Whilst we want you to get the most from your experience with us, we also need to achieve something from our partnership with you. Therefore to avoid any disappointment for both parties we have outlined below what we need from you as a volunteer. Remember, we are a private working farm, off grid and in a small distant rural community in Mexico.
Necessary (these are NOT negotiable):
- You need to be physically able and fit (for instance to do farm jobs such as hauling bags of manure, pushing wheelbarrows, pulling water, carrying rocks etc).
- You will also need to be emotionally stable. Please try and understand this, it is not meant to be rude but meant in good faith. If you have emotional baggage, clearly it can’t be left behind when you travel as you carry them in your head! We have had some volunteers who blast energy to overcome issues and do exceptionally well here. If you are looking to escape your issues but are simply carrying baggage, you will remain generally unhappy. It is a tough environment here. We want you happy, even if this is not with us…
- Your stay with us (read EVERYTHING you do here) is ENTIRELY at YOUR OWN risk. We will not insist you to do something you are unhappy with, so if you are unable to assess or accept the risk, please look elsewhere.
- You MUST have enough funds to get yourself home early if necessary in case of emergency – stuff happens! ( This means an open plane ticket (or change fee) plus direct taxi fare to airport would be a MINIMUM, or funds for any possible hospital treatment and transport locally.
- A suitable visa for volunteering – most countries a tourist visa is enough, but please consult your national Mexican Embassy. You will not be earning any money and nobody is likely to check. However, this is YOUR responsibility.
- An ability to see for yourself what would be right for Lodgecol and act accordingly.
- A commitment to manage your own time with respect to the work for the lodgings deal with Lodgecol. There is no clocking in or out and we hope that you want to give more than the minimum because you want to be here. We can’t (and don’t want to) micro manage volunteers.
- Flexible attitude and to willingness to do what is needed. Some farm work is planned, some is reactive.
- Good communication skills
- Enthusiasm to start things with a determination to complete
- Hard working attitude (it is extremely hard work), a willingness to learn and to teach others, to be able to work alone and / or in a team. We need volunteers who after being shown and understanding what needs to be done, are happy to work unsupervised. We do NOT have the time to hold your hand as there are other things that need to be done too (for which volunteers are not suitable)
- Tolerance of creepy crawlies. Yes, there are scorpions, spiders, wasps, venomous and non-venomous snakes, lizards and iguanas, vultures, frogs, racoons, opossums, ants, vampire bats, beetles, millipedes, mosquitoes and ticks etc. However, there are also armadillos, coati, fruit bats, deer, beautiful birds, wild stingless bees, chickens, ducks, wild cats, paca, deer, jaguarundi, kinkajou, turtles and fish and lots more too.
- Some Spanish language skills
- Permaculture knowledge (there is a free course available here).
- A skill, trade or transferable experience that would suit our job list (basically things like construction, planting, permaculture design, animal and plant care etc.)
- A strong interest in the natural environment
- A strong ethic for a more sustainable lifestyle
- Insurance suitable for volunteer is strongly advised but not essential (see above).
Outline Rules and Guidance
We don’t want this to be full of hard rules, but some basics are needed as both yourselves and ourselves are investing a lot in this.
- This experience is ENTIRELY at your own risk. We will do our best to make it as safe and enjoyable as possible, but there are inherent dangers in what we are doing. Acceptance that your time spent with Lodgecol is entirely at your own risk is a prerequisite to being accepted to stay here.
- Any special requirements must be agreed before arrival.
- All tools will be provided by Lodgecol which is also responsible for wear, tear and all materials and consumables. HOWEVER, anything lost (or unaccounted for) or broken through abuse or neglect will be replaced by volunteer. We have no income, so a lost or abused tool is a big deal for us.
- Insect repellents with DEET are not allowed on site. There are many great natural alternatives so please ask your pharmacist or research on line. We cannot tell you what to buy as this varies by location. One of our volunteers made her own!
- Wash before swimming if you have been using sun creams etc. This is our drinking water for us and our neighbours and also contains sensitive wildlife!
- Volunteers are responsible for their share of domestic chores in addition to the farm working hours.
- Alcohol is NOT included, but may be purchased on site for consumption
- Arrivals and departures can be collected / dropped off in Valladolid by prior arrangement, usually Wednesday. There is a page on how to find us too.
- We will try and arrange the jobs to be done by those with the highest enthusiasm and or experience to get the best result for all. There will of course be some jobs that everybody wants to do and some that nobody wants to.
- We are a not for profit. We will supply funding for any sanctioned work. However, any other non-Lodgecol costs etc. will be at volunteer’s expense. – e.g. we may all go to the beach or an archaeological site on a day off, you are free to hitch a ride, but the food at a restaurant or entrance would be down to you.