help exchange   Host 15036
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 300
Persons: 1 to 4
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 15036
Country: Colombia

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Last Updated: January 2, 2016

Our organisation is a family-based and small environmental NGO in Colombia, our focus is through protection of Andean mounts and wetlands.

The volunteer program we offer is for either (i) basic 'woofing' interchange with some farm work -different options, we can even open a certain experience for the volunteering time-; or (ii) cultural interchange, teaching (languages, arts, music and/or different skills) to rural kids from the village, in the nearby school.

In both we expect 4 hrs of net daily work, and there is a small weekly cost involved (USD $70 for option i, and $90 for option ii); regarding this cost, as an environmental NGO this cost goes as a donation to help us cover food and accomodation costs. We expect a minimum stay of 2 weeks (ideally 4+).

In exchange, we offer accomodation and full board (3 meals - traditional food from the region), and of course the connection to an espectacular Andean ecosystem, whilst you disconnect from modernity and urban-like life style, having this unique chance to share cultural backgrounds with locals, to touch their lives and be touched by them.

The area for this volunteer program and the spot itself has little population, so you may eventually feel yourself alone or with little contact with people (appart from contact on your work), although it is an area close to small towns (10km+) and you can share in there as you wish, the location is a bit lonely. It is something you must be aware, but if you don't mind it or even are looking for it, this can truly be a program for you.

It is compulsory for candidates to have a basic/intermediate Spanish knowledge (to communicate with locals - please have in mind that almost all locals there just don't speak foreign languages).

Rural, andean mountains rural life style; in Gámbita (Colombia). The spot is kind of remote (cars? almost none; communications? you have to climb to get mobile signal; and so on), but not far from small towns anyway (10km+).

We consider it a lovely rural mountainous place at 1,850m high in the bottom (2,200m up high), surrounded by waterfalls, rivers and basically a pure nature spot in a mountain canyon, close-but-not-affected by urban life.

Animal care,
Help with Eco project,
General Maintenance,

To get to the place (the farm, in Gámbita), you may come first to a family hostel in Sogamoso, for one night (as a paying visitor -dormitory rate-, you can stay longer if you like, to meet this other beautiful region too), to know each other and share with you all needed information in detail; then we will take you to the Duitama's bus terminal for the trip to Gámbita (route is Duitama - Paipa - Palermo - farm - Gámbita), where volunteering will start. Palermo and Gámbita are north to Paipa (farm is 42km from Paipa, on route to Gámbita town).

Options to reach the farm through Paipa are: a) Public transport from Duitama/Paipa to farm and Gámbita, just on sundays 5.30 am; b) Private 4x4 car from Paipa to farm and Gámbita, just on wednesdays 1.30 pm; and c) Any other day on public transport from Duitama/Paipa to Palermo, but then from Palermo to the farm by a contracting motorcycle.

Our spot belongs to Gámbita (south of Santander, Col); and, when we say you will be disconnected from modernity and urban-like life stile that is, for you to imagine, that average traffic on the road over there in the place, ranges from 1 to 5 cars daily!, and the sounds are always nature ones... birds, water flowing everywhere, rivers, waterfalls, cows, goats, chickens, frogs and so on.

This volunteer option is for open minded candidates, people who either love or aim to be involved in some experience very much related to nature and basic rural life, away from modernity and luxuries, who do not mind walking or trekking and eventually being completely wet for being caught under heavy rain in the middle of your way back home, and for those who get excited by nature sounds and surprises... so if you want to wake up your senses and experience what andean nature is, you will love it!.

To check those places on a map you can Google-map them.

English & Spanish (we as bidders), just Spanish (in the volunteer location).

Roustic, no luxuries at all, in a poor-like type of constructions (this will improve over time), just imagine the most simple and basic rural life style, in terms of habitat and routines.


What to do in time off:
Reading, trekking, exploring, climbing, river or waterfall bathing, fishing, photography, walking, or just sit and relax. Soon we plan to establish a Hostel in the area, so to have the chance to meet other travellers.

Available transport:
Not much. Crossing the farm, there is a public transport bus just on Sundays; and for everyday transport there is a need to reach either Palermo at 12 km, or Gámbita town at 10 km, from the farm. Although, there is a local private transport option on Wednesdays, that passes by the farm, it is a local guy with his 4x4 car that makes a route from Gámbita to Paipa (at 3am!) and the way back (at 1.30pm).

Internet connection:
Not in the farm. Just in either Palermo or Gámbita towns (12km and 10km from the farm).

Mobile signal:
You must climb a bit the mountain, to reach signal.

Our NGO:
Our office is based in Sogamoso (Boyacá), the volunteer program is in a farm we run -and in its surroundings-, in Gámbita (Santander), some 70km from each other; and our work is aimed to be mainly in Boyacá and Santander (but we occasionally do some actions nation-wide too).

Contact us:
Do not hesitate to contact us for any question or additional details you may wish to ask, we will be happy to help and answer all them.

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