Help a big family living in an eco-village with building a house and gardening in Viseu, North Portugal




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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Hello everybody! We are a big family that 10 years ago bought, together with several other families, a land to make our dream come true: live in harmony with nature and with each other, creating a little paradise to raise up our children. All these years we have been creating spaces.
    The quinta where we live together is a very special place: it is big and wild, has a beautiful river, pure air and water, and is surrounded by only more wild nature. We are totally off-the-grid: our water comes from a nearby spring, we use only renewable energies as a source of electricity, and we have compost toilets.
    Oraibi, a part of the whole community, works like this: We are a big family with small children, trying to educate them, build a bigger house and get sustainable, everything at the same time :) So a lot of things (and life force) going on here...

    This summer in Oraibi we will be (finally!) finishing our new house. We could get it quite far last summer (thanks to everybody that gave a hand! :) but we still have many works to finish... from mounting doors, wooden floor and windows to finish a part of the roof, rendering the already-made walls and building up the last walls (we build light-straw-clay walls, a quite amazing technique to know because just with straw and clay (both cheap and natural materials) you can make high insolated walls... you just need a lot of hands!! :)

    We also need one volunteer that will take care of our vegetable garden, mainly giving water (and love! :) to the plants. Other years we had also the gardening team helping Maria with the cooking, which worked wonderfully, specially in the moments when there is a bigger group of volunteers (like we hope the summer will be).

    To make the house ready to live will take some time... we estimate that we will be open for volunteers from May until September/October. We would like to start with a smaller group of volunteers in May and mid June (fantastic would be somebody with some knowledge of carpentry for the first weeks of May), and aim for a bigger group during the summer. We hope we will have another amazing volunteer season, meeting wonderful people, working together and enriching each other's ways!

    The most important thing we search in volunteers is good energy, a kind heart, and a strong will to help move forward. Even if a person doesn't have much experience, they can do a great job by really wanting to do his/her best and putting lot of motivation, interest and love in the task at hand.
    Just in a few occasions during these six years of volunteering, we encountered volunteers with which the convivence didn't flow harmonicaly. With the time we learnt to ask the person to leave, to protect the good energy of the working group.

    We have a quite old (and amusing) camper van where two or three people can sleep; but this year we are low on other sleeping spaces (we have given away our old big caravan... sorry... but it was for a good cause :)
    We have a couple of tents that we can borrow, but it is not enough to accomodate everybody. So most of the people will need this year to bring a tent (or a car/camper/caravan where he/she can sleep).
    Other things you will need here are a torchlight, a GOOD WARM sleeping bag and WARM clothes (yes, also if you come in July ... the nights get quite cold in the summer ;) , and some proper shoes.

    We have a beautiful summer kitchen that will be used as a common kitchen, where we will share three (vegetarian) meals together a day (and always coffee, and sometimes, cake... :)

    One more thing is that we put a lot of care in creating a group that we think it will flow together (as difficult as that might be just by reading emails and profiles... but we try anyways :)... a group in which our family can also exist and be part of. That means, we might not accept people that we have the feeling they will bring a specific vibe or attitude that doesnt fit with our values (like an "extreme party" mood). And sometimes we are not available to have people, maybe because we are hosting our maximum amount of volunteers, or because we are closed (usually it says which months we are open in the calendar). In those cases, we usually not answer to the mails - that's why our reply rate is so low lately, after many months of recieving requests when we were closed... Sorry about that... but if you saw the amount of things there are to do here all day long, you would understand there is not much time to sit in the front of the net to write mails. We usually just answer the mails that wake up our interest. Don't take it personal, please! If we don't answer you, we just have too much to do! We still appreciate a lot that you wanted to help us, we wish for you lots of love and light for your way, and that you find your perfect volunteering place in Portugal :)

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals

  • 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

    You will experience how is the life of an almost sustainable family (off-the-grid, eating from the garden, surrounded by beautiful nature), and the magnificence of creating things with your own hands. You will learn about natural building - how to build a big family house (wooden structure, straw-clay walls, roof) from scratch.

  • Help


    Right now, we basically need very motivated volunteers that want to give a hand with starting the process of building and taking care of the garden... and of course, also giving a hand with any other funny ideas that might arise in the moment (we are quite "creative" sometimes), like building a rocket mass heater or taking a caravan out of a house - two thought-in-the-moment ideas that came last years on an inspired moment ;)

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Right now we can offer accommodation in a caravan and in an old, quite amusing, camper van. We also have a couple of tents where we can host people.
    We have a summer kitchen that will be used as a common kitchen, where we will share (vegetarian) meals together.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are in the middle of nature, so not many man-made local sights or available transport around here... not even a small shop (so please if you smoke, bring an amount of tobacco that goes at least for two weks ;). But amazing wild nature around, to admire and enjoy! :)

  • 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?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (4.9)

Cultural exchange: (4.7)

Communication: (4.9)

Host ref number: 998762776613