Help building a sustainable life in nature in the lustrous countryside of Northern Portugal



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We want to demonstrate a way of intentional living in and with nature, in a forest, that is healing both for human as well as ecological communities. To create a rural co-housing, based on eco-construction, with both private houses as well as collective facilities, inside a beautiful diverse forest managed through agroecological practices. We want to show that an alternative to the stress, the pollution and the noise of the city life is possible, comfortable and affordable. And that there's a lot to gain in reducing consumption when the right choices are made!

    We are currently with two; myself, systems thinker, and my partner, Susana who is mainly occupied with creating permaculture gardens on the land and steering towards self-sufficiency. There is an enormous amount of work ahead of us, but experiencing beauty of a learning process gives us a sense of wholeness.

    Apart from that, we are working with brilliant professionals to make this happen: communication and subsidy experts, translators, architects and natural builders as well as forest designers. When we work, we hurry calmly, following nature's pace but never standing still.

    We have bought a gorgeous 1,5 ha forest land with farmhouse in Silverto, Rubiães, Paredes de Coura where we are working on the land and the house. We have a great number of tasks to be done, employing both hands and minds: forest work, gardening, organising, cooking/cleaning, small construction etc.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    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

    We can offer you incredible natural surroundings, quiet, peace and interesting conversation on a variety of topics, good (mostly vegetarian or vegan) food, walks in nature and many lessons on nature, ecology, sustainability, physics (systems theory, complexity, quantum physics), mathematics, programming, (web)design, forests, yoga, consciousness, art, photography and undoubtedly other things.

    We'll also happily share things about Dutch and Portuguese culture or exchange wonderful music and travel stories from around the world. Lastly, we've been building quite a book collection relevant to our interests and research leading up to our project, which you are welcome to indulge in.

  • Help


    This spring and summer, our main focus is renovating our common house and installing a yurt in the forest.

    While doing so, we need help with;

    - clearing brambles and dead brunches from the forest
    - helping with the gardening
    - creating simple facilities (building with the recycled materials)
    - Sorting and recycling construction wastes
    - Building a store for firewood, and storing it
    - Occasional land and cat/dog-sitting
    - In the end of the day, help us relax!

    We can't work without play! Yet, we have a lot of work to be done and limited time to do it. So, although we like to get things done, we schedule the breaks, not the work. So, we can all relax together, and keep each other motivated while doing stuff together!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    Polish: Fluent
    Portuguese: 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


    ***2021 spring update: Like everyone else, we have also been affected by the pandemic, which is why the renovation of our common house is taking an extremely long time. We have managed to finish the new beautiful roof, but the interior is still uninviting :( Until the renovation is finished, we would like to invite volunteers who travel in their own camper vans.

    However, in summer you can stay camping in our forest; we will happily provide you with camping gear you can borrow camping gear from us or you can bring your own!

    We have a basic kitchen (soon to be moved outside), wifi and a basic warm shower as well as forest shower to be used in warmer days. Most of the food is local and vegetarian-friendly - we generally don't prepare meat. Vegans (who do not suffer a resulting sense of moral superiority) are welcome too, but we might not be able to accommodate your diet at all times.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Preference of tasks
    If you intend to help out, please let me know what (type of) tasks you'd like to do and what specifically attracts you to this project. We want to make you feel valuable and useful, and we also want to get to know you a bit before you'll come! We appreciate it if you could refer to the list of tasks mentioned on our profile.

    Dietary habits
    If you have any particular dietary habits (i.e. low-carb, vegan or allergies) please suggest how we might accommodate you without disrupting the eating and cooking habits of the house (mostly vegetarian with an occasional sausage or cheese).

    Social interaction
    Like you, we are vulnerable human beings, and we like it that way. But we can only be vulnerable if we feel safe. Within a collective, this implies that our preferences are acknowledged, recognised, and that our essential needs, what we cannot do without, are met. Knowing and communicating needs and preferences is difficult, but not having our needs met, violates our personal limits and makes real intimacy impossible.

    If it is obvious for you to adapt your behaviour to those you choose to live around, if they do the same, you are welcome here!

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    It is possible for our guests to park their campers on the small parking next to the forest.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    4h work per day, 5 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (4.3)

Cultural exchange: (4.3)

Communication: (3.8)

Host ref number: 731699599539