time, we will enable you to experience the recreational and cultural benefits of our area for your enjoyment.
WELCOME GUEST VOLUNTEERS TO OUR INTERNATIONAL INTERN INITIATIVE
Thank you for choosing our eclectic facility as a place to share your skills and learn new ones. As our intern you will not only learn what to do, but how to do it. We welcome you as guest-helpers to contribute to our mission. This is not a spa, nor just a relaxing place to stop on your journey...although it is that too and more. Ours is a unique venue in several ways. It is a work in progress, so we appreciate your special contribution.
As with any host/visitor relationship there are requests, requirements, rules, regulations, and reasons that are necessary for a mutually beneficial association. Common sense, courtesy, and consideration go a long way for a pleasant stay.
HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE
As you can imagine, many adventurous travelers are intrigued by our mission and apply to participate in order to learn and experience what we offer. Unfortunately, we can only accept a select few. Not all are qualified nor able to perform the help required.
We try to assign our interns to related projects according to their interest, skill, and ability; particularly in construction. But, we also engage you in our other activities and enjoyments.
As a retired contractor and planner, I can, given enough time and effort, provide you the instruction and training that will be helpful to you here and now, and also in the future. We don't just teach you What to think, we teach you How to think.
Physical labor is appreciated, valued, and required, and is used as a tool to compliment our instruction. It is a benefit to you as you learn certain creative aspects of our master plan.
Accommodation is neither sumptuous nor Spartan, but it is included in our free intern scholarship, as is most food. Smoking is permitted outside.
Food will be supplied as required for meals. Sometimes we will cook Southern, sometimes Creole, sometimes Cajun, sometimes Creative. Most of our meals are plant-based, but may include meat in preparation. Interns are encouraged to learn about our local culinary culture by participating in its preparation. However, individual tastes and preferences vary, so we ask that interns chip in occasionally on the food and beverages that they prefer, or to provide their own choice of food and preparation.
Special food needs: allergies, vegan, are considered. By necessity I am vegan.
Each intern helper is expected to contribute to meal preparation and clean up afterward.
Free time is your time. Occasionally, we may provide tours of the local area. You are welcome to explore the area or just relax on our property, roam around, and feel free to ask about anything, or offer comments or suggestions to make your stay with us productive and enjoyable.
RULES AND REGS will be provided to you for an orderly function of our Learn-Help-Play protocol.
Thank you for considering us.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This area of Southeast Louisiana is a unique cultural entity blending a melange of Chacta Indian, Creole, Anglo, French, Spanish, African, & Caribbean, into a vibrant mix of cultures that has adapted to a lush subtropical aquatic-oriented environment. The owner is a connoisseur of varied pursuits; a world traveler who has a wealth of knowledge and an unconventional lifestyle that should be of interest to interesting people who want to explore, engage, and enjoy new adventures and intellectual challenges suited to their quest for enticing and enriching experiences.
We assign projects to volunteers to finish as their ability and time applied requires. Special skills are given preference. Non-project volunteers are given random tasks as needed. Usually 4 hours per day are normal help times depending upon variables like weather and projects involved. Interns are also required to lend a hand in general household chores. We are building a venue suitable for theatrical and video presentations as well as unique structural variations based upon Maya architecture.
Upstairs bedroom: queen double and single bed. Cabana apartment: queen double and couch, Great Room: two comfortable couches or air mattresses. Grassy tenting under the oaks is available. Camper/van parking.
New Orleans or the Gulf Coast is just under an hour away. A 20,000-acre wildlife refuge with trails and blueways is a half mile from us. Bayou Lacombe under a quarter mile...kayak rental and tours. 31-mile long hike & bike trail on our doorstep. A sand beach on Lake Pontchartrain is about 12 miles away in Fontainebleau State Park. No public transport. Through our tours we can either arrange or conduct trips to several different well known attractions like the French Quarter or little known areas back up in the swamps or along backroad byways. If you really want to experience Louisiana come stay with us. We feed your soul.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 25 hours / week: flexible depending upon projects, weather, and other variables.
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