This page has been written for people who would like to come here and experience the real off-grid experience. This is how we lived before our house was finished, and it was one of the happiest times in our lives. We hope that staying here for a while can inspire you to start your own project elsewhere (or nearby?).
In exchange for living in the maset, we expect you to help us out from time to time (see below).
To go back to the main volunteering page, please click here. Most information about volunteering at Mas del Encanto can be found on the main page; here are some specifics for the spring & summer of 2017. For now, we're only offering this option between March and October of 2017.
You can stay in the Maset, which is the converted stone stable we lived in before our big house was finished. The maset has its own solar power system and running water, as well as a gas burner to cook on; there is an outside bathroom (with solar heated shower and composting toilet) one terrace down. When the weather is nice this is fantastic and it feels a bit like very fancy camping, if it's cold or rainy it can't be considered luxurious. What the maset doesn't have (for now) is a fridge; we'd love to try a zeer pot. There is a cool cellar though.
The maset doesn't have its own internet / wifi; you're welcome to come up to the house to check e-mails and such. If you're looking for a place where you can surf the web during all of your free time, this is not for you.
You can do laundry up at our house, just check with us before.
2. Work exchange
The exchange for working in the maset can be either of those options:
- "Normal" volunteering exchange: you help us out for about 25 hours a week, we share most meals, and we provide you with basic foodstuffs so you can make your own breakfast and cook in between meals if you'd like. Please check this page to know how it normally goes.
- Accommodation only exchange: you help us out 1 or 2 half days a week and / or do some house sitting for us at times, and in exchange you get the use of the maset (and we could share lunch on working days).
- In some cases (when we really need a project finished), we might offer you to work more hours in exchange for money. Please don't count on it though; most of the time, we're just as happy to finish a project after you've gone.
- Or anything in between...
3. Type of work
We might have contacted you about a specific job that needs to be done - in that case, we'll probably mostly concentrate on that project. If not, the things we can use help for between March and October are the following:
- Change-overs at our bed & breakfast and at another villa we're responsible for close by. This means changing beds, cleaning bathrooms and bedrooms, and (at the other house) mowing the grass and cleaning the pool.
- House sitting: we don't like to leave our house (and especially, our animals) unattended when we go away for the day - and so far we haven't been able to leave overnight without lengthy preparations (which included looking for a house sitter). House sitting so far just requires feeding the dogs, locking up the chickens at night (and opening their coop again in the morning); we are planning to acquire alpacas pretty soon, they will need feeding and watching over as well.
- There's always stuff to build, things to do in the garden, projects in need of execution. And as far as plans go - life always gets in the way of them, so it's pretty difficult to say now what exactly we'll be doing in 3 months :-)
4. Plans with the maset
We loved living in the maset; to us it's everything we need in life (at least, until it gets really cold and the hoses on the roof of the bathroom won't heat the shower for days and days). However, we'd like to make it even better - make a bathroom inside (or attached to it), a functional outdoors kitchen (with a roof) and maybe add some garden beds around it / make it prettier and more comfortable to live in and around. If this is a project you'd like to tackle, we're open to suggestions!
5. What to bring
Even in summer, a jacket for the wind can be a good idea. In spring and fall, make sure you've got warm clothes for cold mornings and evenings. Also, do bring clothes that you can wear while working - we work with cement, mud and stones (or sometimes even painting), so your clothes might get dirty. I'd also recommend an extra pair of shoes (working shoes + a pair to walk around in the rest of the time).
Don't forget sunscreen and a hat for the sun.
Apart from that, we can provide you with just about everything - just ask us if you're missing something.
Still interested in taking up this challenge after reading this? Let us know!