San Isidro de General
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 20
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 89727
Country: Costa Rica
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Last Updated: August 8, 2019
We are in the process of becoming a sustainable farm and community in the cool tropical mountains of Costa Rica. Our mountain top working coffee and banana farm has year round cool climate, views, fruits, wildlife and waterfalls. The longer you will stay the more you will learn. We have various positions volunteers can fill depending on experiences and skills. Everything including building projects, permaculture, energy, gardening, animal care, cooking and even computer work.
We currently have a large 6 bedroom house of which we rent out bedrooms to paying guests on airbnb but we still have need for working visitors or volunteers that can commit to longer time periods.
Our farm consists of a coffee/banana plantation, various fruit trees, pasture, forest, various breeds of chickens, guinea hens, ducks, chickens, sheep, goats and a few horses. Everyday you can see toucans, 100s of bird species and sloths among the trees.
We have several professional local workers that help us on our farm but we could still use some help with both daily chores and fun new experiments and projects. Any volunteers would be first helping with taking care the animals and helping with gardening. Those are the 2 main things that are ongoing and never stop. In addition, we various projects that always come up that takes 2-3 people to do. Examples could be light construction, house maintenance, alternative building, fencing, building greenhouses and aquaponic systems.
Most important of all, we need people self-motivated that do not need someone telling them what to do everyday once you've learned the basics. People that are looking to just lie around. If you are proactive about helping with anything you will be greatly appreciated and rewarded. We are not strict and will not watch you 24/7 but we do expect people to be useful and productive. When special projects are not scheduled, volunteers are expected to revert back to both planting new and maintaining current gardens. If you have special interests on any of our projects, we could also work on scheduling them in while you are here to make things more interesting for you. Any experience with anything sustainable, gardening, permaculture, technology or construction is a big plus.
We are 30-45 minutes from San Isidro which from there, you can get a bus to anywhere in Costa Rica to enjoy all the rest of what Costa Rica has to offer. Our famous surfing beach in Dominical is just 45-60 minutes from San Isidro where you can spend the weekend. We have a large waterfall and a few swimming holes that people enjoy walking too as well.
As time allows, for extra fun, we teach latin dancing; Salsa, Merenge and Bachata on site depending on interest of our visitors.
Will can use and would consider any skills people have. Everything including building projects, permaculture, energy, gardening, animal care, cooking, welding, woodworking, aquaponics, aquaculture, marketing and other computer work. Manual labor and outside work is always needed so if you like getting dirty or sweating, we can always make use of extra hands. Especially in the garden.
When you contact us, please provide as much detail as possible on your experience and skills. That will help us find the best fit for you or even invent projects that fit your skill set
Ongoing daily chores include
* Feeding Animals and maintenance
* Soil building and gardening
* Pruning trees and weeding gardens
* Planting, chopping, digging, harvesting and moving things around
* General cleaning and organizing
* Coordinating other volunteers
* Processing and packaging farm produce products for sale in local farmers markets
* Milking Goats, herding sheep
* Help with Computers, internet, marketing
* Have special skills and want to stay a while? We're open to creating paying positions if it suits us both.
Special opening for a volunteer that would not mind helping with general house work and teaching/playing with a 6 year old. We provide the food you prepare it for yourself and enough for one more person. I'm too busy to eat sometimes
We speak both English and Spanish so you will have a chance to practice and learn which ever you want. A local school is always looking for English speakers to help them as well if you’d like to get involved with the locals even more.
There is always lots to learn. The longer you stay the more you will earn. As an example here is a list of on going farm projects depending:
* Coffee and banana plantation management of farm
* Use of Effective Micro-Organisms
* Bamboo and earth building.
* Large solar dehydration
* Biodigestor planned
* Alternative building. Hobbit House projects
* Organic Garden
* Turmeric plantation
* Making Banana flour
* Animal husbandry: chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, horses, cattle etc
* Aquapoincs & tilapia soon.
* solar projects and more.
* Medicinal and Herb Gardens
* Rainwater catchment systems, design, reuse, filtering and recycling
* All types of building and construction
* Sawing up fallen or dead trees for lumber and furniture making
* Use of and experimenting with alternative technology for water and energy
- Ram Pumps, Solar power and heating and more
* Welding, permaculture
* Latin Dancing, Salsa, Merenge, Bachata
* It's impossible to list everything we do and experiment with here that you may get a chance to learn from.
We normally have between 1-3 small private rooms and one very rustic cabin available not far from our main house that we rent out to guests but also make available to our longer term volunteers. All rooms have a double bed or in some cases a bunk bed
Our main farm house is an old expanded rustic farmhouse with 2 levels. Bedrooms on top level with a community kitchen and eating area below. Kitchen and community areas are open air and bedrooms pretty much closed off. We have 3 rooms available in our main farm house a small, medium and large. The smallest can most likely stay a private room while the other 2 rooms will likely be shared at one point. Expect to share a large room with up to 3 others in the worse case. Best case and often likely is you'll have your own room and or shared with one other person. Visitors have access to 1 large modern tiled bathroom with separate shower, toilet and double sinks and another smaller bathroom with shower. Hot water when the sun is shining.
Of course we have we have electricity, running water and toilets in a large tiled bathroom. We also have high speed wireless internet available to guests and a guest computer to share. Hot solar showers when the sun is shining which is most days. Temperatures are normally 74F all year round so no need for AC or Heating here.
We never ask people to pay extra money for food that we provide. We do have lots of farm food available depending on the time of year. Most of the year we can provide all the bananas you can eat for guests and coffee if you help process and roast it. We often have extra farm food we share but can't guarantee availability. We can often provide eggs, goat cheese/milk and some meat at discounted prices. There are local markets you can buy additional food if you want additional food items that we might not already have
On our own property of 50 acres, we have views, swimming holes and waterfalls. The local bus is about 30 minutes walk away which will take you to a nice size town where you can find anything. From there you can take buses everywhere else including to the beach where you will find world class surfing waves.
Want we expect:
Volunteers are expected to work about 25 hours a week. Usually Monday through Friday but days and hours can be moved around if we all agree on it. Work normally starts at 7am and goes to 12 noon if you work straight through. Some like to take an hour break and in this case work stops at 1pm. Basically we expect about 5 hours a day be put into something productive and are flexible as to what that could be. We are flexible with working hours depending on agreed upon exchanges. Volunteers often take off on the weekends but if you do stick around for the weekend, we ask that you do minimal work and feed the animals. If you can't be ready to work at 7am or want to be a recluse and stay in a room all day this is not the place for you. You most be a proactive person. We prefer 1 month+ commitments. After one week with us you will be reviewed and we will make a decision if it is still a good fit for both of us to continue. One other thing to keep in mind is that we are not a school to be teaching volunteers skills on demand. Volunteers that have been with us a while usually help pass on knowledge of daily chores to new comers. We have had volunteers that want to learn a specific skill or do a specific job and get disappointed if that does not happen or we are not available. If you want to know what work we currently need help with please ask so you don't have any false expectations of what to expect. If you are helpful, productive, polite, team player, proactive, social and enjoy helping out on a family farm you will have a great experience with lasting memories.