There are many volunteer opportunities throughout the PermaTree project. Read what some of our past and present very international volunteers have to say about their experience as a volunteer at PermaTree in Ecuador.
3.5 weeks – 29/04/2017 – Chris Lampe, USA
Where to start with this place :relaxed: I had an amazing time during my stay and I would recommend it anyone looking for fun, rewarding work.
The work: Expect to work from 07:00/08:00 until noon. Then from 1:30/2:00 until 5:00/6:00. I really enjoyed the work and got to work on projects ranging from weeding, planting fruit trees, collecting papayas and bananas from the jungle, building a tire staircase, and building a bamboo cabin. There are lots of different projects going on at the same time so you really choose what interests you the most.
The food: ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. While they aren’t vegetarians, we did not eat any meat during my 3.5 week stay. That being said I didn’t miss meat… well not that much at least :relaxed: Breakfast might be the best meal of the day which consists of fresh fruit, oatmeal, and fresh juice poured over everything. Trust me when I say it is life changing good. Lunch is also delicious and usually is rice or pasta based with fresh veggies and beans or potatoes. Btina is a pro at making sauces such as guacamole or hummus. The afternoon juice is a must and is equally good as breakfast. Dinner is usually lighter and may be leftovers. Get excited for fresh food!
The location: First off, it’s beautiful. The vegetation is so unique and the clouds are constantly changing making for a breathtaking view. Their house is made of bamboo and with the windows open, your view is pretty legit. It is a one of kind house that I already miss dearly.
Weather: It rained most days for at least part of the day while I was there so be prepared for that. When it isn’t raining, expect hot, humid weather. There are also lots of mosquitos/ gnats so be prepared with bug spray and breathable- long-sleeved shirts you can work in. Also make sure to have long sleeves for relaxing in the house.
I spent two weeks here and it was an amazing experience. The place itself is gorgeous: Santi and Btina have an incredible vision of growing organic fruit and vegetable plants everywhere. Their project is still in the early stages, but it is progressing rapidly! The work is hard, and the hours are long- so don’t come if you aren’t serious about working. However, I found it incredibly rewarding. I learned so much about the ideas of permaculture and of sustainable living, and got to practice my Spanish too! The only bad part of this experience for me were the mosquitos, haha. Santi and Btina are wonderful, Santi is really outgoing and friendly and Btina is quiet and sweet. The two of them made me feel like a part of their family and were super patient with my less-than-stellar Spanish skills. I’m so thankful for my time here.
2 weeks – 30/03/2017 – Jason Straussman, USA
I stayed for two weeks at PermaTree and had a wonderful time with Santiago and Bitina. They are so passionate about the farm and taught me so much about permaculture and living a healthy lifestyle. If you stay at PermaTree you will learn a lot and will get a very unique opportunity. I think it is important to note that the work is challenging and rewarding. This is their life and you will be expected to fully engage in what it means to live life on a farm. With that being said, if you are looking for a place to relax, work a few hours, and hang out, this is not the place for you. If on the other hand you want to dive into a unique and beautiful way of living than I highly recommend staying at PermaTree. Thanks again guys for a great opportunity and sharing your life 🙂
1 week – 13/02/2017 – Aischa, Turkey
They are really good people and they have peaceful hearts. They really like healthy food , nature , plants and animals . If you really like good view and hard working you can join and help them. They really want to improve their place and work good. You can enjoy when you are working and eating together. You can learn about fruits. They have also every time birds sounds. I stayed with them one week it was nice but hard for me but i liked :)) Good luck! 🙂 Santiago and Bettina thank you for sharing your house with me.
4 weeks – 03/01/2017 – Bright Geofrey Kata, Uganda
Great eco-project, and permaculture farm. Btina and Yago were fun to work with and always asked me questions to ensure I was enjoying my volunteer experience and had everything I needed. The Sunday morning trips to the fruit market in Yantzaza and random day to day trips to Los Encuentros allowed me to view more stuff outside the farm.
The farm has a tranquil environment and you can do hikes to the waterfall, meditate by the ponds or just take a walk and wander into the tall quiet trees with beautiful & memorable sounds from birds and other wild animals. It felt like I was living in a home away from home, and also had the opportunity to work on lots of up-cycling projects, planting, blogging, and meeting locals.
There is food like papayas, lemons and plantains produced on the farm, and you can definitely share sweet and healthy cuisines from your culture by cooking with Btina, Yago and the other volunteers.
Safe travels and have a great time on the farm!