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.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around 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


    This spring and summer, our main focus is renovating the roof of our common house.

    While doing so, we need help with;
    - Building an outside kitchen!
    - Making beautiful veggie meals there :)
    - Helping (traditional) builders, carrying stuff around etc.
    - Sorting and recycling construction wastes
    - Building a store for firewood, and storing it
    - Occasional house- and cat-sitting if and when we take a well-deserved break
    - 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 spoken

    English: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    For now, you can stay on our guest-bed in the living room (see photo), or in one of the beds in the bedroom (see picture, possibly shared with other volunteers, if you are okay with that), in our traditional Northern-Portuguese farm house. However, in summer the roof will be repaired and 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 well-equipped kitchen (soon to be moved outside), 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.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Fairly fast and reliable 4G internet available in the forest kitchen, as well as 12V power. If you bring a car charger for your laptop it's a pretty nice place to work on dry days. As soon as our house has a roof again, we'll have fibre internet available, probably mid-October.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    While we are working on having a dedicated parking place inside our forest, for now it is possible for guests to park their camper at the edge of the forest.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    ~15 hours/week: share costs of food, ~25 hours/week: (good!) food

The incredible view from our land in Silverto, Rubiães.
We organise regular gatherings with like-minded spirits from around the world. :)
This is just one of the parts of our incredible forest.
If you're good with wood, we'd love to have you! :)
Camping in our forest!
Planting trees, during one of our Planting Weekends!
Diego giving a tour in our forest.
Mr. Freddy, on the hunt! (Actually, we try to prevent him from going into the forest, cats are menace to bird life...)
The bedroom/office, with a 2p bed (on the left) and a 1p bed (to the right, out of view). Things are always in flux, so sometimes (like on this photo) things are a little messy. You might share this with other volunteers but not with the hosts, we find our and your privacy very important!

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Accuracy of profile: (4.3)

Cultural exchange: (4.3)

Communication: (3.8)

Host ref number: 731699599539