1 / 5

Help me to improve my Spanish and expand my cooking skills, doing a bit of building and gardening in Santa Cruz, USA

  • United States
  • Favourited 50 times
  • Last activity: 06/02/2023



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    At almost 70, I find that I can no longer do all the little (or big!) projects around my house and garden that I would like to do. In addition, I am always trying to improve my Spanish, expand my cooking and otherwise learn new things. I love people of all ages, all genders and all ethnic backgrounds. If you are a native hispanohablante and you would like to both help me in my garden , with small building projects and help me improve my Spanish--that's perfect! If you are not a Spanish speaker, I still welcome you!
    My home is a very warm and welcoming 3 bedroom house built in 1948 surrounded by a peaceful and lush garden. It is close enough to our downtown area to walk if you enjoy long walks but we also have a very vibrant local shops area with grocery stores restaurants, taquerias, cafes and small boutiques just a few blocks away. At the end of my street is a wonderful walk through a designated greenbelt to the harbor and lighthouse. At the corner you can catch a bus on the main route to any part of the county. Santa Cruz county has many distinct micro-climates but our most famous are the redwood forests and the coast. California's premiere surfing breaks Steamers lane and The Point can be found here as well. Although Santa Cruz has changed a good deal from the wonderfully crazy and creative hippie surf town I adopted over 40 years ago, it remains a vibrant small city full of art, music and phenomenal natural surroundings.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    DIY and building projects
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I love to share my love of the California central coast with people from around the United States and from around the world. I can show you many places to hike in the beautiful country outside of town as well as recommend wonderful walks within the city. I am an artist and a retired art teacher as well as a lover of animals, poetry, trees and and exploratory philosophical and spiritual debate among a thousand other loves. I am an LGBTQ elder, a staunch supporter of human rights for all people and an advocate for the rights of animals. I love to cook and bake and I like to share the best of American cooking with foreigners who may have only been exposed to our worst! As an elder I like to share my wisdom with young people but I equally enjoy having youth share their wisdom with me.

  • Help


    I would ask no more than three hours per day total of dedicated help exchange per day leaving my workaway guests plenty of time to explore and enjoy Santa Cruz. If there is a full day trip you would like to take we could make a full day followed by a totally free day.
    In the case of Spanish instruction this might be only one hour of concentrated practice supplemented by speaking while cooking together or relaxing in the garden.
    Garden projects may vary from laying a brick path to helping me prune back plants that I can no longer safely reach. You do not necessarily need to have advanced gardening skills because I am a very experienced gardener myself and am only looking for someone to help with the physical tasks.
    DIY/building may be setting a post or building an arbor, painting or making concrete stepping stones.
    I am imagining stays of one to two weeks but longer or shorter is possible. Because we are in a severe drought and because I am a low-income senior I would ask that anyone who stays with me be extremely water conscious.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate
    French: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    I am an English speaker with a working knowledge of Spanish and minimal French.I am seeking tutoring in Spanish.

  • Accommodation


    Guest room with exclusive use of the main bathroom unless there is more than one workawayer in which case it will be shared . The bedroom has one queen bed, a desk, closet, dresser,small table and chairs and a chair for reading. The windows look out onto the garden and patio.
    My kitchen is small, not up-dated, funky but clean. Many tasty meals have come out of it for many years despite its homely appearance. :)
    I have one very old cat who sometimes yowls in the night for reasons known only to her.
    I do not allow smoking in the house with the exception of marijuana.
    I have an outdoor fire pit for gathering and talking in the evenings (bonus points for any musicians) and many cozy and private spots in the garden.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There are so many things to do in and around Santa Cruz, from hiking in the redwoods to swimming in the ocean (in the summer and early fall). There are always festivals, art fairs and music concerts happening. Santa Cruz offers one of the best small jazz clubs in the country (Kuumbwa).
    Big Sur ,one of the most beautiful and powerful places on the planet is a two hour car ride away and San Francisco is nearby as well. Our north coast beaches are spectacular and there are many small hidden beach coves within the city limits off of the tourist track. I am happy to act as tour guide (you pay only for petrol) or simply to tell you how to access any of these places on your own.
    I am a lifelong traveler myself and some of my most treasured experiences are those with strangers in other countries that have shared themselves and their love of their particular place with me. I like to be on the other side of that equation as well.

  • 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

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Small vans such as VW -medium sized vans such as Sportsmobile.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    3 hours per day,5 days a week.

Host ref number: 495333624598

Feedback (4)



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

Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Enjoy living a sustainable off-grid life in paradise, Hawaii, USA
Natural building, clay plastering and large scale hugelkultur in the Missouri Ozarks, USA