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 - by now almost each family has built their house to live, and we even built a "homeschooling" school four years ago where we make activities with the children on a daily basis.
    The quinta where we live together is a very special place: it is big and wild, has an incredibly 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!) building a bigger house - we need more space!

    Of course, this will take some time... we estimate that we will be open for volunteers until mid October. Unlike previous years, when we had up to 20 volunteers simultaneously, this year we want to keep our focus in a smaller group, so we will have a limit of people we say "yes" to. This will give less of a "summer building party" feeling, but a more close and family-like relation among the people involved. We have experience with both ways and must say that are both very beautiful and enriching in their own way.

    Update 21-July-2020: Right now we are in urgent need to create a bigger group for making the walls of our house in August. The walls will be made with the light-straw-clay technique, 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!! :)
    So for the month of August we will try to make a small "summer building party" (we are aiming for a group of approximately 10-12 volunteers).

    Update 7-August-2020: We created a beautiful group for the first two weeks of August (having a lot of nice moments in what they call our "Straw party" :), but several of our volunteers will be leaving middle next week to continue their journey. So we are searching for four to six new volunteers to keep building up the house!

    For a job like making light-straw-clay walls is not necessary a big previous knowledge, just good mood and some endurance. In these cases, 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. So, if you have the motivation and the will to build ecologic walls, if you are interested in meeting alternative ways of living, seeing an eco-village from the inside and spending your free time in amazing nature, this could be very much your place in the month of August! :)

    We also need one or two volunteers 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 August will be). So if you like plants and preparing food, please feel welcome to come! (UPDATE: until the end of August, we have our garden team covered. Only needing motivated people for building now!)

    We have several places where people can sleep, from a caravan to a quite old (and amusing) camper van, some tents, and a beautiful dome (which is still under construction, but where people can sleep if necessary). If you could bring your own tent, though, it would be amazing! :) And please, remember to bring a good sleeping bag - it can get quite cold at nights and we dont have spare blankets for everybody :)

    We have a beautiful summer kitchen that will be used as a common kitchen, where we will share (vegetarian) meals together.

    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). In those cases, we might not even answer to the mails (sorry guys... 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 elaborate a big answer just to say "no". Dont take it personal, please! If we dont answer you, we still wish for you lots of love and light for your Way, and that you find your perfect volunteering place this summer :)

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals

  • 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 ...

    If you are interested in seeing an eco-village from the inside and spending your free time in amazing nature, you can be happy here :)

  • 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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Host ref number: 998762776613