Volunteer Program

PermaTree Volunteer Program

We are a holistic permaculture farm focusing on a sustainable lifestyle growing and cooking our own organic foods. In our climate here almost everything grows so just to give you and idea from Coconuts to Cocoa/cacao, Soursop, Jackfruit, Babaco, Breadfruit, Passion-fruit, etc. We (Swiss & French couple) started in March 2016 building our Non-Profit Organization with the philosophy of permaculture.

Participation is experiential education; you are learning about permaculture and community by living in it. The most helpful, effective, and happy participants are self-motivated, interested, responsible, and accountable. Here we stress collaboration. We are about mutual enrichment and working together. There is no room for people who think they know everything.

Since these things take time, ideally you will be able to commit to a 1 month or longer working alongside the PermaTree Volunteer Program.

If you are interested in experiencing permaculture in action, living in community, and engaging with DIY projects in a hands-on and dynamic environment, fill out the application now!

Read the details about our Volunteer Program

To read, what you can expect as a Volunteer at PermaTree check out the Volunteer Information Pack 2017 here.
Or our workaway profile.
See latest pictures on our Facebook page.

We’re looking for you!

Most likely, easy going relaxed persons for volunteering. Must be minimum 22 years old with great physical condition, for any type of work on the farm. If you can cook healthy meals, that would be a super plus! You’re passionate about plants, pure nature, backpacking, permaculture, and sustainable agriculture? This is exactly what we can offer you! Would you rather sleep under the stars than inside the best hotel? We have the gorgeous stars glimpsing, at a clear night!

What do you get?

  • Excellent quality of life in a natural setting, surrounded by nature in tropical climate
  • Sustainable Lifestyle (minimal ecological footprint. Eating only fresh organic produce, cooked by ourselves, planting food trees, eating the fruits, all water is from the nearby creek, hot shower during day heated by black pipes from the sun rays, etc.) Minimal waste production, future goal zero waste. No Junk food, no sugar diet, no TV etc. There is no such thing as waste only unused resources …
  • Eat tropical fruits you may have never heard or seen in your life
  • 24/7 ecuadorian Spanish Language practice
  • Community living experience
  • Learn to work in a true tropical climate
  • Hands-on Permaculture experience
  • Develop communication, leadership and teamwork skills
  • Develop permaculture skills through hands-on experience in natural building, water management, gardening, plant propagation, food forest establishment, community development, waste management / recycling and more.

Accommodation

For volunteer  over the plattforms Workaway and HelpX,  due  to our contract with those organizations, will be provided food free of charge, in exchange for 25 hours of work per week. We offer you a place to sleep in our guest room or in the hammocks and there is plenty of space for you’re tent. There is electricity, and water from a own spring on the property (not polluted by cows). During following hours the use of the WIFI-Internet is open for Volunteers: From 13:00 until 17:00 o’clock. Else you can buy a personal CNT-chip for $5 =300MB data) In case of emergency, we have 24/7 internet access. If you’re not coming over a volunteer platform, we ask you for the following donations: 60 days: $6 daily, 30 days: $12 daily, 14 days: $15 daily

Type of Work

Each volunteer is asked to be a solid contributor both to the physical work of the site as well as to the social and emotional well-being of the community. Remember you will be living and working in a community! You are given the freedom to make a genuine contribution to the future of the PermaTree farm systems.

Work requirements are a minimum of 5 hours per day (6 days a week) on projects or maintenance. We use shared facilities: kitchen; bathroom; laundry area, and we take turns with daily chores like cleaning. All volunteers will also participate in community chores such as cooking, cleaning communal areas, and maintaining the site. Some occasional weekend duties (such as: watering garden beds, flipping compost, feeding animals, etc). Volunteers will also participate in community meetings ranging from managerial tasks to personal feelings.

Volunteers should consider their position at PermaTree as a job. We like to have fun, but we have serious work to do. The place cannot function without the hard work and energy of all the members. If you care deeply about the work you are doing, you are sure to get most you can out of your time.

