Help us develop & maintain a sustainable living coffee farm in the sierra nevada de santa marta



Favourited 433 times

  • rating

    Host rating

  • feedbacks



  • last activity

    Last activity


  • Badges

    Good Host
  • Description


    Hello. We are developing an experimental farm based upon permaculture principles, as we are trying to switch from a coffee monoculture to a more self sustainig farming project.

    After 6 years of developing the farm just out of thin air and the loving input of volunteers from all over the world, I can say I have finally established myself in these marvelous mountains. Even though I do host volunteers all year round, I am starting to seek out volunteers with very specific jobs and/or times of the year as well:
    * COFFEE PICKERS: The coffee harvest runs mainly from December to April. I would like to reach the goal of hosting 4 workawayers at all times during the coffee harvest.
    * FIRE MAN / FIRE WOMAN: All year round. I would like to have someone who is always in charge of gathering and chopping wood from the jungle, keeping the fire ALWAYS LIT in the indigenous house, for warmth, spirits and for fire cooking. Be comfortable with the use or learning to use a machete and an axe.
    * MAINTENANCE / GARDENING: All year round. There are several crops that I have developed and would like to develop more. This is where the food of future volunteer comes from. Plantain trees and other fruit trees need to be maintained, weeded, watered, trimmed, etc
    Field work amounts to 5 hours per day in average. Kitchen duties and house cleaning duties are separate.

    This is not only one of the original WorkAway destinations in Colombia. We are very honest in our desire to design a space that is not driven only by profit. Therefore we will be: working hard, contemplating and enjoying the wonders and the virtues of nature, and above all, WE WILL BE HONORING THE PRESENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE ORIGINAL INDIGENOUS TRIBES.

    It is also very important for you to know what is it going to cost you, since there are no banks or ATM in the village. There is a money exchange office, though, in the closest town (MINCA). There are also a couple of hostels that will exchange money, but at a very unfavorable rate.
    At the farm, food costs are shared.and amounts to $10,000 Pesos per day. THIS AMOUNT IS PAYABLE UPON ARRIVAL AND NON-REFUNDABLE. Unfortunately, experience has taught me to adopt this policy to ensure full commitment and filter out travelers who want to come and just to check out the opportunity for a few days. That represents a huge loss to me. Your inputs are represented mostly in fresh fruits/veggies while I provide dry/ long shelf-life goods.
    Transportation cost from Santa Marta to the farm will range from 35,000 to 45,000 COP, so round trip (back to Santa Marta) will total no more than 70,000 COP. If we can achieve great communication, I can try to arrange for minor but helpful discounts in this item

    It is mainly a back to basics experience where you work for a few hours, cook by fire, and enjoy the EXTREME dynamic weather patterns. There is no electric lines running thru the farm, so most of our duties are done early during the morning up to mid-day. Located ad 1700 meters above sea level and with one of the most impressive views and sunsets of the area, your help would restore the highest coffee farm in the region, and help it become and agroforestry proyect based on permaculture principles, with the aim to produce as much variety of food as the climate allows.
    At the moment I am asking for a three (3) week commitment in the farm. This allows for full 15 days of work plus arrival and departure dates plus a day off per week to kick back in the beautiful hills of the area.
    Internet access is very limited for me, so allow 2 to 3 weeks to get a response.
    There are also some social proyects involved, like working side by side with members of indigenous tribes, teaching english in a community school that is starting to benefit from the growth of foreign travelers in the area. The farm is next door to a bird sanctuary and has a spctacular view to the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Charity Work
    Language practice
    Art Projects

  • 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
  • Help


    All farm related work: engaging in the proper use of natural resources, recycling and reusing trash, mkaking compost, fertilizing plants, planting seeds, maintaining plants, harvesting coffee (during harvest), cutting weeds (while not in harvest), gathering wood for fires, cooking (on gas stove of wood stove), washing dishes, fire making, garden building and-or maintenance. There may be also some light consttruction proyects, some heavy lifting and shoveling.Please indicate how comfortable you are with using machetes, axes of other toolswith very sharp edges.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    bunkbeds in the recently built house, tents, hammocks in indigenous house.
    Showers in the forest, composting toilets for poop.

  • What else ...

    What else ...


    The following information can change due to the growing and thriving touristic economy of the area.

    If you leave from Santa Marta and don't stop until you arrive in my farm DO NOT leave SM after 12 noon.
    (i apologize if at any moment the rates described here are out of date)
    Once you are in Santa Marta: Go to "El Mercado" (The Market) district in Santa Marta. Look (or ask) for "Estacion de Minca", a street corner where you can get transportation to town of Minca. Take a "Colectivo" taxi (a shared ride) that will cost you $6000 - $7000 COP plus $1000 to $2000 COP for luggage. If your budget allows you can hire the colectivo for yourself for $24,000 COP.

    In MINCA, there are several hostels you can choose from, if you decide to kick back for a couple of days: Villa Silvia, Los Paisas, Loma Linda, El Mirador, Hostal Colonial, CasaLoma, Sans Souci, Los Pinos, just to name a few. Price ranges are $10,000 to $50,000 COP.
    Once you arrive in Minca you have two options, depending on travel plans and budgets:
    option 1. You can hire a "Mototaxi" (motorcycle taxi) to go to my farm. There are a few options here as well, described further below...
    option 2. You can stay in town of Minca overnight (or nights if you prefer) and then take of to my farm.

    ... Mototaxi options:
    1. Take mototaxi straight to my farm. Ask driver to take you to "Finca de Juan Carlos in Bellavista" ask to be dropped off at "Sendero Las Moras" (Blackberry Path). Take the path and you arrive to the farm- $20,000 COP.
    2. Take mototaxi to "La Y" (The Y- a road split) and hike up 45 minutes up the hill towards Cerro Kennedy. Arrive to a sign that says "Sendero Las Moras"... $15,000 COP
    3. Take mototaxi to "Campano" walk up to my farm for 90 minutes, follow directions from previous options. $10,000 COP
    4. Hire no mototaxi at all. Hike for 6 hours to my farm. FREE!!

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours per day of FIELD tasks

Host ref number: 8492171674dd

Give the gift of Workaway
read more

Find your perfect host