Help with a unique natural building project in beautiful Cabuya, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.


Costa Rica

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Hello! My name is Gianni. I'm originally from Italy and have called Costa Rica home for the last 16 years. I own an eco-conscious, green-built Café near the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve in Cabuya, Costa Rica, where I live with my two dogs. I serve Costa Rican and Italian food at the Café, using fresh and natural ingredients. I created the Café with the idea of sustaining and supporting the traditions, arts, and languages of local Indigenous communities, as well as the beautiful nature of Costa Rica.

    My next project for the Café is the making of Fair Trade Artisanal Chocolate. I am in the beginning stages of constructing a natural building that will serve as a workshop space for the processing of the chocolate, while also providing a stable source of income for members of the Ngabe Indigenous community.

    Besides the Café, the property consists of a treehouse, a partially completed cabina, a laundry/shower/storage building, a separate bathroom and sink area, a mini golf course, a natural pond, and several covered seating areas. Close to the jungle and ocean, the property is peaceful and filled with gardens, trees, permaculture features, animals, and several species of birds and frogs.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help with Eco Projects
    Art Projects
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange benefits:

    1) Fluent in Spanish, English, and Italian - practice and expand your language skills.
    2) Learn Natural Building and Permaculture skills and techniques.
    3) Local culture - live among local Costa Ricans, experience their culture, and eat and cook traditional Costa Rican (and Italian) food.
    4) Diverse culture - worldwide travelers visit the Café during the busy season (Dec. - April) and many expats live in the area.
    5) Surrounded by nature and a short walk to the nature reserve and beach. Experience living in harmony with nature and seeing diverse species of animals everyday. Access to numerous outdoor recreational activities as well.
    6) Small town living and a short car, bus, or bike ride to nearby tourist beach towns. Enjoy the life of a nearby small Costa Rican fishing town and venture a bit further to experience the more bustling tourist towns.
    7) Indigenous culture - learn about the Ngabe Indigenous community.
    8) Chocolate making - learn the process of making artisanal chocolate, from bean to bar.

  • Help


    I am looking for help in several different areas (whichever one/s you would feel most motivated to help with).

    1) Eco building and permaculture projects. Help with constructing buildings using natural materials (clay, bamboo, limestone, adobe blocks, natural plaster).

    This includes; splitting bamboo and nailing it to the structure of the eco building, sifting sand using a large screen to get rid of rocks, mixing clay with water in buckets to create a smooth texture, adding the sifted sand and straw to the clay mixture, making limestone plaster by mixing water and limestone powder together (gloves will be provided), applying the limestone plaster over the split bamboo that we nailed to the structure of the eco building, placing a net over the plaster and adding another layer of limestone plaster, using the clay mixture to make adobe blocks and a cob stove, and creating a fresco mural. I will teach you and work alongside you.

    2) Carpentry help. Help with the building and improving of structures and furniture.

    This includes; maintenance of buildings and furniture (help with fixing roof to prevents leaks, help with reinforcing any wobbly benches or tables in the Café, help with minor repairs of structures), help with finishing and sanding floors, help with finishing new bathroom and shower room (there are already finished bathrooms and showers on the property), help with building simple furniture, counters, and shelves.

    3) Website Development, Social Media, and Promotion. Help with creating and/or updating the Café's website in, help with taking photos and doing postings of the Café on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites.

    4) Gardening and general property maintenance. Help with planting, weeding, and watering of the gardens. Help with creating new garden beds. Basic help with keeping the property clean and organized - raking of leaves, clearing fallen branches, picking up litter, and removing leaves from the pond.

    5) Help with keeping the Café tidy and organized. Help with making chalk signs for the cafe. Help with craft/artistic projects for the cafe - making decorations and arranging flowers and plants. You will not be expected to prepare or serve food/drinks to customers.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Italian: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Current accommodation: camping in an unfinished natural building. A pull out sofa bed is available with clean linens and pillows to use. If you are not traveling with a tent, I am happy to provide one for you. Access to bathroom, shower, laundry, covered common areas with seating, fire pits, secure storage of valuables, free wifi, and the Café's kitchen. There will be more options for accommodation in the near future when the cabina is finished.

    You will have access to the Café's kitchen with food and ingredients provided to cook your own meals. When time permits, I enjoy cooking and would welcome opportunities to cook meals together. During the busy season (Dec- May) when the Café is open, you are welcome to enjoy meals served by the Café.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The Café is a perfect spot to enjoy Costa Rica! Right outside the property you can explore the Nature Reserve, beach, jungle, and many rivers. The small fishing village of Cabuya is located 5 minutes away with several restaurants and grocery stores. Nearby is also the Cabuya Island Cemetery, a favorite spot for snorkeling. The tourist and artistic beach town of Montezuma is about a 15 minute drive away. Here you will find many shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, live music, a farmer’s market, and access to adventure tours.

    On the other side of the peninsula you can visit the surfing beach towns of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. I also know many secret spots for waterfalls, hiking, surfing (I love to surf), and beaches. I am more than happy to offer suggestions and answer any questions during your stay. The Café is accessible by car, the local bus, taxi, foot, and bike!

    I believe in supporting the local and Indigenous cultures of Costa Rica, being environmentally and socially responsible, and giving back in positive ways to the communities around me. I enjoy working hard on my natural building and permaculture projects, connecting with people from around the world, and sharing my passions in life with others. I love the ocean, jungle, animals, nature, and living the Pura Vida life. I look forward to hearing from you so we can talk more about the possibility of you coming to do a workaway at the Café!

  • 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?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (4.7)

Cultural exchange: (4.7)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 919951932686