WWOOF Portugal


  • English
  • Français
  • Português


Due to the lack of activity in this Forum we decide to suspend it. If you want to participate, please join our Facebook group for active members. Thanks for everybody that collaborate during the last years. If you have any question or concerns, please contact us.

25 hours plus equivalent to slave labour?




Does anyone else feel that working for more than 25 hours a week for just your basic food and accommodation is equivalent to slave labour? :)
Oh and Happy New Year!

Expired user

I have yet to WWOOF so i am not speaking from experience but its not slave labour as you have not been kidnapped from your country and carted away against your will, it is up to you to agree to the terms of the farm before going.
The way i see it, it's all about perspective you get to be in beautiful surroundings and a person or even a whole family is allowing you into their home and way of life, so why should they not deserve hard work in return? again i could be wrong but i think its a good exchange not to mention the skills you may learn.

Expired user

Depends on the situation, I have wwoofed for years in different countries and yes sometimes I've felt like I've been treat as a commodity BUT most the time I have been in heavenly places with lovely people having a great time eating great food. If you don't like the sound of it dont do it, but I would definitely say it's worth it as long as your hosts are not unfair (which is rare)

Expired user

Maybe Blackbeardie should consider how much work is really involved in providing one person with basic food and accomodation? 25 hours a week doesn't sound excessive!

Expired user

As a host of volunteers, I think if all you are getting is food and lodging, you should not do this. And I am not referring to earning money. Ask yourself what makes life worth living and meaningful? Will you have the chance to learn and experience new things, a new culture, perhaps a new language? Will you have access to places far beyond the tourist track and to a greater depth? Will you be able to connect with new people and share not just your labor but perhaps your talents, your ideas, your gifts, while you receive some of the same from your hosts?

Now not every host or every wwoofer will get along or be ideal. And then unfortunately we are currently in a world that demands some level of production. It can take a lot of energy and time to receive a volunteer and particularly do this well when the volunteer may not be a skilled farmer, may not be use to working in tropical heat, may not speak the local language. And when you are in a place where hiring an experienced local may cost only 10 USD per day, then a host may ask. Is it worth this effort?

So I return the question to you. Is 5 USD worth of labor a fair exchange for food and lodging and a welcome reception?

My experience though is the exchange can be much more rich than this for both sides. If this is the case, then we all receive much more.



You really want to make a comparison between modern slavery and wwoofing?

Two bits of info to help you think about it:

Victoria's odyssey began when she was 17, fresh out of school in Chisinau, the decayed capital of the former Soviet republic of Moldova. "There was no work, no money," she explained simply. So when a friend—"at least I thought he was a friend"—suggested he could help her get a job in a factory in Turkey, she jumped at the idea and took up his offer to drive her there, through Romania. "But when I realized we had driven west, to the border with Serbia, I knew something was wrong."

It was too late. At the border she was handed over to a group of Serb men, who produced a new passport saying she was 18. They led her on foot into Serbia and raped her, telling her that she would be killed if she resisted. Then they sent her under guard to Bosnia, the Balkan republic being rebuilt under a torrent of international aid after its years of genocidal civil war.

Victoria was now a piece of property and, as such, was bought and sold by different brothel owners ten times over the next two years for an average price of $1,500. Finally, four months pregnant and fearful of a forced abortion, she escaped. I found her hiding in the Bosnian city of Mostar, sheltered by a group of Bosnian women.

UN officials have reported that as many as 3000 women and children fleeing religious persecution in Iraq have been captured and may be at risk of modern slavery by the Sunni extremist group that is rampaging through parts of Iraq and Syria.



Re: "You really want to make a comparison between modern slavery and wwoofing?"

Thanks, what you have highlighted is modern sexual slavery. As you say it will often rear it´s head is places where warfare and social strife is present. I have a theory of how 'The West' benefits from such situations but that would digressing to much.

Suffice to say, those who ofter woofing experiences should not expect to treat woofers like paid hands and in fact carry some of the cost of hosting if the really want to give others 'the experience' as they claim.