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We are a family of five, originally from the UK. Since 2014, we have been living off-grid on a small quinta (approx 1 hectare) in the Serra do Açor region of central Portugal.
We’d love for you to be part of developing our dream of living more sustainably and in balance with our surroundings.
Prem works 4 days a week as a web programmer and spends much of the rest of his time planting trees and shaping the land for optimal water retention and growth.
Roshnii is a writer, doula and birth activist working part-time from home and is the main guardian of the vegetable garden.
Our three kids, aged 10, 7 and 3 are home and community educated, so play a big part in the daily life in our home and land.
We like playing games, reading stories, watching movies and generally having fun. Our other interests include music, art, meditation, science, travel to name but a few. We are a vegan/lacto-vegetarian household.
Our home is a rustic schist building powered by solar electricity and heated by woodburner. The land is spread over several terraces that lead down to a beautiful stream. In our valley live several other families and diverse wildlife.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We have both been volunteers ourselves and know what a positive experience this exchange can be.
We can offer you the experience of being immersed in off-grid family life, living close to nature in a beautiful environment. We are happy to share with you what we understand about organic growing and permaculture principles, although we acknowledge that we are learning all the time.
We are passionate about natural health, including pregnancy and birth, vegan/vegetarian diet, alternative forms of education, conscious communication, parenting and personal development.
And of course, if you are not a native English speaker, you will naturally become more fluent staying with us.
You can help us in a number of ways.
On the land, we need assistance with planting and maintenance of land and garden. This includes:
Gardening – preparation, sowing, planting, weeding, mulching, watering
Reforestation – planting native trees, clearing invasive species (eucalyptus & mimosa),
In our home, you could support us with cooking and cleaning as well as spending time with our children. If you have building or carpentry skills, you may want to take on a construction project.
With our work, you may have skills or interests related to our other work, such as IT, writing, language or marketing skills.
We encourage you to share your own passions and expertise with us.
We are looking for self-motivated, enthusiastic individuals who are happy to be part of lively family life.
We propose a one-week trial period in which we get to know each other and decide whether we are all happy to continue the volunteer arrangement. If, for any reason, any of us feels we are not compatible, we can part ways without any hard feelings.
Our first language is English. Our Portuguese varies from semi-fluent to beginner. Roshnii also speaks some French, Spanish and a little Hebrew.
From April – September we can offer you accommodation in a tent with shared use of an indoor kitchen and bathroom.
If you wish you can bring your own tent / van.
In the colder months, we can offer indoor accommodation.
In our local area, you will find traditional Portuguese villages based on subsistence farming and an incredible mountainous landscape with terraces and water systems built over centuries. The nearest villages are a 20-30 minute walk away. There is a network of beautiful walking trails around here as well as many magical rivers, waterfalls and swimming spots.
Larger towns are a 40 minute drive away, where you can find libraries, shops, supermarkets, swimming pools, cinemas etc.
One of the special features of this area is the thriving international community of people who have come from all parts of the world to find a new way of life here based on principles of permaculture and sustainability.
Amongst us we arrange regular markets with crafts and local produce, workshops, music jams and events, communal work days and other classes and groups to participate in, such as singing, dance, writing, yoga and many more.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week