Help us build a natural house and a self sustainable farm retreat center in Alentejo, Portugal



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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    Hi, we are Ugo (Italian) and MaryAnn (1/2 american and 1/2 italian brought up in Madrid) who just moved to Portugal after 10 years living in Hong Kong.

    Ugo, an italian food connoisseur and entrepreneur, MaryAnn, a mindfulness, compassion, Mindfulness Yoga teacher and executive coach entrepreneur.

    We have just bought 74 acres of magical land in Serpa, Alentejo, with the dream of creating a land and people regeneration center, a natural refuge where nature and people can work together in harmony.

    When we open the retreat in 2021, it will be based on the Love Thy Nature concept; reconnecting and taking care of ourselves as integral parts of nature via mindfulness and compassion practices, yoga, healthy eating from veggie garden and soaking in the natural peace of Alentejo, and reconnecting with nature through sustainable agricultural methods (permaculture).

    Right now we are getting the land ready for it as we wait for renovation which will happen in 2020.

    We moved into the property in January 2019 and with already the help of many volunteers, summer veggie garden has been giving us wonderful food, and now time to plant winter veggies.

    We have have 2 horses, 10 chickens, 1 mother pig with daughter, 2 puppies, 2 kittens and goats and sheep to come in the near future), and we are in the midst of creating the lake garden for future food forest.

    We really need help to get the land ready to be part of a movement that takes care of our Earth through sustainable food production starting with veggie garden and moving on with Permaculture and planting the food forest in the near future.

    We will soon start the natural building of the stables and excited to have volunteers help us with this.

    Let us know if you want to be part of this project by joining us to work on the veggie garden, land clearing, natural building and animal care.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Language practice

  • 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

    Ugo is Italian and MaryAnn is half Italian, half American, but grown up in Spain. We have lived for the last 10 years in Hong Kong, so we have quite an international background. Ugo is a food lover, worked in food for the last 7 years, MaryAnn is a Mindfulness (MBSR), Mindfulness Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) and Mindfulness Yoga certified teacher and an executive coach. Ugo has attended a PDC course and a natural building course so he can build our house, he loves to cook.

    We are happy people and very keen to arrive to almost a 0 trash impact on this world with our project. We love animals, and somehow they love us and the many volunteers back :-)

  • Help


    We welcome people who are proactive and will be happy to work in the land, (clearing, cutting, veggie garden maintenance, picking olives, etc.) with a positive attitude and who will contribute in the natural house building project and manage and take care of animals as well as live towards a zero waste (minimising plastic use) and sustainable living - this is really important for us.

    Also very happy to welcome people who love to cook and want to try out new vegetarian recipes.

    Also appreciate any marketing and social media skills :-0 (but lower priority than above).

    Ugo and MaryAnn

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Italian, English, Spanish,a bit of japanese, French and Portuguese

  • Accommodation


    We offer a room with single beds for our volunteers and ensuite bathroom.

    We have a common kitchen used to cook main meals, and a common living/dining area with a fire place. All the rooms are heated during the cold nights but please bring your own sleeping bag and towel.
    Food wise we provide 3 vegetarian meals a day.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The work required is 5 hours per day for 5 days a week plus community work (house cleaning, cooking and washing up in turns).
    During your free time you can enjoy the property or the close by little city, Serpa, where there are restaurants, bars and all the commodities that a small town can provide. Nearby there is also a river and a water fall and natural park.

    Regarding transportation, we will pick you up in Serpa. You can go via Beja (bus or train from Lisbon) and from there catch a bus to SERPA, which is 10km far from the property.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week plus community cleaning of the house and cooking and washing up

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.9)

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Host ref number: 921349294163