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Are you looking for a home away from home where you can enjoy being around nature, animals, and relax in a fun atmosphere on a farm outside one of Colombias most beautiful towns?
Come and join us for an awesome cultural exchange! We are a British couple that quit our corporate jobs back in the UK, travelled South America on motorcycles and (to cut a long story short), in 2017, bought a hacienda (big country house) with a 4 hectare farm in the stunning mountains of central Colombia and opened a hostel for travellers and a small horse trekking business. Since we opened our time here has been epic and we have been delighted to host a whole bunch of fantastic people through the workaway programme, many of whom are now firm friends. Our hostel is pretty unique in that we are not on any booking websites. We solely rely on word of mouth.
It has been a while since we last hosted, but we are now ready to offer new cultural exchanges in return for help on the farm (check out our old workaways reviews). The feedback from past workawayers has been great. Everyone loves the homely facilities on the farm, the friendly animals, horses, Netflix, wine nights, Nintendo 64, games etc and the activities we put on such as the big BBQ nights and tejo (Colombian bowling with gunpowder!). Our guests also love our scenic location close to the traditional coffee town of Filandia. A town full of life and culture with great bars and resturants and regular farmers markets and cultural festivals such as horse parades and the old ¨willies jeeps¨ convoys. There are numerous day trips you can make from our farm to visit traditional coffee farms, Barbas Breman national park to see howler monkeys, Cocora Valley (listed as one of the most beautiful hikes in Colombia), hidden waterfalls, hot springs and lots more! We have created a whole book on all the local activities to help you get the most out of your stay with us!
........What we are looking for.......
1. Are you a talented cook?
We have lived in Colombia for a few years now and really, really, really miss international food. We also spend alot of our time cooking for guests so it is a special treat when someone comes along and can cook for us! We recently has a lady from Israel cook us food from her families favorite recipies. We had a fantastic evening together and it was a brilliant cultural exchange all round!
Here is how it works> You tell us what you can make, we buy ingredients, you make it and we all eat together! In return you stay for free and enjoy the best of Colombias fantastic coffee district!
2. Can you help us at Christmas?
Christmas is a special time here. We have lots of people travelling away from home so together we all like to make Christmas a home away from home type event. We get quite busy and will need extra helping hands with keeping the place tidy, sweeping the floor when our cleaner is away, chopping veggies for the big Christmas dinner and, most importantly, chatting with guests to make everyone feel welcome!
3. Can you help with making promotional videos or taking professional photos of the farm and our horses?
Do you have a drone or professional camera and the ability to help us make a cool video for the website? Here we only have our samsung phones and they dont quite cut it! we are looking for someone to help make some short promotional videos that we can put up on instagram, facebook and our website!
4. Can you help us with marketing?
We are learing all about facebook advertising, google analytics an SEO. Do you have any experience with any of these? Can you help us get our heads around it?
5. Can you help us in the garden?
We have lots of gardens and are contantly battling the with the weeds. We would love to turn our untamed jungle into some pretty gardens. For this we need people who have expereince in gardening, are handy at using local tools and can tell the diference between a common weed and my favorite flowers!
6. Can you help us with our horses?
We have 6 beautiful, calm horses here at the farm for trekking around the stunning lanes around our farm. If you have experience with horses we would love to hear from you!
We are looking for workawayers who want to add value and help us make this farm a special and welcoming place for everyone here.
........How to Apply..........
we receive a lot of requests from workaways... daily multiple emails so please tell us what skills you have in your message rather than replying (in spanish) with "hey, look at my profile". Make your application stand out by telling us what experience you have and how you will be able to help us. If you have an instagram account or examples of your skills please show us!
Secondly, if you have simply run out of money then this is not the place for you. Our Colombian friends occasionally will invite us and our guests to a social event where you will be expected to pay your own way. It will be nothing fancy and of course you do not need to attend but if you do and don't have 20,000 pesos (6 USD) to contribute (as is the Colombian way) to a meal in a restaurant (not us!) to cover your food and beers then we are not the hosts for you. We have had workaways stay on the property for 8 weeks without ever venturing into the town 1.5km away nor visiting Cocora valley, Breman National Park or going out for a walk... which tells us there is no interest in a cultural exchange (what workaway is all about).
You will not find our hostel on booking.com because our ethos is not to pack people in and make them spend as much as we can. If we wanted to make money, we would still be in the UK working for various corporations.
