Family eco-project would like help in San Agustin, Colombia

  • Colombia
  • Favourited 1965 times
  • Last activity: 23 Mar 2023



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    Hi my name's Steve, I'm English and I live in my 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 just finished building a wood-fired forest sauna made of earth bags, which we are trying to promote to tourists.

    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 ... some day ... but it's a challenge especially when you have young children and limited resources...

    In other words, we need some help....

    We have lots of projects that need enthusiastic hands. We want to finish the bedroom, work on growing organic food, finish the green roofs on our structures, build a tipi ... We appreciate people who are quite independent, though we will of course explain everything that needs to be done. I teach English during the day, so ideally volunteers help us in the afternoon to allow time to give instructions.

    We are mostly vegan, though we do buy fresh eggs from our neighbour. We ask volunteers to cook vegetarian food when they are here, although we have nothing against people who eat meat...

    I have lived for 20 years in Colombia, first working as a teacher in Cali, then looking to find a more natural, less hectic life in San Agustin around 7 years ago. I am a qualified life coach, enjoy playing the guitar, badminton (we have rackets!), permaculture projects and doing stand-up comedy in Spanish...

    Diana, my ex-partner (it's complicated), 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 6-year-old girl and a 3-year old boy, who enjoy the company of people who like to make silly faces.

    In exchange for help 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, our own waterfalls, river etc. It's great for birding / birdwatching. Come along we could use your help!

    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...

    We ask for 3 hours help, 5 days a week. We can offer accommodation only, not food. We can offer gas cooking facilities and a super hot shower which is also gas powered, but ask for 3000 peso donation per day to cover this (gas is very expensive and is brought on the back of a motorbike, so it's unsustainable for us otherwise...). This is just over 50 cents in US$...

    We are an equal opportunities placement and welcome all races and LGBT+.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Steve is a qualified life coach and offers group or individual life coaching for travellers. Diana can teach Spanish and salsa (she's from Cali, the world's salsa capital).

    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.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    (November 2022) We have just finished building a wood-fired sauna using earth bags. We need to finish the green roof, paint it, make it look nice etc. We are also trying to finish an earthbag bedroom, but just the finishing touches. We want to build a Tipi for volunteers. That's quite high on our list... We also need help with agriculture.... The help depends on what you are interested in also... We will always try to explain and demonstrate what needs to be done and we understand that most people aren't used to natural building / permaculture (:

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    We have a little cabin where I (Steve) live. It has gas cooking facilities and a hot, powerful gas shower. It's made out of bamboo, and has a compost toilet (which you don't have to empty...). The spare room is for volunteers. It has a mezzanine, with double bed upstairs and a bunk bed down below.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    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 12,000 or COP30,000-35,000 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.

    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 6-year-old and a 2 year old!

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We have good broadband internet but it is about 80% reliable. If you are depending on video calls at a certain time of day this could be a problem.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We are 5km from town but it is unpaved and quite steep in places.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We have 4 female dogs and 2 cats .... So male dogs integrate more easily...

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    The morning = 3 hours, 5 days a week

  • ...

    This host charges a fee

    read more
    Around US$1 per day (COP $2,000)
Host ref number: 469134489462

Feedback (75)


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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.9)

Communication: (5.0)

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