We are renovating some 19th century buildings to make an artist residency / intellectual retreat / project space in Galicia. We acquired a piece of land with some seven buildings on it, and the long-term aim is to turn this into a space where people can work on their own projects and organize activities outside of the bureaucracy and hierarchies of universities and other large funding bodies. We also try to keep things sustainable, and there is an anti-capitalist side to the project. But first there's quite some renovation work to do...
There's a lot more information on our website, but I cannot link it here or even give the project name, so just ask!
Help with Eco project
Help with Computers / internet
This is a very international project, and I think being part of its beginning can be rewarding. One big advantage on working here as opposed to in a private residence is that you contribute to the creation of a place you can actually return to; you might come back in the coming years to see the progress, even organize things in the future. For some people it might also be nice that there's an openness to it; your work isn't fully laid out for you, and if you show some initiative you can actually shape it with your own input.
The place is all about sharing knowledge with each other, but what you can pick up depends on what we're working on at that moment (woodwork / permaculture / etc). The ultimate aim of the site is to provide a place for intellectuals and artists to do their work without having to deal with grants and large institutions, so there is a chance that some activities (workshops / reading groups) take place throughout the year - people are also free to initiate these things themselves.
Most people speak English with each other, so you can practice that. You probably won't learn much about Galician culture unless you leave the site; we are close to the locals (and on May 24th they are organizing a traditional festival on our site), but most of the people living and working with us are foreigners. That being said, we actually learn a lot from the locals (regarding agriculture, building methods, honey production, making bread), and we try to implement some of what we learn on site. We have also organized a bread making workshop in the past.
In short, what you can learn really depends on who is there and what we're working on at the moment; if you get in touch I can give you more information about that.
I think our place can be an interesting place to spend time for many reasons, and people willing to help out can stay for free, but we only provide free food during building phases. One of these phases is planned from mid April to late May; in April we will focus on the garden (making terraces and a greenhouse, then planting stuff); in May we will work on the house (woodwork, put up drywall partitions, some pointing of old stone, and hopefully build a kitchen).
Locals have expressed interest in doing an English course, so if someone is interested in staying for a few months to offer this we can try to set it up. It might require some planning though (it would not happen before summer). We also need a better website (ideally with the possibility for people to upload class and event proposals and for the community to decide what takes place); so if someone can program, please join as well.
We try to keep the site permanently inhabited, but there are periods when no one involved with the organization is around. The food / work situation really depends on who is there and what we're focusing on; in building phases there will be someone who knows what needs to be done and food will be provided. Outside of these phases you can still go and possibly do some volunteer work (there's always stuff to do), but depending on who's around, you might have to take care of your own food (and manage yourself). We will know the situation a few months in advance, so just write us about when you would like to come and visit, and we can tell you who will be there, what work there will be, and what the food situation will be like.
This is a place without a strict management structure, and there's a lot of space for people to develop their own initiatives. People can work on the house, on the garden, do riverscaping, or just cook and clean - we have 26.000 m2 of land and 850 m2 of buildings, so there's enough to do. That being said, it's good to have a degree of autonomy, as nobody will micro-manage you.
English, German, Spanish, Dutch, some French
Accommodation depends on how many people show up; we have maybe 8 bedrooms plus a few larger rooms (including a church) and around 15 or 20 beds. Until now we've always had beds for everybody, and I'm sure that will be the case in April / May, though you might not have a private room (that depends on how many people come). If we're at full capacity (which is unlikely) people will have to camp, and we have a few tents, but usually that won't be necessary - just ask and I will know how full it is.
We have hot water and bathrooms will be finished soon, but it is a building site, so don't expect it to be 'finished.'
The place is located in Bravos, about 10km from Viveiro, in Northern Galicia. We have quite some info on transportation on the website, but I can't list it here, so just write and ask.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
During building phases: 5 hours a day, 5 days a week (food provided). Outside of building phases: best to write us in advance so we can discuss what work there is and what the food situation will be. 3 hours per day, 5 days per week (no food)