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We are a family of 5 (7,4,1 yo), living in the mountains of the Serra da Estrela at 950m altitude in a small village.
We (Janneke and Frank) are working on creating a sustainable and self reliant community for people who are interested:
- in experiencing a sustainable life in the mountains and want to learn skills required for this
- in living on the countryside and in the mountains and want to get a feel for it of how it is like and it's pros and cons before potentially taking the move themselves
- in being guided on how to make the move to the countryside themselves, how to arrange all the legalities, finding a suitable property, work, schooling, setting up a business, becoming self reliant, etc. etc.
Besides the above we also receive a lot of people who are seeking a (new) purpose in life after a career in the corporate world and are not sure how to proceed with that.
We can also help you with prototyping and new product development. We have a large workshop area (270m2) with all sorts of woodworking and ironworks tools. Currently we are also reinstating our electronics and 3D printing lab. We love to receive entrepreneurial youngsters and young families. When you have some focussed online work to do, you can also join Frank when he is working at the co-working in Videmont at regular intervals during the week.
Our main building, a 3 story house with 340m2 living space, located at the center of our 4.5ha property (flat land), consists of:
- Top floor, with 4 bedrooms and having its own bathroom, is reserved for work-a-way guests.
- Second floor is used for our family but also has two large enclosed verandas for shared use.
- Ground floor is being converted into 4 apartments
Current animals at our farm:
- 2 super sweet dogs Diego and Frieda
- 2 kats, 3 kittens
- Chickens we put on hold after we lost 11 to fox attacks, a work-a-way can make a more solid chicken caravan :)
- When the right fencing is in place we are aiming for 12 sheep to maintain the grass pastures
Our kids are very social and always enthusiastic to meet new people. They speak Dutch, Portuguese, English and Frisian.
All of our property is non-smoking.
Types of help and learning opportunitiesLanguage practiceHelp with Eco ProjectsGardeningDIY and building projectsAnimal CareFarmstay helpBabysitting and creative playCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp around the houseGeneral Maintenance
UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
We live in the 2nd highest village of Portugal at 950 meters high. There are a lot of small villages, also with castles or other historic villages. We have a large network (250) of farms and projects across the Serra da Estrela mountains as well. Also visit: We have a van with 9 seats, our guests can always join us when visiting our local community of eco projects. Due to the resent hugh forest fires, the bond between all the like minded people in the region has even become stronger and we are helping each other out by restoring properties and land. Our property itself has not been affected by the fires and we are still in a green surrounding. Our main city in the region is Guarda and is also accessible by bus (bus stop in front of our property), Guarda offers loads of cultural and other events. Every type of shop you can think of is there.
Projects involving children
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Our current focus is on the main building, a 3 story house with 340m2 living space, located at the center of our 4.5ha property (flat land).
- The top floor, with 4 bedrooms and having its own bathroom, is reserved for work-a-way guests.
- The second floor is used for our family but also has two large enclosed verandas for shared use.
- The ground floor is being converted into 4 apartments
Below are some of the options that you could be working on. Construction works are executed by Frank and local professionals. Our project has an educational foundation, meaning that we want to expose our guests to multiple aspects of our project. This way we want to create a dynamic and interesting learning experience. Our guests are also more then welcome to join us when visiting other projects in our region of the Serra da Estrela mountains.
For the garden and food forest the activities are:
- Compost tilling
- Removing and collecting dead branches
- Removing and shredding/chipping broom
- Mulching young trees
- Mowing (strimmer & motor hoe)
For food production the activities are collecting and processing:
- Prunes (July)
- Cherries (June)
- Walnuts (September)
- Figs (November)
- Kiwis (November/December)
- Vegetables from our garden (April - October)
- Quinces (September)
- Blackberries (August/September)
- Apples (August/September)
- Chestnuts (October)
For family life the activities are:
- Taking care of our youngest during the week
- Entertaining our (and maybe your) kids during off school hours
- Cleaning (although we also have cleaning ladies from the local village every Tuesday)
- Helping out/joining with leisure events
Our project is all about learning and sharing what we learn, therefore we are looking for Video/film makers and editors. No experience yet but you would like to learn this? No problem, we have all the gear and software required plus an experienced certified teacher. As a project we are currently lagging in this as we are so being busy in getting things done in the first place :)
Video documenting activities:
- Photo and video taking of the progress of the various projects going on
- Processing/editing videos for YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, ...
- Social media and website maintenance
This host offers a language exchange
We are interested in learning Portuguese and share our knowledge.
The top floor, with 4 bedrooms and having its own bathroom, is reserved for work-a-way guests. Stable Internet/wifi is available. We cook together on healthy (mostly) plant based/vegetarian meals. We prefer local and unprocessed food.
What else ...
There are many walking routes directly off the property. There is much to explore in the direct vicinity but also a bit further away. There is a swimming lake, mountainbike trails, mountain climbing, hiking, skiing not to far away. The city of Guarda is big in art and culture and only 20 min away.
We like people to come and learn more about themselves, about what they really like, to get in contact with nature again and find their own ritm. Maybe you have this wish you always wanted to explore, here is the time and place to do that.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Can host digital nomads
We have a reliable and stable internet connection for video calling and such. Every guest room as a desk and desk chair.
Space for parking camper vans
Our property consists of flat terrain and campervans or tents are welcome.
How many Workawayers can stay?
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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