Updated in Sep 2019 :
We are Emilie, a French 38 yo lady, and Allwyn, a 32 yo Jamaican man and Maya, our 1 year home born baby girl.
We ve been welcoming about 40 volunteers over this first year of construction and business, which was an overall excellent experience that we wish to continue this coming year.
The following presentation of us, our venue and our activities is still correct but his year is going to be slightly different since In November 2019 we leave Jamaica to finally visit my home country (France) and we're not sure yet how long we'll stay there, probably in between 3 months and 1 year.
The guest house and most activities will be maintained. My husband's cousin, called Blacks, has been working with us, mostly in construction and driving the taxi, since the very beginning, and he will be the property manager in charge of the business during until we come back.
Obviously this is more than a one man job, this is why the volunteers' job is going to be very important this year to help him maintaining and running the guest house mostly. Blacks will be driving the taxi as a Route Taxi most days, as well as driving the car tokeep offering the airport transfers, the car charterings and the tours and excursions for our guests and volunteers.
Ideally a minimum of 3 volunteers would permanently cover the daily work and presence required, over 3 shifts during the day (8am-12/12-4pm/ 4-8pm : maintenance and cleaning of the property, bedrooms, etc mostly in the morning, and welcoming guests during the check in time in the afternoon (3 to 8pm).
Hopefully, someone else will be hired soon to take care of the development and organisations of events , yoga classes and retreats on the property, so that opportunities to take yoga classes etc should be there too.
Also, WE LOVE YOUR TALENT WE HOST YOUR EVENTS!! is a new way of promoting and supporting our local community and volunteers!! If you have skills that can be displayed during an event or a retreat (you teach yoga?danse?anything else? perform something?) we'd be more than happy to make it happen with you in our venue ;-))
This said, we'll be still working by distance and communicating with Blacks as often as necessary, same with you if you need to;-)
We moved in June 2018 in our new paradise home which is literally BY the RIVER (Rio Nuevo) located :
- 10 min walk away from the beautiful Rio Nuevo beach
- 10 min driving away from Ocho Rios
- 15/ 25 min drive from several beautiful breathtaking off the track and free spots : spring water waterfalls falling in the River, mega rope swing in a Blue Hole from a bridge in White River, waterfall falling on a beach, etc...
- 15/25 min drive from major touristic famous attractions.
About the property we rent :
-has one river side, one road side and 2 neighbours sides.
- is about 1000 m2 (1/4 acre), land with a big lawn and fruit trees and different light buildings spread around the land
- has one cottage of 2 bedrooms with attached bathroom and one common bathroom, another cottage that count 2 bedrooms by the road side, a family room for 4 and a dorm of 6, An extra big kitchen is set up under a huge white tent that is the guests and volunteers' kitchen.
- has a wooden family Tree house newly built
- has a large wooden yoga deck overlooking the river that also have other purpose
- a private stairs to the river (see-through water, deeper and longer pool allowing to swim long laps
- an amazing river "playground" right here upstream (little falls to massage strong your body, jacuzzi style green holes, little caves and beaches, jumps, river hike, etc)
About us :
- Al and I are both yoga teachers, and also have various interests and skills.
- Ally is also a bee keeper and take care of a dozen hives to produce honey (that are not on the property),
- he used to work for years as a cohost (before he was yoga teacher) in a place where they were welcoming guests on regular yoga retreats and develops excellent cooking skills.
- He's been living 8 years in the area and tour guiding groups of people from yoga retreats
- I have been living about one year in Jamaica,
- I am also a qualified life coach and body-mind-soul therapist, as well as a massage therapist (biodynamic rebalancing bodywork, and traditional wellness massages like Californian, Swedish etc)
- I ve been a Airbnb host for 5 years in France in the apartment I used to rent in Marseille
-I used to have 2 restaurant in France and have excellent cooking skill
and I am a born teacher or trainer (from Primary school teaching, to languages, to massages, to yoga, to self development workshop, etc)
Learning and transmitting my knowledges and experiences is my passion.
Our place has a tremendous potential, and we also want to make it be a place for sharing our passion for yoga and self growth.
