FarmingFarming in Intag is still somewhat comparable to what was a way a life for many in Europe or North America some 100 years ago. Most farms are small-holdings with a mixture of animals and crops.
Volunteers are placed with families who have patience and a sense of humour as you try your hand at tasks that have largely disappeared in industrialized countries.
A wide variety of activities, for example:
- Milking and cheese making and caring for dairy cattle.
- Caring for poultry latin- american style
- Soil preparation, sowing, aftercare, harvesting - andean and sub-tropical fruit and vegetables, using traditonal Andean techniques
- use of horses to carry people and goods.
- The cultivation of cane sugar the traditional way.
- Sisal fibre extraction for rope-making and craftwork
- Preparation and cooking of produce in the traditional Intag way.
A list like this does not really convey the beauty of a farming placement in Intag, which has very little to do with agricultural techniques and much more to do with spending time with friendly and independent people in a beautiful, remote part of the world: you might be surprised to discover how much more self-reliant you are than "modern" life has led you to believe! A farming placement is also a great chance for those interested in ecological issues to understand some of the problems and solutions related to balancing food production with conservation. It's an insight into real life conservation and ecology that cannot be conveyed by text-books.
It is not necessary to be especially strong to succeed in a farming volunteer placement in Intag. Placements are open to all. It is maybe helpful to consider that a way of life sometimes markedly different from a western lifestyle can nonetheless be both healthy and fun, and can build your self-confidence and ability to enjoy life under a wide range of circumstances. Some people would call this an "off-the-grid experience", and if this might be a good fit for your expectations, perhaps a browse of our blog would be helpful: www.ecotouristadventure.wordpress.com
What is expected of you?
Hours are approximately 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and we ask that you work for at least 5 hours per day. Most of the work is outdoors, and involves physical activity. Since these are tasks that would probably be unfamiliar to you, you are not necessarily expected to be especially productive, and this is a placement that would suit people who enjoy learning new tasks and seeing how other people live close to nature.
Other opportunities in farm work:
For those interested in a jungle experience, farming in a tropical/sub-tropical climate, we recommend a stay with Mariana and Nelson Quinchiguango, who live about 50 kilometres further down the Intag valleys in the parish of Cielo Verde. Here bananas, pineapples, pitahayas, papayas and cattle are the mainstays. Nelson is an unusual man, gifted with extraordinary energy, and a stay with him and his family (Sra. Mariana, daughter Milena aged about 10 and son Santiago aged about 7) would suit someone who is interested in teaching at the local school, and/or in learning about sub-tropical agriculture and forests in Latin America.
Contact the project coordinator direct at firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone (including national and international codes) ## 593 6 3017543