This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.
What if you have budget or time constraints and a "typical" vacation just isn't in the cards right now? Perhaps you really want to learn how to build and grow food and become more self-sufficient but you can't take time off to come to Ecuador when we are teaching a workshop. Or maybe your favorite teacher is leading a retreat at Sueño de Vida and you need some help paying for it. We get it. Neither Juan nor I were rich coming in to this endeavor; we are putting every ounce of ourselves into making it happen. But we had and continue to receive help from a community that believes in our vision and our ability to act on it. It's only just and fair for us to pay it forward.
We believe all the ecological living in the world counts for nothing without justice. A sustainable way is by definition a fair way. The techniques and wisdoms we wish to pass along must be accessible to all who want to learn.
If you can offer 2-3 hours of honest work per day, an average of 15 hours per week, you are welcome to stay and learn at Sueño de Vida for a reduced rate of $10/day. This low fee covers lodging, meals, and snacks. Kristen prepares a healthy breakfast, nourishing mid-day meal, and lighter evening fare daily. For details and pics on housing and types of food offered, see Accommodations and Attractions. Excursions are also available to helpers at the prices listed. Use the button below to reserve your space for one week. You can opt to stay for a maximum duration of three weeks.
Helping out at Sueño de Vida essentially gives you the same opportunity to learn many of the things we will teach in our workshops, but in a more gradual, tangible, and integrated way. You can become familiar with the land, the feel of the soil, the native plants, the ebb and flow of the river. You can absorb and assimilate ways of living that you help you become more self-reliant and tap your own creativity, not as a visitor, but as an inhabitant.
While some of the tasks we ask you to do will depend on what projects we’re working on during your stay, we’ll also consider your interests and abilities. Some people love to get their hands in the dirt, digging and planting. Some love to build things. Others excel at organizing and may find they have a passion for cataloging seeds. And while you probably won’t find everything you do here equally fascinating--like washing dishes--be assured if you have a deep-seated fear of worms or power tools no one will *make* you turn the compost or cut bottles. There is plenty to do!
Want to know what it's really like? Read this experience from some helpers from Montreal who decided to stay on Ecuador and start their own eco-conscious project!
"We loved our experience. We helped building earthbag walls. Their finca is gorgeous and off-the-grid. They have two wonderful dogs and two horses. What's incredible about their story is that they built everything from scratch in a year and a half. Of course there is still a lot to do, but you have as of now you'll have a comfortable bed in a bamboo house, a shower and bathrooms.
After work, we spent all our after noon talking, playing cards, admiring their land and learning from them. Kristen made sure we had delicious complete meals. She is passionate about food production and self-sufficiency and love to share her knowledge. Juan is really funny, relaxeded and a knows a lot about building.
They gave us so many advices and offered their help so many times. We are really grateful for this incredible workaway experience that turned into friendship. If you want to build and get more insights on how to live of the grid in Ecuador we strongly recommend staying with them." —Madeline and Guillahme, creators of The Green Escape Project, Canoa ECU