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San Agustin
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 56
Persons: 2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 50737
Country: Colombia

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Last Updated: January 16, 2017

Hello! And welcome to the page of Palenke!

We have a very small, family based organic farming project (mother and 2 sons : a 6 and 20 year old). The project is in the very early stages of development.
The farm is situated near to the famous archaeological town of San Agustin in the Colombian mountains. The 56 hectare farm is nestled between the forest and the river Negro. We are very lucky enough to have water supplied from mountain springs on the land.
The mountain range is a site of ecological interest and many different birds and animals can be seen here, including eagles which fly overhead and monkeys that can be heard calling from the the surrounding forests.
Our goal is to protect our land from deforestation and preserve and restore the natural habitat for animals and future generations to come.

The farm is in a very rural location and can be accessed by a chiva bus (local bus) which runs from San Agustin once a week on mondays. Once at the bus stop, horses can be arranged to carry luggage and food etc to the farm. A mountain path is then walked or ridden by horse, if necessary, from the bus stop. Walking distance is about 1 and half hours to the farm. The mountain path can be very uneven and steep at times, so volunteers will need to be adventurous, physically fit, be wearing suitable foot ware and also to bring a torch.

We currently do not have any farm animals but we do have a german shepherd who is very nice. Also, our friends cows graze in our field opposite the house, and there may be an opportunity to go with Michael in the mornings to milk a cow.

I speak only spanish so it would be preferred that volunteers have some basic understanding of spanish, preferably to conversational level to make the experience more beneficial and rewarding.


THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM WILL LOOSLY CONSIST OF:

Help in the vegetable garden; clearing and recreating vegetable beds which have become overgrown, planting, propagating, weeding, harvesting and collecting dried cow manure from adjacent fields to use for compost.

General help , where needed around the house and land dependant on skills; carpentry, collecting and chopping wood. Cooking on the wood fired aga.

As this is a project in the beginning stages with lots of space to play with, new ideas, creativity and initiative are very welcomed.

Meals will be cooked for you during your stay, unless you would like to prepare your own.

Clothes washing facilities are available either by hand-washing or a washing machine.

Volunteers will have to stay for 1 week minimum due to the limited bus service to the mountain.. although, a longer duration would be preferred. This can be discussed during your placement.

In exchange for volunteering, we offer accommodation and an amazing opportunity to live in a beautiful rural family farm home environment in a spectacular setting. Giving you the time and space to disconnect from urban modern lifestyle, being 1 and 1/2 hours away from a road, only the sounds of nature can be heard. Time at the farm will reconnect you back to nature and all the elements.

I offer lessons on the Mayan Calendar for anyone who would be interested in learning more about this ancient system.

CULTURAL AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES:

Volunteering with us, is for open minded individuals who want to experience and be part of basic rural living, very close to nature. Individuals who are happy living away from modern luxuries, who do not mind trekking, and at times, on the way home, being caught in heavy rainfall! This is a place for people who get excited by nature, the sounds, smells and sights it has to offer. So if you are ready to experience a Colombian mountain farm setting then please come and volunteer with us and share our family home.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with further questions. I will be happy to answer any of them. There is no internet service here at the farm, so I can only pick up emails once a week on a sunday/monday when I am in town. Preferred contact would be by mobile phone. Service can be unpredictable at times, in the mountains, so if you cannot get through, send me a text or leave an answer phone message and i will respond as soon as possible.


ACCOMODATION:

We offer extensive different places to camp or guest rooms inside the main house. All offering fantastic views of the mountains. Linen and blankets are supplied.

WHAT TO DO IN YOUR TIME OFF:

Trekking, hiking and exploring are the main adventure activities to be enjoyed around the farm. Or you can simply just sit and relax, or even climb to the top of our pine tree and sit on top and enjoy the view!

HIKES INCLUDE:

5 minutes from the farm is a small river with a small cascade which is great for bathing, or simply sitting in the sun and enjoying the many butterflies.
20 minute hike to the Rio Negro, an amazing fast flowing, boulder growing river. Here you can bath or swim in the fast flowing water, or simply sunbath on the boulders, take photos or just take time to relax.

A 2 hour hike along another trail from the farm, will take you to a beautiful waterfall.

A trail up the mountain behind the farm will take you through a forested nature reserve with many look out points and many opportunities for photography. Further along this trail you will find a beautiful waterfall to massage your aching muscles.

Additional longer hikes or horse riding trips can be arranged for a small fee. Trips include a 4 day adventure to the laguna on horse back with a guide and supplies or tours around San Agustin's ancient archaeological sites which can be arranged on horseback or by jeep.

As mentioned above the farm is one and a half hours away from the main road so transportation on and off the mountain is limited. One bus a week. but there is the option of hiking or taking a motor bike taxi.

There is no internet signal but we do receive a mobile signal at the front of the house.

VOLUNTEERING HOURS:

We ask a contribution of $7 USD a day which will cover accommodation and food (fresh from San Agustin market- vegetables/ fruit and fish or chicken if you eat meat.) We will collect this from the market the day we meet you and transport it back via chiva bus and horse.

Please message me with any queries or if you would like to come and join us.. We look forward to hearing from you!

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