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We are a Dutch-American family who have been living in this spectacular part of the French Alps for eight years now: Marita (Dutch), Chuck (American), Olve (27) and Nick (29, and in the US at the moment). We are building our home which we're trying to make as eco as we can, with natural materials and as fossil fuel-free as possible, we are learning about permaculture, so we can tread more lightly on this beautiful land.
We're looking for practical people who like working outdoors and are interested in learning about 'alternative' building methods. If you have any experience with eco-building or any kinds of building work, especially carpentry, that would be amazing, but it's not essential. Specifically, we're building an Alpine chalet style house, with hemp and lime walls around a timber frame structure and hope it will end up as close to zero carbon as possible, or even better... We're planning solar panels, rainwater collection, composting toilets and permaculture gardens, and any other good ideas we come across along the way.
Les Contamines Montjoie is a mountain village and resort, about 30kms from Chamonix, with beautiful hiking, climbing and biking and other activities so if you like the mountains and being active, there is lots to do.
We look forward to meeting you.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Between us in our family we have two nationalities, we've lived in lots of different countries and travelled in many more. Now we're living in this mountain village in the Alps and trying to tread more lightly on this beautiful land. We're learning a lot and we've got a lot to learn, and would love to share our experiences and learn from yours.
Because of asthma in the family, we have been quite careful since Covid and are only just looking to start hosting again. We would appreciate anyone who joins us being respectful of that. As for the kind of help: the house is essentially built, so there's a lot of finishing work now, and any carpentry, plastering and general building skills could be hugely helpful. But they're not essential, as long as you're practical and enthusiastic. We are very happy, of course, to share information about the natural building techniques we used and what we have learned along the way.
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 is in the new home, with a shared bathroom. It's spacious and comfortable but unfinished, so don't expect carpets and curtains.
We're looking forward to sharing communal evening meals together (plant-based) on our big terrace with fabulous views of the mountains and glaciers, sharing experiences, talking in whatever languages, hopefully with some music making as well. Breakfast and lunch also provided.
Nearest train station is Le Fayet-St Gervais Les Bains and there's a bus between the station and Les Contamines. There's also regular bus service to Geneva airport (ouibus.com) but we encourage you to travel by train or bus instead of flying, if you can! Annecy and Chamonix are also reachable by train or bus.
You can get around Les Contamines on foot or we can lend you a bike. We are right at the foot of Mt Blanc and on the famous Tour du Mt Blanc route. Lots and lots of hiking trails, an excellent climbing wall, mountainbiking, two swimming lakes, and tennis courts.
We have a slackline, gymnastics rings, guitars, and plenty of books we can lend you.
Plus there's just endless beautiful scenery where you can just chill, read a book, take photos, walk, run, hike, bike, have a drink, hang glide.... The possibilities are pretty much endless.
Just a note if you're coming outside the high season of July and August: it can be quite quiet, so don't expect lots of nightlife and buzz. Chamonix has that though, if you want.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a decent wifi connection but it's not super fast.
Maximum 5 hours, 5 days a week
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