Hello! We are a French English family who moved to Portugal 4 years ago to start living a greener life with our daughter who is 7 and since we moved we had a son born nearly 2 years ago. Last summer we moved from our yurt into the big stone house we are renovating. Our place is 10 min walking distance from the village ( regular markets and cultural events) but feels totally secluded and is bordered by a stream. We are really happy to have made the break from the city life and living middle of nature has been an truly amazing experience. Jake my partner has an Art degree from Goldsmiths in London (where we met 14 years ago and enjoyed being part of the underground scene and living communally with other artists) I moved to London from France after my English degree then and worked in schools as a Special need teaching assistant. We both love art, music, parties, camping, travelling and festivals. Jake is also an inventor and does research in green technology and he's a fantastic cook! (Especially Indian food.) Personally I used to publish a very local quarterly newspaper to try to record the spirit of our community, and create a bond between the increasing number of estrangeiros living here, which I stopped when our son was born. When I am not helping Jake with planning what to do next on the house, (or tidying it!), I enjoy gardening, learning to bake new things and socialising by the river beach. So our life is laid back, we spend a lot of time outside and there are number of like minded people around which are sharing the same lifestyle which is amazing.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Jake is English, i am French and our daughter is bilingual, we are living here as part of a multi cultural community and building a sustainable life, cut off from the busy life of the city. The person helping us will be developing DIY skills and gain an experience of living off grid. Our experience could be really interesting for people willing to learn about becoming sustainable and building their own house, or more simply enjoying living in nature for a while, because even if there is work to do the natural beauty is always present an we do spend a lot of time outside. It is a very healthy set up and very good for the mind as wells the body. There are a number of gatherings in our area, from Portuguese lessons, to water meditation, women groups, yoga classes...Benfeita is a thriving village where volunteers who come often come back or even never leave!!!
We have finally moved into our house..after 3 years renovating it! There are still finishing touches to do around the place, we need to build a vermicompost toilet, but mainly we need help with general work like garden maintenance ( digging out brambles, sorting out stone paths..) . chopping and carrying wood, and maybe helping with the cooking and washing up. The volunteer(s) will need to be quite strong and not afraid to do some hard jobs sometimes but especially be enthusiastic and motivated.
At the same time the volunteer could be supporting with the house work ( cooking and childcare) which could give me the opportunity to be back on the build of the house with Jake. All is possible, we re open to discussion, it just feels like a bit too much to chew for us at the moment. Especially with setting up the big vegetable garden we ve always dreamt of!
We have a caravan on the top terrace of our land which has the best views of the valley! It s in very good condition and the gigantic bed is extra comfortable. It has running water and a gas cooker and a fridge. The bathroom is an outbuilding with hot water from solar or wood and a compost toilet.
Benfeita is a transition village which has attracted quite a lot of like minded people from all over Europe in the last few years. There are regular social events like crafts markets and open mic nights where we all meet and have fun. On the other hand area has many walking trails, rivers and pretty villages, we live 20 minutes walk away from the beautiful Fraga da Pena waterfall and is a place for those enjoy nature and peace.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week