Practically it means, that as a volunteer, you commit to help five days a week, 5 hours a day in Vale da Alegria.
In the morning after breakfast we start together to connect and then you choose where you want to put your skills or perhaps something you want to learn. The variety of work is great.
For this you get accommodation in one of the large divided tipi tents, your own sleeping quarters with bed including bedding and three vegetarian meals a day.
You are automatically part of the community life and may participate in all the free activities that take place there such as yoga, meditations, aerial silk class, music nights with campfire, our weekly pizza party, fan clubs, etc. You are cordially invited to also bring in your own things you would like to share.
The shared car "Bassie" can be used for trips on days off.
As of May 2023 we can give place to ten volunteers.
But you can also send an email directly to email@example.com.
Write in the mail a short explanation about yourself, your motivation to come to Vale da Alegria, what period and how long you want to stay (minimum two weeks). Surprise us with what talents you want to contribute.
- Loam the walls of the group kitchen
- Making a terrace near the kitchen
- Building an organic toilet block and outdoor shower
- Restoring the pizza oven
- Creating and starting the vegetable garden
- Planting of our own orchard
- Playfully build walls along our beach and vegetable garden
- Cutting eucalyptus trees and peeling the bark
- Carpentry of decks for the tipi tents
- Construction of beach volleyball court
- Cleaning up the barrage (swimming pond)
It is with much gratitude that we give each volunteer a place in our volunteer gallery.
Our dear sister. What a fine, sweet and special woman this is!
The first volunteer and immediately a fantastic one.
We asked her to build our website and immediately she said "yes, great!". And she turned it into something wonderful that we are very happy with.
She is so incredibly handy and with angel patience she taught us how to update and change things and everything we need to know.
But even now, if there is anything, with the website or anything else, she is always willing to help.
Also, always quick and accurate, we have really lucked out with Sandra.
When we were still living in the Netherlands, Erik lived with us in the community for a while and heard about our plans.
Immediately he became very enthusiastic and came up with the idea to make a nice start in the field with a group of volunteers.
Erik organises four-day men's initiations (see on the internet at: 'Vrij mens zijn' (Being a free man). And through his network, a wonderful group of men (and women and children) was formed. A real pioneering group in which we could discover all kinds of things.
We experience Erik as a very committed, beautiful person. Lots of knowledge in the field of 'men's work' but also incredibly handy and skilful with odd jobs. Mainly he helped with the installation of the solar panels and he was also always willing to run errands and 'drive'.
Grateful for this great start and the learning and enjoyable weeks with him.
'What an adventure and how lucky I was to be among the first group of pioneers. There was almost nothing yet, a nice well, a toilet in the wide world, a small old farmhouse, some roads and plateaus. So there was plenty to build and fix up. I slept in a tent with two other men. In no time, we were able to share personal stories and sometimes support each other.
Punam and Wim are very warm, hospitable people, with whom I soon felt very connected and familiar. The group was very close, we shared daily and worked together on small projects. Dividing into the little projects was actually automatic and I thoroughly enjoyed doing them.
I really felt alive, enjoyment was that. So I got to work with the motor-strimmer, chainsaw and grinder and was towing the broken-down ambulance bus with Wim behind the wheel with the land rover. I enjoyed the space, trust and appreciation I got, which is a lot less in my work in the Netherlands. In short, I had a very nice time with super nice weather so I will definitely go back again..... '
'What a rich experience to contribute as a member of the first group of volunteers to realise Wim and Punam's dream in this beautiful and unique place!
Wonderful to pick up concrete jobs with my hands and see the village community grow, with highlights like a new roof and the first self-generated electricity.
I experienced the group dynamic as pure and intimate, where everything is welcome. I am very curious to see how this place develops and wish Wim and Punam and all future residents and volunteers every success and pleasure in doing so.'
Sander revealed himself as a community cook.
So nice to see how he took care of the meals more and more as the weeks went by. Very creative with what was available at the time, he came up with delicious dishes.
Until the last day, where he turned it into a final spectacle. In the afternoon, he baked pancakes for everyone, which were received like hotcakes, made pizza dough and all kinds of toppings and we had a real pizza party. And finally he had baked an apple pie in the pizza oven which he served with ice cream by the campfire in the evening!
In fact, we didn't want to let him go.
'From 2 to 13 May, I joined Wim and Punam to help build the start-up community. I was part of the first group of volunteers put together by Erik. I had a wonderful time at the community.
I was keen to help with physical work and construction work because I don't do much of this in my normal life. Together with some others, I restored the roof of the storage shed, which I really enjoyed doing.
The working atmosphere was nice. Being busy for a few hours a day was nice.
I also liked being together with the community. We started the day with a sharing circle and a cup of coffee to start the day in connection with each other. We also shared lunch and dinner together and in the evening there was often another campfire where we would sit together.
I found it a beautiful, peaceful place and think I will come back again.'
Camiel is Ilana's 12-year-old son and came along on the pioneer weeks with Patrick and Ilana.
What a lovely pure youngster!
He helped with almost every job. For instance, he spent a day on the roof with Bart to put all the tiles on, watched for hours with Eibert-Jan when he was installing. Helped Sander knead the pizza dough and mix the pancake batter.
But he could also enjoy being alone and doing all sorts of things.
For example, he built an abseiling run off a rock and a swing on the beach. And in the evenings, he managed to get many to play cards and enjoyed hosting campfires.
Ilana was our wonderfully sociable flying tipper. Anywhere help was needed, she jumped in. Very tough, not afraid to get dirty and willing to do anything.
She made them delicious breakfasts (with a lot of eye for cosy decoration which always made it extra tasty), handed over many roof tiles, cut blackberries and so many invisible other jobs.
Very grateful we are also for her clear and beautiful insights.
Her input in group moments was fine and inspiring
In the Netherlands, Wim went looking for someone who could make our solar installation and that's how we ended up with Eibert-Jan from Boetronics. ( https://www.boetronics.nl )
What a great choice! This man has such enormous knowledge and passion. In the Netherlands, he thought out and assembled everything. An impressive and heavy installation. When Wim came to pick this up from him, he was given explanations about installing it in Portugal but soon Wim started to get dizzy. When asked if Eibert-Jan would like to come over and connect the installation on site, he immediately liked the idea.
And so he found himself cosily in the middle of the pioneering weeks. Extremely helpful, nice, interested in everyone and of course extremely skilled.
Great to have him here for a week and we are very thankful for his great working installation.
Our great help in preparing and setting up our house was Dina.
Physically but also mentally, she was there to help us, which we needed exactly at that moment.
In addition, a delightful and sociable woman. Very nice about her is that she tackles everything and also has a lot of knowledge. For instance, she effortlessly got to work with the brushcutter. She screwed and drilled everything together with ease, even under the house. She freed cacti from weeds and brambles, and created stone walls from all the found stones on the property. She also said so beautifully and proudly about herself: 'The little builder in myself is coming to life.'
What was also very nice were her logistical skills. For instance, they sorted the wood from the container by lengths and they were cleverly stored in the wood storage.
But perhaps most insightful was her vast knowledge of Chinese health teachings. She can talk about this for hours fascinatingly and knows what she is talking about.
You can stay here with your own camper or pitch your tent and pay 15 euros per night (100 euros per week) or use a 'De Waard' tent set up by us with beds made up for 200 euros per week.
Later in the year these will become real nice 'glaming' places with verandas etc., there will also be apartments but for now these are the possibilities.