WORK ACTIVITIES SHIFT

Daily / Weekly / Monthly Tasks (maintenance):
There are several different daily chores such as cleaning which needs to be done at different times.

Farm Projects:
All the directly farm-related projects such as planting more fruit trees, bamboo, making stairs, digging holes, harvesting other fruits, cutting grass, etc. Farm Projects are in the morning before lunch.

Self Initiated Projects:
Volunteers come up with their own ideas which can be implemented within finca PermaTree. Example: Food recipes, Daily hacks / improvements, Organization, Woodworks, Planting crops and trees, Extracting and drying seeds, Blog post about specific topic. Each project needs a time duration estimation at the start: for example 3 hours or 4 days until finalized. The goal is to finalize the Self Initiated Project during the stay of the Volunteer. Ideally, one should write a DIY blog post with photos about your SIP.

How Long

A minimum stay of 4 weeks is required for volunteering at PermaTree! You can stay up to 90 day’s! Ecuador Tourist Visas Ecuador gives tourists from most countries a free 90-day visa stamp upon entering the country, with no previous paperwork required and no application process. Towards the end of this 90 days, one may purchase a 180-day tourist visa to extend their legal time in the country. This visa costs $450. Note: After two months of volunteering, volunteers can form part of the long term staff.

What to bring

The most important thing is a smile and an open mind. Sleeping bag, Sun protector like long sleeves, hat, sunglasses. If you bring Sunscreen please bring an organic one with you. Bring working pants with you. Waterproof shoes, a light raincoat. Towel. Mosquito net. Mosquito repellent, torch/flashlight, flip flops or slippers (for indoors). And all you need to be comfortable. You can buy boots in the town unless you have very big feet. Bring your own gloves for the farm work. In Quito/Cuenca you can buy almost anything in case you don’t have it.
A weekly shopping trip will be made to the fresh market in Yantzaza (on Sunday) where any additional personal items can be ordered.

Goals

  • Plant fruit forest
  • Plant more than 1km of bamboo variety on river creek
  • Plant endemic timber trees
  • Seed bank (seed exchange)
  • Researching and implementing sustainable lifestyles
  • Create a mutual enrichment, a place where you can come together
  • We want to promote to recycle meanwhile lost knowhow through people who want to share their learned skills and collected wisdom with others people.

Where

We’re near to the village of Los Encuentros in the Province of Zamora-Chinchipe, located at the Southeastern end of the amazon basin in Ecuador. You can fly in from Quito to Loja with TAME (1h flight) and take a bus or taxi (3 hours drive) to Los Encuentros where we pick you up.

Climate

27°- 30°, night can be fresh around 17°, 65% and 85% humidity.
Sunrise around 6am Sunset around 6pm.

Property Facts

The farm is very scenic and quiet, with a waterfall, mountain trails and 30 hectares of native forest. It takes about 3 hours to walk around the 76 has property. It starts at 800 meters above the sea level and ends at about 1’300! Yes, there are multiple microclimates here. It’s located at the edge of the Sierra and the so called Oriente (Amazonas Region) of Ecuador.

Language Spoken

Most of the team is multilingual here: Spanish, English, French, German, Swiss German

Dont’s

You just have to bring a open minded view, respect the environment, animals, our place and there rules. We don’t allow drugs or any other illegal addictions. No hunting. No cows, No fumigation/chemicals. We don’t do “parties” at our property we listen mostly to the sound of nature. We do invite friends once a while to socialize with and exchange news and have a good time. We take care of nature and follow a healthy lifestyle. We’re not vegetarian or vegan but are more focused on plants, less meat. Please keep you’re trash out, including the amount of plastic! If any, use natural cosmetics, shampoo etc. best bring them with you! No chemicals! Just one example, most deodorants contain Aluminum … !

Explore

Ecuador has a lot to offer! We have set up for you a travel map, where you can see what’s around the PermaTree finca.

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