Also, because I love recycling and DIY stuff, we have the project to built several different kind of rooms out of recycled items someday.(see DIY building igloo from milk bottles, house from plastic bottles, and many other fantastic ideas shared online!)
Finally, we have a long term project to develop with bamboos : I am passionate in this natural amazing eco friendly material that grows easily in Jamaica, so we learnt how to treat them naturally to make them suitable for constructions, furnitures and art craft.
LAST but not LEAST : be aware that coming here means to be willing to learn and grow in consciousness. We will give you many opportunities to act and speak mindfully and improve these skills. Working with us will give you an opportunity to get to know yourself better through our interactions and to practice “here and now” way of living, mindfulness and Non Violent Communication if you want to (I can teach). If you are not familiar yet with these terms and want to know more, make some researches :-)
We will also have opportunities to interact with guests and other volunteers and even to organise guided road trips (from half day to several days) with other volunteers and Al at the discount price we only offer to volunteers. They just love these kind of trips!!
PS : One more detail. Jamaica is a noisy country in general and our place can be noisy too at times because of the environment activities (garage, bar, trucks and motorbikes from the road side). So if you choose our place because you carry a fantasy of a remote and silent retreat place, you may be disappointed. But being here, if noise occurs, you can always choose to look at the river (paradise) side of the property rather than any other side ;-) It's all about mind full ness and mind focus again, where do I want to look at? In life, what you look at is where you go, so better be mindful.
PSS: some helpers have contacted us to come and help , feeling a bit lost in their life, and finally ended up booking online coaching session with me...As a therapist, my speciality is to empower people with their own life and help them be the creator of the life they truly want, and finally be happier.
It's never too late or too early to learn more about yourself, the law of creation and how to aplly it in your daily life and make yourself happier than before!!
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
Cultural exchange and learning from them have been our life for many years.
(I used to lived abroad and travel the world most my life and speak 5 languages.I have a very rich backgrounds in term of variety of place to live and different environments, jobs, skills, interests that I develop along the amazing journey of life...)
Life is a learning process and we are always happy to share and teach whatever when we can, and learn from others as well.
Not mentioning the great opportunity Ally offered to volunteer being a local Jamaican and so active in his daily activities: some got the chance to go with him in the wild observe or catch bees, and so on, unique experiences!!! Some got the traditional Sunday Jerk chicken, etc...
and most of all this is a place to meet other great people like you, exchange ideas, past host experiences, contacts, etc.
You potentially may be ask to help us in :
- the daily maintenance/cleaning of the guest house and the family home.
- hosting guests (welcoming, informing, ...)
- construction works (wood and bamboo mostly)
- marketing our place and projects, online or in town
- create a permaculture garden
- taking care of our online platforms/social medias
- making craft or art craft
We need workers to :
- be autonomous with their work once explained, and their time (you count your hours).
- communicate daily with us and update us about your tasks
- express sincerely their feelings when needed, using NVC patterns (you can learn and practice here)
- to be responsible for their words and acts (visit "ecoutetoncorps.com" website to learn more about it, english language available)
Each host has specific requirements for the volunteers :
I know it from experience as I was volunteering 2 years ago in Jamaica in different places, and sometimes they would required us to work only boring cleaning work for 6hours a day and no food was provided, or 5 hours with partly food provided, or to pay a fee for the accommodation and or food because they hire a chef to cook for the group of volunteer, etc.
Our requirements are 4 hours per day, 5 days per week, 2 days off usually on weekends, but flexibility about it is required according to the needs of the business. And every one is responsible for his own food, the big shared outdoor kitchen is a social place where people can eat or cook together ;-)
We are honest and fair in what we ask, and in exchange, like few places can offer, you will have tremendous opportunities and a beautiful river spot to live and share in :-)
Occasionally, we may ask more hours and feed you, but not usually.
French, English, Spanish, German, Berber
Volunteers are accomodated in our cute 6 beds dormitory. (3 bunkbeds). During low season (april to mid december)
you are very likely to have your own bedroom since almost no guests are here. (sometime you may be ask to use a tent with matrass).
Taxi transportation are available directly out the property. It's 100 Jed to go to Ochy. Many nice beaches and rivers are all around the area, Al is an excellent guide and will give good advise. Airport transfert and other taxi services can be provided on demand.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two