Join in natural earth building and other eco projects near Bisbee, AZ, USA

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United States

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    7  

  • last activity

    Last activity

    03/12/2021

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    90.0 %

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    within 3 days

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    Super Host
 
  2021 

 Min stay requested: at least a week

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  • Description

    Description

    Hola! We are a family of three attempting to live life to the fullest. We above all value our relationship with the earth and by doing that have been slowly creating our small homestead nestled in the Sky Islands ecosystem located between Bisbee Arizona and the Mexico (Sonora) border. Arisha is the youngest member of the family at about 1.5 years old, she is learning as much about her surroundings as she can. Valeria, originally from Lima Peru, is a vibrant mother/architect/designer/skateboarder/dancer/ and lover of life. She brings immense stability and organization to our small homestead. Zach, currently a park ranger with the National Park Service, keeps things in motion on this growing homestead. With permaculture experience throughout South America, the Midwest, and the Southwest, he brings experience as well as the desire and happiness to take on the labor of starting from scratch.

    The entire family is very open and respective of all cultures, very interested in sharing our ways of life as well as learning from others. Zach and Vale are both fluent in English and Spanish. Apart from being avid travelers, lovers of traditional knowledge and culture, enjoying ALWAYS delicious food and drink, extreme sport lovers, our MAIN energy in life is restoring a small 2.5 acre piece of land that we obtained in 2018. This land was severely disturbed (scrapped with machinery), and we are firm believers in not only living sustainably, but also in making our world a better place. This includes the piece of Earth that we occupy on the daily.

    Our main projects we are working on fall within the realm of PERMACULTURE: gardening, sustainable building, animal integration, landscape design, natural desert plant/medicine harvesting, and anything else that pertains to a sustainable lifestyle that lives within the cycles of nature.

    The area that we call home is truly wonderful in the sense that it provides a one of a kind community to call home. We are located between uniquely creative Bisbee and Naco (Arizona & Sonora) Mexico. Bisbee is a creative town that is known for its quirky personality. On a typical year (no pandemic), there are countless community festivals in the arts, music, culture, and history. Additionally, we are located only 3 miles from the Mexican (Sonora) border with a legal port of entry for easy access to travel in Northwestern Mexico. On both sides of the border one can find endless opportunities for outdoor recreation - camping, hiking, biking, birding, etc. The Madrean Sky Islands is a beautifully complex ecosystem that never gets old! Zach, being a park ranger, can help you plan most adventures desired (we may even join you)!

    We are well connected in our area. So for the travel hungry Workawayers, if we cannot provide you with good information/connection for your explorations and adventures, we will know someone who can help.

    Things to keep in my while staying at the homestead. We structure our "work hours" usually into three days so that folks can plan their weeks around those days. Some days include shared lunches, some do not. We are a pretty laid back community, but we value working HARD. We like to have fun while the magic happens, but please keep in mind - a lifestyle that is connected within the natural cycle means using our bodies. In the hours that we set aside to work, we expect to be productive while learning and having fun!

    In addition to work hours, for those that stay on the homestead we ask that you take part in our "community chores". These fall outside of work hours and are seen as simple chores that benefit all who are inhabiting the homestead. Example chores can be cleaning shared spaces used by all, harvesting crops, feeding the animals, compost toilet management, etc.

    (updated August 2021)

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance

  • 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
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Although we inhabit the borderlands of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico we originally come from other places. Valeria, is from Lima Peru and LOVES to share her vibrant culture with everyone. She will likely try to speak Spanish with you, thats just how she is (she is fluent in English as well). Zach originally comes from the Midwest Lake Superior region, and love to share Northwoods culture with you. Part of his ancestry comes from central Mexico and he has traveled and lived extensively in Latin America. Both enjoy teaching Spanish and sharing our favorite foods - Mexican and Peruvian!

    If desired, a more structural language exchange can be set up in agreement. Zach has experience teaching Spanish to English speakers and English to Spanish speakers.

  • Help

    Help

    As mentioned we are living on and growing a 2.5 acre homestead. The main projects we would like assistance on currently (Summer 2021) are gardening, animal care, and a variety of natural building construction projects.

    Gardening - we have a medium sized garden and a large circular (12m diameter) "field crop" area. We plant about 9 months of the year and work with organic methods of soil restoration and enrichment. We do not use any synthetic/chemical fertilizers, insecticides, or herbicides. We do it the all natural way: by hand and getting dirty! This year (spring 2021) will be our first year using a drip irrigation system. We cultivate anything from wheat to herbs to squash. Everything that makes sense in the desert is fair game. We love to teach what we know about permaculture techniques and our experiences in this arid climate as well as others. We also love to learn from others' experience! (Zach was a Peace Corps Agricultural volunteer in subtropical South America).

    Animal Care - as of now this mostly means chickens and turkeys. These birds are for eggs and meat. We also have the new addition of meat rabbits (summer 2021). These will soon be breeding and building a larger enclosure will be necessary. We would only ask Workawayers to help with feeding, but if the experience of butchering and cleaning is desired we are more than happy to teach our methods! We have previously hosted honey bees, and are interested in returning to hosting once we have the time!

