A typical day
We begin the day at 6:15 am, when we start morning routines - Animal feeding and cleaning, harvesting, irrigation and preparing breakfast. Each person is allocated to a new routine each week, which runs from Tuesday through to the following Monday. We always try to organize the routines in a way which gives volunteers a variety during their stay. Everyone agrees that doing a routine duty at the beginning of the day makes you appreciate breakfast so much more! Routines are not mandatory on Saturday if you are at the farm, but not on Sundays. Help in the kitchen on the weekends if you have time to spare, is always welcome and much appreciated by the staff!
At 7:30 we have breakfast, then the people on the roster wash dishes will do so, and everyone else has some time to find a hammock and relax before starting farm work at 8:30.
At 8:30 we meet outside the main house and the morning’s work is divided up, with each volunteer or group of volunteers working with one of the farm staff in the area they’ve been assigned to for the day. Everyone needs to be ready for work at 8:30, with boots, sunscreen, water and anything else you may need – please don’t make the team wait for you! Work in the mornings will normally consist of a duties such as planting, transplanting, composting, weeding, fertilizing, irrigating (in the dry season) and seeding activities - depending on what needs doing, the time of year, and the lunar phase.
At 12 p.m. we stop for lunch (vegetable soup, fruit juice and a second course normally with rice, beans, salad and cooked vegetables). Then, as with breakfast, some people will be on the rostered for dish washing, and the rest have free time – a midday siesta is often the popular choice! Free time is until 1:30 p.m., when we meet again to distribute the afternoon activities.
Afternoon work is in projects, which can be done with farm staff or with other volunteers, depending on the nature of the work and the knowledge/skills of those undertaking the project. Projects are generally of a more long-term nature, and often less physically demanding involving construction and maintenance on the farm, community development work, computer work, canning, art work, and possibly help in rural schools in our extension program.
Because of the nature of project-based work, we like to have people work on the same project(s) throughout their stay at the farm, as it gives a great feeling of achievement to see something through from start to finish, and share the experience of creating something lasting with others.
At 4 p.m. we finish work for the day, and the rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to enjoy as you wish.
Dinner is at 6 p.m., consisting of a first course and fresh fruit/herb tea, again with two or three people washing the dishes. We have films about environmental issues, permaculture, organic farming and other topics which we offer volunteers – when we do an evening activity such as watching a video, we typically start at 7:30 p.m.
On Wednesdays we have “cultural afternoon”, when we all join in a range of activities based on the local culture; Such as fishing river shrimppreparing and cooking a typical dish, etc. Cultural afternoon activities are optional, but they are always great fun, so don’t miss out! If you are here for a long stay, you will have done all the activities and Wednesday afternoon just becomes free time.
Check out the volunteer FAQs for more info!