WWOOF Portugal


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References wwoofer?


Expired user

If I have had a wwoofer I think unsuited to wwoofing in general, is there a way I could warn other hosts?

I have had one who it turned out lived in a quite different universe from us. I feel so much pity for him, but couldn't keep him on as he was unable to follow instructions and showed complete disregard for our plans and wishes. He wanted to transform our farm and the way we run it to something he meant was better and tried to teach us all about organic farming. He was extremely private but had no problems with violating our privacy.

I'm sure he can do a good job under the right circumstances but I believe these are rare.

Is there a possibility for us as hosts to get references on wwoofers, or give references? Everybody else have been so lovely to have and we really appreciate our wwofers and enjoy meeting people from other parts of the world.



Hi Nymans,

Thanks for your feedback.
The main problem relating WWOOFers feedback is that most WWOOFers will book all their hosts before leaving home! This means that when they contact you probably they have no feedback at all!

There is one way around this. You can ask directly the WWOOFer if he/she have any previous WWOOFing experience and ask for contacts.

Anyway in case a serious problem happens you should report to the Coordinator.

Best wishes,

Expired user

The main problem relating WWOOFers feedback is that most WWOOFers will book all their hosts before leaving home! This means that when they contact you probably they have no feedback at all!
Yes, but in this case it was an all-year-around middle-aged wwoofer with no home as I know of.

Anyway in case a serious problem happens you should report to the Coordinator.

How do I as a host do that? Not sure if I should, but good to know if needed.




Hi again Nymans,

You may report to your coordinator using the contact form on the website.

Best wishes

Expired user

Most of wwoofers are ok.

But nearly every year here has shown up wwoofer who are a bit strange or too odd. The problem is that the host never will see the problem or how big the problem are when wwoofer arrives. First after one week host realize that this is not working.

Profile does not say so much. One wwoofer, a young bguy, wrote that he had organized a rock-concert in his hometown. That has nothing to do with farming and ecological farming. But he was exellent worker and very nice person in all cases. A perfect wwoofer.

Profile say a little bit.

References are much better. They can give self-references and say whom the host can take contact with. Best is if there where possibility for a host to write references. The same system which help.ex has. If a host write bad reference the wwoofer also can give an answer.

Many wwoofers will come back next year and therefore it is good to have the possibility to give refrences. One thing would be very good if all the wwoof-site where connected. One summer in one country and next summer in another country. I think many wwoofers do like that.

The coordinator must solve this problem.

I will give some example for strange wwoofers we have had.

WWe had a guest house where wwoofers could stay. And of course I told that smoking was strictly forbidden inside the house. After some days I knocked at the door in the evening and what do I see and smell. Guy is moking and the whole house stinks of smoke. We had to repaint everything. He had also told that he was good in carpenting. But he had never used a hammer before.

Another guy. Every morning he had to eat four row eggs. He did not like it but he must have it he said. We are eating a lot of meat but we also eat vegetables. The fifth day he was here we had a vegetarian menu. He got very angry and started to scream and asked for meat. Where is the meat and why do I do not get any meat.

A woman. The first day. Coming in looking i all closets and open ever drawer in thekitchen and made comments about food and everything she wanted to have and wanted to change.

ANother guy. He said he was good in cutting wood. He got out with the ax and chopped for tyen minutes. Then rest for one or two hours and then doing the same. Every evening he used our sauna. When we had dinner and lunch he always very fast took his portion and from the sallad he picked out all tomatoes (he liked tomatoes) before everybody else. Then a friend of him showed up. And he was more worse. So I got hem away after ten days.

Another guy again. Talkoin, talking anddid do at little as possible. I showed him some simple things to do. He was over 35 and had no skills at all. Travelling parasit. And when he was ready. Hed did the things I told as fast as he could and not properly well. Then he was sitting in the kitchen surfing on the Internet with our computer.

Another guy. He said he could use a machete. So I gave him a special axe for bushes and showed him whioch bushes he should cut down. He cut them down but also berrybushes and flower-bushes which had taken years to get up. After two days he just disappperaed saying nothing to us. Just gone.

