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 practises. 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 Diego, next-level forest designer, who spends part of his time managing his first food forest near his home in Santiago. Apart from that, we are working with brilliant professionals to make this happen: communication and subsidy experts, forest designers, translators, architects and natural builders. When we work, we hurry calmly, following nature's pace but never standing still.

    We have just 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, organising, cooking/cleaning, small construction etc.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care

  • 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, though rarely 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 might also take you on occasionally trips to the nearby national park, the Roman hot springs in Galicia, Porto or (Diego's farm near) Santiago de Compostela.

    We'll also happily share things about the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Galician or the Spanish culture or to 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


    Until spring there's mostly some 'simple' jobs to do:
    - Cooking, cleaning, keeping the fire going
    - Moving large amounts of dirt around
    - Getting firewood from the forest, splitting and storing it
    - (Possibly) helping with general (de)construction works
    - Occasional house- and cat-sitting while we're visiting friends

    Lastly, we really can't live without creativity, music and art - tell us what you have to share!

    We'll give you our best and hope that you'll do the same. In any case, we consider celebration to be part of the work. It's ok to have fun, to relax (during or) after a day of hard work, to find comfort in one another, or in one's self or to *️️️️️️️shake it*️️️️️️️ (whatever *️️️️️️️it*️️️️️️️ is) to some funky beats under the full moon!

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Dutch, Portuguese (limited)

  • Accommodation


    Our house is a traditional Northern-Portuguese stone farm house with (currently) 2 inhabitable rooms. You can sleep on our guest mattress in the (well heated) living room or you could stay in the bedroom in one of the beds. You might share the room with one of us and/or other volunteers. From May until October it's also possible (and recommended!) to camp in the forest, we can provide a tent, mattress and sleeping bag or you can bring your own.

    We have a well-equipped kitchen, wifi and a nice warm shower. Most of the food is organic, 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.

    Our friendly antique stove, Calcifer, tries it's best to keep us warm during winter. It eats lots of wood, as the house lacks any form of insulation. Yet, due to the nature of the warmt, even at 16 degrees (Celcius) the house gets comfortable enough to live in (for now).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    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!

    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).

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    15 hours/week: no food, 16-25 hours/week: (good!) food

The incredible view from our land in Silverto, Rubiães.
This is just one of the parts of our incredible forest.
Another part of our forest (we have about 7 terraces, all of them amazingly unique!)
Our very first Volunteer Weekend in Silverto, in May.
If you're good with wood, we'd love to have you! :)
Lush green: check!
Diego giving a tour in our forest.
Mathijs / Le Moi
Camping in our forest!
Our incredible forest in Silverto, Rubiães, Paredes de Coura!
Mr. Freddy Cuddlybutt (on the hunt!)

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (4.3)

Host ref number: 731699599539