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Tzununa, Lago de Atitlan
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 1.1
Persons: 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 12101
Country: Guatemala

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Last Updated: May 18, 2018

We are a small (2.5 acre) highly diversified permaculture site located in the rocky coffee valley of Tzununa on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The terrain is incredibly rocky, and while the area is generally inclined and mountainous, we are on a flat part of the valley floor. We have road access and one boarder of our property is a year round river that is gravity fed through the whole farm. We have volcanic, sandy soil that is high in many minerals and relatively fertile, although incredibly rocky and shallow.

Our main centerpiece operations are greens and goats. We grow a variety of organic salad and cooking greens for sale at various markets, restaurants, and stores. We also have a spectacular goat herd and are now selling milk, cheeses, and yogurt. Aside from this, we also raise chickens for meat and hens for eggs, and pigs seasonally. We also raise avocados, jocotes (like a golden plum), coffee, malanga (taro root), various vegetables, sprouts, and several other products. Finally, we brew and sell a probiotic ginger beer, which is delicious.

Apart from this, we maintain a nursery that is devoted to edible and medicinal plants. We have a 200+ fruit tree orchard designed to provide the nursery with stock in the future. We also have a developing seed saving project. We cultivate over 200 useful plant species and use the nursery to provide stock for distribution around the community.

We are flexible in terms of work requirements for volunteers, but we generally like them to work from 730 am to 1230pm, 5 days a week, with afternoons and weekends free. Typical work will include goat and chicken daily care, fertilizing and mulching garden, filling in spaces in our developing food forest, terracing, lots of propagation in the nursery, seed saving, making charcoal, selling at the market, and other types of activities. Every so often, we may have a green building project and happy to let volunteers take the lead on projects they would like to perform.

Accommodation is at the Bambu Guest House, which off the farm, about a 5 minute walk from the lake and about 15 minute walk from the farm. The hostel is also in Tzununa, which has very little in the way of entertainment, but is a 20 minute walk from San Marcos, which has lots to offer. We provide lunch in exchange for the work. Volunteers are responsible for preparing their other meals in the kitchen at the hostel.

We would like volunteers to stay a minimum of 2 weeks and reserve the right to ask people to leave if they make problems. Volunteers will live off the farm and should be respectful of the town and people around them. It is an indigenous town with quite conservative dress and behavior. People should be respectful visitors and act accordingly.

Bring the same stuff you would bring to travel around central america. Bring rain boots in the rainy season (may through november) and bring work shoes/boots otherwise. Head light is useful too.

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