ANother guy. Should fix electrical fences. Very simple job. One can check with electrical tool that electricity work. He did not it. Did not connect electrical metal rope where it was broken. So after one day or two our cows run out and into nest farmers land. That farmer became very angry because our animals destroyed much. I placed this guy to take away carrots. Only one carrot-plant and then a space offour-five centimeters to next. He left 10-15 in a bunch and the space to next group of carrots could be everything between 2 cm up to 35 cm. So all his rows got spoiled. 50% of our carrots. At the same time another wwoofer where doing the same beside him. Information I gave them both at the same time. THe guys discussed what how they should do. One made it correctly. The other totally destroying everything.

I would have possibility to write good references for all these wwoofers who are doing their best and are very nice persons.

For the others I would have a possibility to make a mark that they could contact med so I can tell what their skills arer - bad or good. I am not so fond of classificate on with letters on the Internet what I think of a person. But I can tell it if someon ask.

It has happened that hosts have called me and asked what I think about this and this person. Because sometimes a wwoofer maybe can give a little unusal look of her/his skills. The three times this had happened I have told my experience of the wwoofers and said that these people are ok. No problem with them. Working good etc.

Why other hosts called me is because they have had bad exeperience of some wwoofers.

It has happened at least three times that wwoofers asked for help. One was in Norway. He did not get any food or not anough food. THey where two or three wwoofers at the same time and building on a house. No instructions and no meals. SOmetimes just bread. The couple who where the host went tdown to the walleey and ate at their parents. He asked if he could come earlier. ANd of course he cold.

A very good couple wwoofing here. Nice and the most perfect wwoofers you can have. THey went to the west coast in Swden. ANd after some days they called and said it was terrible there. They did not get any food at all. I have a friend in a city outside Göteborg and talled them to take contact with her. She was up here at the same time this couple was here. She was just here some days. They took contact with her and stayed there for the rest of the time before they went home to their own country.

A wwofer called from Finland and asked if she could comeearlier. Because she worked their with horses and suddenly the host said that they wanted her to pay money for her visit. And that was not the agrement from the beginnig. She came her and was absolutely ok.

This where some examples. I could give more. But I will say that most of the wwoofers who have been here have been nice and ok.

But I think there are all the time odd people moving around.

It is no use to ask if they have been wwoofing before. Because for many of them it is the first time. And both hosts and wwoofers can lie about themselves.

I think coordinator have very much responsibility to make the system better. Both hosts and wwoofers pay money for the possibility to use the sites to reach each others.




The main problem relating WWOOFers feedback is that most WWOOFers will book all their hosts before leaving home! This means that when they contact you probably they have no feedback at all!


In our experience Rodrigo, this is not always the case. We very often get emails from wwoofers who are wishing to visit us as part of a longer stay in Portugal where they are visiting other hosts as well.

You are aware of my thoughts on the reference system. It's clunky and difficult to negotiate currently (as demonstrated by the very few references that most hosts have showing), and I feel it's unfair for us (as hosts) to be asking volunteers to write references for us when we are unable to reciprocate.

Unlike the other hosts who have responded to this thread, I want to be able to write reference on our volunteers to show public appreciation for their very hard work. Yes, we occasionally have someone here who is unsuited for whatever reason, but the majority are wonderful individuals who deserve a public thankyou for their efforts.

Expired user

I agree what Casalinho says.

We have had wwoofers for more than fifteen years.

Most of them are very nice persons and it would be good if it was possible for hosts to write a goos reference on thses. I have never in mind to write negative comments. But if another host call me I can tell what I think.

We have been members of helpex since it started.

On that site it is possible to write comments. Both hosts and helpers can write if they like.

In our case the comments to and from both sides have only been good.

But it is possible to read what hosts have written about helpers with bad references and even the answer the helper has given. It looks like there are both hosts and helpers who are a bit strange.

Many wwoofers nowadays also are member of couch-surfing and they have a link to their place at CS. It is also a good place to read what other CS:s says about a person.

I think it is good to be open.

The reference-system here is not usable.