    Building Projects - This is the portion of help that we need the most help in. We currently have a few DIY building projects going on, all designed and built or building by ourselves. We almost strictly work with adobe architecture (superadobe, cob, earth bricks, etc.) but look forward to expanding into straw-bale, rock work, and more. Our main project is a residential 700sq ft house that we are building. It is superadobe (earthbag) architecture, and is completely structurally built and exteriorized (Aug 2021). The next steps are finishing the last coats of exterior lime wash, insulating the roof, wiring the interior electric, and finally getting started on the interior work (interior earth walls, earth plasters, etc.)!! Valeria is a certified architect in Peru, and is a wealth of knowledge in design. Zach has developed his natural building skills throughout South America as well as in the SW US. Every year we feel more connected to this sacred knowledge, yet we realize there is so much to learn!

    Other random eco projects can include - water catchment systems, landscape restoration, watershed landscaping, finishing plasters of previous adobe constructions (garden shed/chicken coop, bathroom and shower house, and lots of crafting and making this homestead more magical!

    We are VERY flexible and want to provide an enjoyable experience for visitors. We ideally would come to an agreement on how many hours per week worked would feel right for everyone. Most tasks would be done with either Zach or Valeria or other residents of the property that are up to speed. We truly like to have fun, but keep in mind we work HARD.

    In addition to work hours, for those that stay on the homestead we ask that you take part in our "community chores". These fall outside of work hours and are seen as simple chores that benefit all who are inhabiting the homestead. Example chores can be cleaning shared spaces used by all, harvesting crops, feeding the animals, compost toilet management, etc.

    Here is a bit more of what we do in our homestead with the workaway program! ask us for the video!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Portuguese: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    If our visitors are willing to share their language with us we are more than happy to share ours as well. Zach has experience teaching both English and Spanish in a tutor type setting.

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We have a few options for accommodation. What we provide is an outdoor bathroom complex that has a shower with on demand hot water, compost toilet, and sink. We have another earth bathroom and shower house in construction. We hopefully will have this usable before winter 21/22 (we could use some help on this!). We offer a small truck bed camper that is on stilts. This is fully furnished with a small kitchenette, full sized bed, storage space, and small table. It has running water and a small gas stove top. Built onto this is a front desk with a shade structure.

    Other options for those who prefer to use their own equipment would be space to park a RV/camper as well as place to set up a tent. Again, we are flexible!

    On the property we have access to wifi, potable water (city water), and limited electricity. Zach just (Aug 2021) installed our very own off-grid solar setup. Although it is much much larger than what we have lived off of the previous years, there are still limitations for what visitors and residents can use. Charging devices and such is of course accesible, but larger appliances (fridges or other things that continuously run) will most likely not be a good addition. Ask us about specifics if you have any questions. The idea is to be energy conscious! If you have your own way of producing electricity, even better!

    We realistically do not have much time to cook for visitors on a daily basis. We would like to be able to share meals, typically dinners 1-2 times a week. We sustain ourselves with as much of our own productions as possible and obtain the rest of our food locally when possible. We expect Workawayers to be in charge of feeding themselves. Production from the garden, crops, and animals will be available for those who are staying. This is dependent on the season.

    If you would like to work more than 15 hours a week in exchange for meals, we can potentially work something out. This has been done in the past, but is dependent on Zach and Vale's ability to provide meals.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We love to share our area with you! From our property there is affordable public transportation to Historic Bisbee, Sierra Vista, and Douglas. Bisbee is an excellent place for sightseeing, musical performances, shopping, hiking etc. Sierra Vista is more of a supplies destination with access to large stores. Being on the border we have access to border towns for tourism, shopping, and eating. Additionally, we are more than happy to help plan a trip further into Mexico for you. We travel extensively in Sonora, including the Gulf of California.

    In the immediate area you will find access to beautiful hiking trails in pristine forested canyons, alpine forested peaks (9,500ft), superb views of the desert valleys, riparian riverways, and high desert hikes. Public lands are abundant in this area. You will find recreation opportunities in National Forests, National Park sites, Wildlife Refugees, and other accessible public lands. This is an area of endless free recreation!

    Tucson is the closest large city with all other needs. The drive is about 1.5 hours northwest.

    We are a social family and like to mingle with our community. Visitors are always welcome to be a part of the larger family! Our family apart from homestead activities enjoys hiking, camping, skateboarding, traveling, cooking, creating, and music! We love to learn from others and share in their passions.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Our wifi is based in our semi-built house. This is a space that is dry and comfortable for working, but is still open minimally to the open air. This space is projected to be fully exteriorized before fall 2021. Although we have no problem with digital nomads (sometimes we are), we are hesitant to accept folks who are full time digital nomads for community reasons. By that we mean individuals that work a full 40 hours per week remotely. Case by case situations are worth looking at!

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Campervans and motorhomes are welcome! We do not have electrical hookups at the current moment, but if you are self sustainable you are more than welcome and we have space. Please speak with us about details about how large your rig is for further planning.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Pets are allowed, but please dogs that behave well! We have chickens, turkeys, 2 cats, and a beloved dog that watches the property. He roams free.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 3 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)








Host ref number: 849228137586