WWOOF Portugal


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Attempts to by-pass WWOOF membership




I have recently received a number of enquiries from people who would like to volunteer at my farm but who have acquired my contact details from friends who are WWOOFers and clearly would like to avoid paying the membership fee for WWOOF Portugal.

Two of these were unemployed people who were hoping to reduced their living costs by WWOOFing (and not paying membership).

How do other hosts react to this?

Clearly, if there are hosts who accept voluteers who by-pass WWOOF-membership, then hosts who insist on volunteers becoming members will loose opportunities that should be equally mediated to all hosts.

Clearly, by-passing membership also undermines the potential of WWOOF Portugal to improve its service, its website, its staff commiment.

I never accept WWOOFers who by-pass membership. I feel this is unethical and would feel uncomfortable receiving somebody who short-changes WWOOF.pt. There would always be the suspicion that I might be the next in line to be short-changed in the way such a person would approach tasks I delegate. Cutting corners at the outset is not a sign of quality mentality.

I do accept people I know volunteering. And I would probably accept a person who has been a legitimate WWOOFer returning the following year without being a current member.

Then there is the question of feeling secure if anything were to go awry.

What are your thoughts on this Rodrigo?



Hey Guy,

Thanks for posting your comment.
That are a handful of reasons to only accept registered volunteers:

1- Legal:
One of the conditions all the Hosts accepted when register (on the registration form) is: "I will ensure that WWOOFers are current members of a WWOOF organisation."

2- Ethic:
WWOOF Portugal is a registered Non Profit Association that lives EXCLUSIVELY from the membership fees. We don't use European funds or Advertisement!

3- Safety:
That are only two ways of payment: Bank Transfer and Credit Card (PayPal). In case that happens a serious situation we would give this information to the Police.
We keep registered all the logins, this means the Police could easily track the location and travel pattern of a person.

4- Practical Reasons:
The main problems that happened in Portugal was: A stole car (Range Rover!), a stole Mac computer, a volunteer that locked himself in the host house. This volunteers WASN'T registered!

I think this are reasons enough to only receive registered WWOOFers :wink:

It easy to check (Hosts only)! Login at www.wwoof.pt, click on the WWOOFers tab and type the volunteer name, username or email.

Best wishes,



Thank you Rodrigo,

this was a very clear answer. I hope all hosts read your reply.

Guy (at Q de Barbeito)

Expired user

Interesting problem.

And it will be more and more of that I think. There are very many young unemployed people in Europe and all over the world. They have very little money. This problem will grow much I belive.

I have had wwoofers here using friends membership. But as a host you will get information about it after the arrival.

And it also coming mails and had come mails people wanting to go wwoofing. But it come directly to the mail-client. People using google.

But there is a much bigger problem for the wwoof-sites. It is the bulk/spam sending requests to hosts. I take this up as a specific discussion. It is connected to this problem.