Help create an Organic, Sustainable Cacao Farm and Eco-tourism site in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia



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  • Description


    We are a working organic Cacao farm where you can walk through paths of Cacao Criollo Porcelana, the variety most authentic and exclusive within the chocolate world. An assortment of crops complement our landscape, providing our sustenance in this fertile valley, sustained using Permaculture principles and resulting in the best natural and auto sustainable produce.

    Our Mission

    1. To preserve and look after 20 acres of cultivated land, and to leave virgin 180 acres which represent 90% of this breathtaking valley.
    2. To create an organic, sustainable farm and eco-tourism site so that others can experience the beauty of this world treasure.
    3. To grow a rare kind of white cacao (Cacao Criollo Porcelana) and to produce the highest quality of organic chocolate.

    But more than just a farm, this is our home. We are a family of four. There is Lili, who grew up in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, she is the Chief of the land, who keeps us together and also my Queen. There is Ruben, our Indigenous Kogui son, who is 11 years old, and who walks about 45 minutes to go to school at Casa de Tabla, the closest caserio "town" There is Geronimo Alberto, the newcomer our seven-month-old son, and there is me, I grew up in Venezuela and moved to the United States at 20 years of age, after 24 years (Boston 7, San Francisco 11, San Diego 4, and Seattle 2) I decided to change my life and moved to Colombia to start this project.

    The Colombian rainforest is a vital part of the earth's lungs as well as home to 10% of the world's species of plants and animals. Every year an estimated 200,000 hectares of rainforest disappear (about 34 times the area of the city of Manhattan).

    This place belongs to the Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, we are located between 500 and 700 m.a.s.l. in a virgin rain forest, with an abundant variety of flora and fauna. Our name pays homage to the hummingbird, with more than forty varieties registered in our area, and translated from the Kogi language.

    The National Park Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta reaches above 5700 meters on its two snowcap peaks, the Simon Bolivar and Cristobal Colon, which are located 42 kilometers from the Caribbean Coast, a condition that can concentrate all climatic zones, and makes it the highest coastal mountain range in the world. This natural reserve contains samples of all existing biomes in Colombia. The UNESCO declared it Biosphere Reserve of Man and Humanity in 1979.

    The water wealth bathes the soil through different creeks and waterfalls that end at the Buritaca River, the main waterway covering this piece of Pachamama, the ancient dwelling of our elder brothers the Tayrona people, founders of the tribes (Kogui, Arhuaco, Wiwa, and Kankuamo) presently inhabiting this awesome natural reserve.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • 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

    Arriving at the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta you would enjoy comfortable weather year-round. We are about 15 kilometers from the Caribbean Sea, in a small community called Casa de Tabla, surrounded by mountains and honest working people, both indigenous and campesinos alike.

    I am a Venezuelan/American/Colombian, born in the United States, raised in Venezuela, and moved back to the USA at 20yrs old. With my now, 46 years of life experience as a musician, biker, server (to pay the bills), lover of nature, spiritual seeker, continual learner, and celebrant of life, I have chosen to return to my South American roots.

    Yet the best benefit is the close contact with Nature, the ability to develop auto sustainable techniques of Permaculture, animal behavior, organic well made and balanced meals, pure clean air, and water. Most importantly by the end of your experience with us you will be thankful to our Pachamama because you will know that if we care for her, she is able to provide us with an abundant way of living.

  • Help


    Good Day to You;

    The help needed is varied, most days are different since there are many activities to be accomplished here. We start work at 6 a.m. and go about feeding the animals and caring for the cleanliness of their living area, cleaning the Cacao or any other crop that needs cleaning, we cook breakfast and eat at around 7 a.m. from there we might work on the cabin that we are building or general maintenance of the road and pathways within the land. There are also unexpected happenings that must be dealt with, it is always a matter of prioritizing since we live in a virgin jungle!

    We are a working organic Cacao farm, we make compost, soon we will have fish, we have chickens, turkeys, rabbits, three dogs, 5 tortoises, and a mule. We process our greywater and take responsibility for being in this awesome paradise. We plant crops on every Moon and we care for them on a daily basis.

    There are so many ways in which you could help us that I am sure that everybody could be able to lend us a hand, obviously, you would not have to do anything that you do not feel safe doing.

    What we request is that you have a few important trades which will keep a harmonious living space for all of us:
    Respect for one another, to be proactive and detail-oriented, problem-solving and diligent, clean and cooperative keeping general areas tidy and organized.

    We do have satellite internet access which is located in our home, we do not have an issue with sharing it, yet we do not want to have you in our home all afternoon and evening using the internet and hanging out, hanging your towels on the posts, leaving your shoes and clothes around and the like, our HOME is not a hostel and our family also needs some privacy. I only mention this because I realized through people´s past actions that I must. Do not think that we are socially awkward we are far from it. We are just a busy family living in a virgin jungle.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    There are two basic bedrooms in the second house, two people could share one, or there is plenty of space to hang your hammocks, or there is enough space for you to camp if you have your own equipment. The bathroom has a dried compostable toilet, which we would expect you to help keep clean. You are also welcome to use the bathrooms of the main house.

    We would usually prepare the meals, and we would ask for the usual help of warming up the dinner and helping with doing the dishes. The meals are traditional food: rice, beans, salad, vegetables, and varied meats. Please, any other dietary restrictions, let us know, we might be able to accommodate you. Lili does most of the cooking, and we lend a hand every time we can.

    Unfortunately, we do not provide you with any of your personal items, you have to also keep in mind that the closest store is in Guachaca, about four hours walking. We do have many of the basic needs: bath soap, laundry soap, toothpaste, brush, and the like for your purchase.

    We also suggest that you bring enough insect repellent, a pair of rubber boots which cost $30000 Colombian pesos ($10 dollars), a good flashlight (not your phone), I mean: bring your phone, but it will not suffice as a flashlight. If you care too, you could bring a Machete, which is about $25000 Colombian pesos ($8 dollars) and it is the best tool any Campesino could have, we will teach you how to use it properly, and as far as I understand you could check it with your luggage and take it as a souvenir when you go back home.

    Almost forgot; If you have a mosquito net bring it, you could get one in Santa Marta for less than $30000 Colombian pesos (about $10 dollars), there are not many mosquitoes, but one of them is enough to make your night sleep bothersome. And if you like a particular snack also bring some, because like I said, the closest store is pretty far.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    On your time off you could enjoy kilometers of walking paths, natural pools that form on the creek.

    The Buritaca river is a walk away, within our land.

    The peacefulness of the land will allow you to meditate, read, and recharge your Spirit.

    If you enjoy bird watching and photography you would be very glad to be here. The flora and fauna are wide and varied.

    On Saturdays, we usually go down to Casa de Tabla to enjoy a game of pool and a beer with the community, where you would be more than welcome.

    You could also leave your mark on this wonderful place by doing a special project of your own, like planting a special crop or garden, or a painting/mural, or we are open to hearing any of your ideas.

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 482453871786