This is a multi-dimensional development project run by an international team from diverse backgrounds and with a wide range of skills. Its goal is to develop a model of sustainable living in response to modern social, economic and environmental challenges.
Our aim is to create its nucleus in a rural community based on ecological principles in the centre of Portugal near the beautiful Serra da Estrela Nature Reserve, as well as to facilitate the development of other sustainable projects in the surrounding areas.
It envisions becoming a centre of environmental and social excellence that will serve as a source of inspiration and innovation for the wider community. It also aspires to become an important centre of eco-tourism, with a residential area, camping facilities and on-site programmes of international appeal.
Our Aims are:
To create a model for sustainable 21st century living,
based on neo-humanistic values and all-round service, which will be a replicable educational, research and service resource for society at large;
2. To act as a social hub,
bringing together people who are interested in music and the arts, education, culture, health, economics, innovative scientific techniques and consciousness studies;
3. To help improve the quality of life of all living beings,
both human and non-human, and to create a supportive environment which provides for the needs of the residents and the surrounding community within a governance framework based on sociocratic principles;
4.To strengthen the local economy and the surrounding communities,
through interaction and by helping them in their efforts to become self-reliant in terms of food and energy as well as through the creation of employment opportunities;
5. To promote a healthy and ecological lifestyle,
supportive of activities that lead to joy and happiness and stimulate the regeneration of biodiverse sustainable ecosystems.
Our project needs people passionate about nature. The gardening season is full power, cherries, berries, greens, vegetables and many more are ready and waiting :) The main work is gardening, maintaining the farm and protecting the environment surrounding us. Our garden is 5 years old :) so we are still growing and for that we need people who love to work, not afraid of hot weather and want to have many new friends!
The volunteers at the project will be involved any of the following activities: helping with the development of a food forest and an organic garden, a seed bank to preserve seeds and plants for future generations, assisting in the development of an ecological centre and the construction of a water conservation programme or the construction of small buildings using natural materials such as straw bale. They will learn how to prune and care for cherry trees and berry bushes, composting, mulching, caring for and transplanting seedlings, how trickle drip irrigation systems work, weeding and all other aspects of maintaining and developing an organic farm. They may help with marketing the food grown at our fortnightly market stall, learn how to run a food cooperative, visit other eco-villages and projects nearby or process food for our processed food project, which we are just starting to develop. In the summer the volunteers will have the opportunity to help with the organization of our summer camps, festivals, and help promote eco-tourism. They will also learn how to do publicity for these events by making materials and advertise them on social media. They will be asked to help prepare a cultural night about their country and its culture, and possibly others on topics related to their areas of interest. They will also be able to participate in all our programmes in the yoga room and to go into town regularly to enjoy the social life and culture of Covilha town.
The daily routine of a volunteer usually starts with optional morning yoga and meditation sessions, followed by breakfast, a morning meeting, then work until lunch around 1.30 pm. Volunteers are expected to participate in our work schedule for 5 hours per day. After that they are free to create their own programmes for the rest of the day. Again they are welcome to join the evening meditation and any other evening activities. Dinner is eaten together, and is a time to share our knowledge, skills and stories.
We are looking for volunteers who are open to live with people from different cultures and backgrounds and who are interested to share in and learn from the whole process. We want to provide a place where everybody can express themselves and learn how to develop their full potential.
We are living together with one monk and two family teachers, who teach us meditation, a yogic lifestyle and how to live peacefully together as a community. We practice meditation, kiirtan (spiritual chanting and dancing) and yoga exercises twice a day everyday and everyone is welcome to join. The monk and meditation teachers also give personal guidance for one’s spiritual growth to those who wish.
When can you visit this host?