Since we moved into the property the following has been completed by us and former workaways:
roof on main house replaced (no more leaks!)
house and grounds re wired electrically
septic tanks emptied
secondary house cleared and cleaned ready for furniture
all landscaping completed
gas instant hot water showers
arrival of 15 chickens (eggs galore)
arrival of 2 piglets (free range of course)
chicken enclosure built
electric fence installed for pigs (and horses/alpacas/peacocks/goats coming soon)
guest kitchen ready
multiple sofas and other furniture made
netflix and wifi extenders
water filters installed to ensure tap water is completely safe to drink
HD CCTV cameras installed, footage stored remotely
Back up water supply and storage installed
All business licenses/certification/insurance granted
Recycling points and arranged waste collection with local council
Dining table for group meals made
Reception area completed
and many other small tasks
But there is still much to do including (but not limited to) solar shower block, fire pit, bamboo heated jacuzzi, pizza oven, bamboo harvesting, games area, yoga temple, constructing bar, mapping hiking/motorcycle/horse trekking routes and so much more....
It's nice to be able to say that we are in regular contact with all the workawayers who have stayed with us, and would definitely grab a beer with them if ever visiting their home countries!
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
Our farm is located in Quindio, at the heart of Colombia´s Traditional Coffee district, an area designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site for its historic coffee farming tradition. By visiting this area you will feel as though you have stepped back in time. The town is rich in culture and the local people are proud to show you their local tradition´s, such as the way coffee is grown and processed, how to dance salsa and how to drink aguadiente (the local alcohol).
There are many things to do in the local area whilst you stay at our farm. Including:
·Visit Cocora Valley cloud forest and see the incredible 100ft high palm trees.
·Hike through the Barbas Bremen National park to search for Howler Monkeys or visit the butterfly sanctuary and botanical gardens.
·Walk to local waterfalls near the farm.
·Visit our neighbour’s coffee farm and see for yourself how Coffee is produced.
·Horse Riding or walking to explore the beautiful local countryside.
·Enjoy eating both local and international foods in some excellent restaurants in town. There are also a number a bars which get very lively at the weekends!
·On our farm you are welcome to use all the facilities. We have Netflix, wifi, hammocks and plenty of places to relax and animals to play with (3 dogs, 1 cat, chickens, pigs and 3 horses). Depending on the number of guests we have at the time, we cook family style evening meals, host BBQ nights, Pizza nights, Tejo tournaments, Movie nights and Mario Cart racing on the N64!
We have lived in Colombia since 2016 so have knowledge of the local area and Colombian Friends who live here and can help with whatever you may need. There is plenty of opportunity to practise the language and get the opportunity to explore the area.
We are travelled around South America and south east Asia extensively with and without motorcycles so can advise based on our experiences.
Help us create something truly special for travellers who want to stray from the beaten path.
We are looking for people to help us out with our Christmas celebrations, gardeners, photographers, people who know about marketing, and people who love to cook!
If you would like to help out here it is essential that you have the following:
You can work unsupervised.
Your own health insurance. We are a working farm, with lots going on!
You can speak English (sorry we are still learning Spanish).
If you aren’t a trade person but have lots of common sense and work experience please also contact us and let us know how you think you could help!
We are still learning Spanish, so think it best for the technical help we require that anyone staying with us have a good level of English.
Paul does smoke but only outside the property and we would expect the same from any helpers.
You will be staying with us on our large country house. The property is built on a hill with 360 degree views.
We have hot showers, netflix, wifi, indoor fireplace, washing machine, hammocks, cell phone signal, radio, bar and some items for sale.
We have different room options available depending on what help you can offer and the skills we require at the time(private rooms and shared rooms). We typically ask for a minimum of 4 hours of help per day in return for free accommodation and breakfast. We only ask you to help us for 5 days of the week so that you can have 2 days a week free to explore or relax.
We have a guest kitchen for you to use or, if you want, you can choose to join us when we cook family style meals for our guests (usually a few times per week). We also often have BBQ's at the weekend.
We have various fruit trees including papaya, oranges, limes, lemons you are welcome to enjoy as well as orchids and other flowers and many beautiful birds (including small toucans and parrots) visit the gardens.
The locals are all really friendly and there is beautiful hiking in the area with several waterfalls closeby. We are 15minutes from Bremen national park which is filled with Howler monkeys. Filandia is famous for its traditional architecture, cooler climate, colourful buildings and coffee farms offering tours. There are many other activities within this area including paragliding and horse riding.
Transport links to and from Filandia are great. Busses are low cost and run regularly. Salento is 20 minutes away while Armenia is 45 minutes with busses every 30 minutes or less.
Paul and I are laid back and easy going. We met at university 10+ years ago, lived on narrowboats/barges in London for 6 years while renovating them whilst holding jobs in the city. We have decided to swap our demanding lifestyles back home for a hopefully more fulfilling one here.... time will tell if it was worth the gamble.
We appreciate all ideas and input from perspective of a potential guest balanced with the view of an owner.
We have 3 rescue dogs including ¨Benji Sanchez¨ a well travelled street dog, we found dieing in the gutter (and riddled with maggots) somewhere around cartagena. She loves motorcycles and an opportunity to put on her doggles. Pets are welcome providing they are equally non threatening to everyone and everything on the property.
We also have 6 horses for riding, and 16 chickens for free range eggs.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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