We are an English (Steve) / Colombian (Diana) couple in our 30s/40s. We are to live in our own little slice of paradise, a 7-hectare farm, with spectacular canyon views to one side, and our own accessible patch of river on the other. We have our own waterfalls, and are within 10 minutes walk of a series of public waterfalls. We live about an hour's walk from town, taking in breathtaking valleys and small-scale coffee farms. Our aim to is to be entirely self-sufficient economically and in terms of food.
We are working towards achieving food self-sustainability, using the principles of Permaculture to try and reduce our impact on the environment as much as possible. We have taken local courses on organic farming, and are slowly working to improve the soil health. We are trying to adapt our diet to more traditional local foods, including 'Achira', manioc, Plantain/Banana, Sweet Potato, Wild rasberries/blackberries, sweet cucumber, Yota, etc. However, we have been mostly dedicated to building recently so our garden has been neglected a little.
At the moment we haev space for a couple of friends who are willing to sleep in the same room.
We are mostly vegan, though we do buy fresh eggs from our neighbour. Please don't bring meat/fish to the farm. Volunteers cook on a rota basis, and volunteers are also expected to help keep the house clean and tidy.
Steve has lived for 16 years in Colombia, first working as a teacher in Cali, then looking to find a more natural, less hectic life in San Agustin around 5 years ago. He is a qualified life coach, enjoys playing the guitar, badminton (we have a net!), permaculture projects and writing. Diana is a biologist who is involved in local charity work with abandoned animals, and with other local projects. We both work full time bringing up our beautiful 3-year-old girl, who enjoys the company of people who like to make silly faces.
We ask for COP 8,000 (about $2) per person contribution to cover 3 meals, gas which is brought by motorcycle, electricity, water, and internet which needs to be faster with more people (and is therefore more expensive). If this is difficult for you then you could also buy your own food and manage your own expenses, though a contribution for cooking gas at least would be good.
In exchange we can share our knowledge of permaculture and natural building, and you can experience a truly stunning setting with a great atmosphere, with views over a canyon and nature reserve. It's great for birding / birdwatching. You can also offer workshops / products (see below...). Come along we could use your help!
We are an equal opportunities placement and welcome all races and LGBT+.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We have been building a continuous community of volunteers in our main house though this has been paused due to coronavirus and also we just had a baby recently.
We can offer yoga, salsa, and Spanish classes. We can organise teachers to come and offer pottery, jewellery/crafts, drumming etc. Steve is a qualified life coach and offers group life coaching for travellers.
We have made some lifelong volunteers friends in the past, and we are happy to share our experiences of living in Colombia / the Colombian countryside. We also have experience of building using bamboo / earth techniques. Though we are still in the learning stages in terms of organic agriculture, we've made some good progress, and have been studying with local experts. We are eager to share our knowledge and listen to suggestions.
At the moment (mid 2020) we are trying to finish a circular room using earthbags with a green (plant) roof. This means shovelling dirt into bags and laying them on the wall. We are also trying to finish a compost toilet.
There are jobs that need doing in the vegetable garden as well, though our main focus is on the bedroom which we need for our growing family!
We have a little cabin with cooking facilities and excellent birdwatching views over a forest
We use compost toilets, which are without water. Please Google this if you don't know what it is....
We are located behind the San Agustín archaeological park, in the Huila region of Colombia. We are 15 minutes from the town by motorbike, or an hour's walk through beautiful valleys. Motorbike taxi to town costs COP 7000 or COP25,000 by car taxi.
San Agustin has a temperate climate, neither hot nor cold. It has the highest concentration of national parks in Colombia, and has a variety of activities for tourists including: visiting archaeological sites (we are within walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage SIte Archaeological Park and other statues); Horse riding (we can organise cheap tours from the farm); cycling tours; Jeep tours; coffee growing tours. We can rent our motorbike.
The town is steadily receiving more interest from foreign tourists, but is still relatively 'undiscovered' when compared to comparable sites in Colombia and South America. Our neighbours still live in a simple, traditional way. You can find locally-produced milk, cheese, eggs, and honey within a short walk from the farm.
Our ideology is based on the japanese Fukuoka, which involves learning to live with and observe nature. We are interested in people who want to participate in this project and go back to their roots, to the essence of free nature, less controlled by man.
Particularly welcome are badminton players, musicians and lovers of 90s rock, biologists, animal lovers, Vipassana meditators and yoga practicioners, and wanderers looking for an answer to life's contradictions... Also, if you have children you are more than welcome as we have a 3-year-old!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have good broadband internet but it is not always that reliable. If you are depending video calls at a certain time of day this could be a problem.
The road to get here is better with a 4x4 vehicle
We have 4 female dogs and 2 cats
More than two
The morning = 4-5 hours, 5 days a week
In developing countries (Where most hosts are involved in charity work or community development) some of our hosts may ask for a small donation to help the host family or charity (often less then 5 dollars per day) Workaway will allow this listing when the donation goes directly to the family or charity and is just to cover the cost of the volunteer‘s stay. (This will be clearly marked on the host listing).
We will strictly not allow listings posted by agents, “middle men” or projects who we feel are looking to profit from a volunteers stay.
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