Finca los Frutales
You are more than welcome to join us on our beautiful permaculture fruit farm, where we live off the bounty of the land, and where we work to sustain Mother Nature so she can keep on sustaining us.
We created the farm around four years ago as a sanctuary where we and other learners, travellers, nature-enthusiasts, (aspiring) botanists, environmentalists and anyone else who so desires could live according to permaculture principles. We combine hard, satisfying physical work with blissful moments of hammock and riverside relaxation, fuelled by food we plant, organically fertilise, water, weed, harvest and lovingly prepare ourselves. It doesn't get fresher or more local than this. We can introduce you to or expand your knowledge of multiple species of fruit (we have ~90 varieties here), edible leaves, nuts, medicinal plants, herbs and vegetables, from seeds to how best to consume them all.
Please be aware that, by its nature, farm-work is often very physically demanding, so we recommend getting in touch only if you are prepared for some effort. This is not to say we will only accept musclemen – on the contrary – your physical condition is unimportant. As long as you are prepared to to give your full effort to the task at hand, that is all that is required. If you are expecting to work hard, eat well, and learn a lot, you will be richly rewarded. If you come expecting a summer holiday with cocktails in coconuts, you will be sorely disappointed.
We believe that the rewards of volunteering come from giving; in the pleasure of contributing to a worthy cause through hard work. Along the way you learn much about the world, nature, and yourself, but the priority is the spirit of helping. We are delighted to welcome people who share this understanding of volunteering.
We eat vegetarian food (easily adaptable to vegan) except if the fresh fish vendor comes by, in which case, if you like, we can add fish to the menu. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let me know and we would be happy to accommodate you.
We have 20 hectares of land, the majority of which are kept as protected forest, so you can observe howler monkeys, land turtles, multiples species of birds and more, and which we are reforesting with native trees, and the remaining hectares are for agricultural purposes. The house is the focal point of the farm, around which we have the dry toilet, a solar water heating system for hot showers, a rain water collection system, goat and chicken enclosures (animals to come soon), the herb garden, vegetable patch, a proliferation of colourful flowers, and of course, fruit trees.
We happy to share our space with 1-4 volunteers at the same time (quality over quantity) but it can happen that you are alone with us, so if you are looking for more socialising with other volunteers then this might not be the right place for you. We don't have workshops or any tourist program: the focus is on helping in any kind of way around the farm.
We are situated in Manabi province, a little inland from the beach town of Canoa, which you can visit on weekends if you fancy surfing. There are no mosquito transmitted diseases to be worried about here. The temperature ranges from 18 to 30 degrees C, with the rainy season falling between January to May and the the dry season running from June to December. Even in the rainy season the rain is only intermittent.
Type of help:
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
The activities vary according to the time of year, necessity, and your abilities and interests. Here is a sample list of projects:
• Organic fertilizing, mulching
• Preparing food (mostly) from the garden for lunch and dinner
And potentially these activities depending on time of year:
• Bioconstruction of ecolodge
• Solar dehydrator construction
• Building a self-sufficient goat or chicken pen
• Making vinegar from various fruits
We live in a two storied octagonal house built from wood and bamboo. The upper floor has a walk-around balcony, from which you can enjoy a 360 degree panorama of nature. Volunteers are welcome to two double beds with bedding and mosquito nets.
As it is never cold, we live in an open space house, which means you can fall asleep to the sound of chirruping insects and wake up to the first greeting songs of the birds and the calls of the monkeys.
It's a good idea to bring work gloves.
The farm asks for a $5 donation per day from each volunteer to help balance the value of the exchange, which supports us in our community commitment to provide employment, and to enable us to offer such high quality nourishment that is our way of serving you, and for the rich experience we offer in our sharing of ourselves and our vision. This donation policy is in accordance with several of the other farms and centers in our area who host volunteers, and is a reflection of the reality of the times in which we live.
This is an independent project with no support from any NGOs or similar. I hope it is not a problem.
The minimum stay is a week, but two is preferred to give us time to get to know each other and for you to fully adapt to the new lifestyle and working environment. Volunteers tend to get the best out of their time when they come committed to working hard and fully immersing themselves with not the wonderfully fruitful symbiotic relationship with nature we experience every day here.
If your plans change and you end up having to leave sooner than expected, please bear in mind that you will be expected to cover the expenses of the agreed upon days.
How many volunteers can stay?:
More than two
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities:
.There is a lot to learn about Permaculture, which involves endless activities such as mulching, weeding, seedling, planting, pruning and a lot more....
The countryside lifestyle is always a new thing for most of the volunteers with all is wisdom, peacefulness and magic.
Definitely volunteers are gonna make an improvement on their Spanish and experience the gastronomy, mixed of local products and exotic ones.
Maximum 6 hours a day, 5 days a week
.We created the farm around four years ago as a sanctuary where we and other learners, travellers, nature-enthusiasts, (aspiring) botanists, environmentalists and anyone else who so desires could live according to permaculture principles. We combine hard, satisfying physical work with blissful moments of hammock and riverside relaxation, fuelled by food we plant, organically fertilise, water, weed, harvest and lovingly prepare ourselves. It doesn't get fresher or more local than this. We can introduce you to or expand your knowledge of multiple species of fruit (we have ~90 varieties here), edible leaves, nuts, medicinal plants, herbs and vegetables, from seeds to how best to consume them all.