Volunteer

We are very happy to welcome people onto this land and into this project and we are looking for volunteers who want to help us develop the Awakened Forest Project. 
                   
It is clear to us that humanity (we!) are at a crossroads and we need to transform our ways of living in all dimensions to meet the challenges of our time. 
The Awakened Forest Project is the expression of our response to the crisis we are facing, it’s an expression of our passion, and devotion to what we love. 
We understand ourselves and our project to be a small part of a much greater picture and we see our work in a deep time perspective, that in a very real way extends far beyond our own beautiful mountain-farm and woodlands. 
 
For volunteers it is most important that you are inspired with our vision and that you find in yourself the spirit of sacred activism or what in the east is called Karma Yoga - which is the  willingness to give and contribute to a higher purpose that transcends our small, separate sense of self. There are many things you can learn here, and in that sense you will be getting a lot, but this is only the right place for you if you deeply resonate with our vision and fundamentally feel that you want to jump in and help with what we want to do.  
 
Please have a look at the website of the Awakened Life Project (ALP) which is our wider network and spiritual home and, if you are interested in volunteering with us, read the ALP Vision page to see if you resonate with the foundation of our Forest Project.
 
We ask that all volunteers to join us in meditation for an hour every morning except Sundays. If you are not interested in meditation this is probably not the place for you. If you have never meditated before that is not a problem at all - we are happy to guide you and get you started and will always endeavor to answer any questions you have. We often have a silent day once a week and meetings to talk about anything that has arisen during the week or any questions anyone wishes to bring.
 
We have an amazing library of books on permaculture, sustainability, woodwork and nature mysticism to name a few. At night we sometimes we watch films or have discussions. We love to talk about our work and our perspective and will always meet your interest. There is also the space outside of work time to simply let yourself be. We live in a stunning protected area with waterfalls, mountains and wonderful walking, and we are passionate about giving people the chance to spend time embraced by Nature.
 
In the spirit of supporting the Forest Project we ask volunteers to contribute €3-5 per day and 6 hours work, 5 days a week. If you would like to work less we ask for €15 a day for 3 hours work 5 days a week. The contribution includes all food, accommodation, meals and use of library. 
If you really think this is the right place for you but paying €3 per day is an obstacle to you please get in touch and we will see if we can find a solution.


 

Internet

We have limited internet access through a dongle. Volunteers may use this to confirm flights or make emergency emails but otherwise internet access is at the local village at the weekends and you will need your own computer. Please note we do not have a printer for coach tickets and boarding passes.

The local village, Pardieiros, is charming with a community-run cafe with internet access 30 minutes walk away. There is a protected remnant forest called Mata da Magaraça 40 minutes walk away and the famous Fraga da Pena waterfalls 10 minutes walk away. Our nearest town, Coja, is 20 minutes by car and there is no public transport though you may be able to arrange a lift locally. 

We have 2 amazing dogs called Missi and Balu who are very friendly and love visitors.

Because we are interested in living a conscious holistic life we have a few rules to support this during your stay:

· No drugs
· No smoking
· No drinking (other than an occasional glass of wine or Port - we are in Portugal after all!)

The Work

At the moment our work is focused on our eco-building projects and there are a range of building tasks such as tiling, electrics, plastering, woodwork, green woodworking and cob building. There is also firewood to produce and work on the land. We live an outdoor life, so you must enjoy physical work in any weather and be fairly robust, though we do try and find indoor work in heavy rain! We also ask that everyone takes a share with domestic chores such as cooking and cleaning. We ask for 6 hours of work per day Mon-Fri plus participation in shared domestic tasks. Saturday and Sunday are free days. 

Facilities

Accommodation is a tent on our land. We have an indoor wood-fired shower and compost toilet. For the adventurous we have beautiful wild mountain stream running through our land and our own private dipping pool. We don't have coffee but this is more effective than espresso for a morning wake-up!!


We also have an outdoor kitchen with rocket stove oven. We do all our cooking using wood and heat all our water with wood. We provide a simple but delicious vegetarian diet with lots of salad, grains and vegetables with local eggs and goat milk and wild greens. We eat three meals together and everyone takes turn preparing food and clearing-up. We also share the cleaning of communal spaces.

What you will need to bring:

  • A headtorch - ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL as we don't have spares and it gets dark here!
  • Waterproof coat and trousers for working outside in the rain
  • Clothes to work in that can get spoiled!
  • Sun hat - the sun is strong here
  • Eco friendly Sunblock if you use it
  • Biodegradable organic soap and shampoo - we can provide soap and have some shampoo to sell if you can't buy any but everyone should use this anyway!!
  • Flouride free toothpaste - we can sell home made toothpwder if you can't obtain flouride free toothpaste
  • Bedding - sleeping bag, pillow case and mattress if you are camping. If you are flying and cannot carry all of this please let me know in advance
  • Towel
  • Musical instrument if you have one!

If you would like to apply to volunteer please email me, Laura, at info@awakenedforestproject.org and let me know some detail about why you would like to volunteer with us and how you resonate with our vision and I will get back to you.

 

 

Events

Benfeita, May 1st 2017
Para Português clique aqui
 
Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita October 21st 10 - 5pm

I am very happy to announce another opportunity to begin to learn the art and science of foraging in our beautiful valley in the Serra do Açor.

Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita 12 - 15 October 2017

In our times crafts such as green woodwork are something truly revolutionary. We find making a useful product with ones own hands straight from the forest is totally inspiring.  Not only is such work simply sustainable it is also deeply...

Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita - Date TBC 2018

People have retreated to wild places for millennia to find inner peace and a greater perspective on life. Nature, in it’s simplicity and beauty, supports a profound relaxation in body, mind and soul.

LATEST BLOG POSTS

Many people have asked us how they can help in the wake of the fires and all we have lost. We are very touched and grateful for these offers of support. Here are some ways you can help:

 
We have started building the second floor of the workshop!! This will be our last major build here and will provide a dormitory and meditation/workshop room which will increase our capacities for events and hosting people, especially outside of the summer months.
I am passionate about building with round wood because it simply makes so much sense.
It’s autumn again and the abundance is obvious. The forest and land is heaving with food and we know of no greater joy than getting out into the hills and foraging this freely given resource.
 

So we have some systems and facilities coming online this month - very exciting!!

Davi and Hazel have been working hard on the bathroom tiling, building glass brick walls and crafting mosaics. It looks beautiful!