We are Joe and Pamela (both 33 years old), an English/Colombian couple starting a sustainable living project in the Colombian countryside on the border of Boyaca and Santander. The nearest town to our finca is Arcabuco which is easily accessed on the road from Bogota to San Gil and is also close to Villa de Leyva. The finca is approximately 1.5 hectares and has a stream, native forest, the start of a vegetable garden, a grassy area where we want to develop a camp site and other constructions. It has a beautiful view of the mountains and into the valley and the area is very tranquil and untouristy with opportunity to walk or explore on bicycle. We are getting to know the area better ourselves but if you enjoy being outdoors and adventuring independently there is a lot to do including visits to rivers, waterfalls, caves and the Iguaque national park. Pamela is a qualified Hatha Yoga teacher so we practice as regularly as we can and volunteers are welcome to join in for a small donation.
In the last year and a half we have been working completing the house and are now ready for the next stage. We are planning to continue developing our fruit and vegetable garden and also to construct a camping area, dry toilets and some small cabins for guests using bioconstruction techniques.
We have two very friendly dogs, Lupe and Gala, that love to take a walk with people around the finca and we regularly have friends and family visiting so it’s a good place to practice your Spanish or English.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
As mentioned there is opportunity to practice Spanish and English with us and our friends and family and Joe is an English teacher so can also provide classes if required. The local community is very friendly and the people live a traditional rural lifestyle so staying here gives an opportunity to experience a untouched part of Colombia.
At the moment we are planning to build some dry toilets and a camping area. We also need help maintaining and developing our vegetable garden, planting some new trees and establishing some paths through the finca. We would also like to take turns preparing meals with the volunteers.
Private room with double bed and a shared bathroom with an electric shower. We ask that vounteers please use biodegradable soaps/shampoos.
The house has a big living area and kitchen with both a wood and a gas burning stove. There are also lots of nice areas to relax outside around the finca.
We mainly eat vegetarian food although do eat meat once or twice a week and we take it in turns to prepare meals so welcome any new recipes or ideas. There is a local market on Tuesdays where we buy most of our food. Normally we have breakfast and lunch communally and have a mid morning snack with coffee or tea. If you like to drink a lot of tea or coffee please bring your own. In the evening we generally eat leftovers from lunch or prepare something smaller. We are trying to reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce so please try to bring a reuseable water bottle and try not to bring lots of plastic packaging.
We have a washing machine but try to use it only once a week.
We don’t have wifi but there is good mobile phone signal with Claro so if you need internet we advise you to get a sim card. There are also internet cafes in Arcabuco.
The finca is situated 9km from Arcabuco down a unsurfaced but reasonable condition road. We drive to town every Tuesday for the market and occassionaly on other days so can sometimes offer lifts. Otherwise transport options include buses (one or two a day in each direction every day except for Wednesdays), taxis or a long but beautiful walk.
From Arcabuco there are lots of buses going south towards Tunja and Bogota and north towards San Gil and Bucaramanga. There are also a number of direct buses to Villa de Leyva everyday.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week