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Permaculture farm / Eco-Lodge in the lake region of southern Chile

World, South America, Chile, Puerto Octay


Travel dates

About the workproject

We need 11 volunteers

Here we are establishing the foundations for a sustainable ecosystem in which people can discover and experience the benefits of human re-integration with nature. Moving from conventional agricultural practices to mimic those that nature intended is foremost, followed by the development of a learning center to instill environmental awareness and life skills to upcoming generations. Our mission is to offer the world a working model for community living that enhances quality of life and insures sustained wellbeing.

Location & History:
The farm consists of 600 acres on the north banks the Lake, Región de Los Lagos, Chile. Conventional farming practices were pursued on the property for many years, resulting in deforestation in certain areas. For about a generation, some of these areas have been left to succeed & rejoin those areas that were left untouched, providing great opportunity to observe the natural restoration behavior of the landscape itself.

Nestled in the forest is a large barn which will act as the hub of all agricultural activities. The aim is to establish permaculture formed forest gardens around the barn that will not only provide for those that reside there, but also generate a surplus of produce, which can be directly marketed to the surrounding communities to a) promote localization of food supply systems, & b) ensure that people have the option of obtaining organically grown, fresh & healthy produce at an affordable price. Any profits made here will go straight back into the community to enhance the agricultural practices & advance the barn to a stage where it can become a learning center for the next generation in Chile. We feel it is essential to provide today’s youth with an opportunity to see how such sustainable practices can work on a broad scale, and the reasons why.

Where to Start:
There are several initial broad areas of operation, which are all connected in some way. As such it is difficult to form a numbered list of jobs to perform, however, our attempt to linearize the initial design steps are as follows:
1. Renovate the barn to a standard at which several people can reside within comfortably. There is a lakeside lodge (~30min walk / short drive) from the barn that acts as an initial base.
2. Plant polycultures of crops in areas near the barn that will soon begin providing for the residents
3. Establish a rotational grazing system that will provide healthy pastures for pigs, cattle (dairy & beef), chickens & sheep.
4. Finalise the design of the gardens & put this design into practice
6. Observe the system progress & respond / maintain accordingly

In general the work varies between working in the gardens, harvesting crops, light construction, animal husbandry, computer and administrative tasks.

We require a 6 week commitment with the possibility of staying on longer by mutual agreement as part of the permanent community. The high season is from 1st Oct through to end of April, during this period we can go up to 35 volunteers at one time. In the winter (May to September) we sometimes drop to 10 volunteers when the weather is colder and wetter.

When contacting us, please could you let us know when you would like to come, how long you would like to stay for, what your skill set and abilities are and what your contribution would be.

Please can you plan to arrive here on a Monday as our orientation day is on Tuesdays.

About the host

Greg (66)

Host since



German, English, Spanish

Last seen online

Greg is the owner of the farm and the orchestrator of the madness that is a farm crawling with up to 60 volunteers during summer. Open-hearted and generous, he has been working hard for the last 3 years to create a community of people that can add to the farm, each other's lives and future projects for learning and sharing.

Project dates

Open for offers, contact us

Work to be done

  • gardening
  • construction
  • farming
  • help in the house
  • teaching projects
  • maintenance tasks

Expected workhours

  • 5 hours a day
  • 6 days a week

Work exchange deal

  • shared room, tent

In and around the farm there are many places to sleep. On your arrival you will be assigned a sleeping place, which is usually a bunk bed in the barn. If you are traveling with a tent there are many nice places to camp on the property, especially in the camping area of the forest village. There are (possible) hot showers available in the lodge and a solar shower near the barn, but otherwise you will have cold showers or the lake. If staying in the barn you won't have electricity, but the lodge does have permanent power.

  • shared meals

Every day, except for Sunday, breakfast is served at 8:00 and lunch straight after work at 14:00. On Sundays we sleep in and combine breakfast and lunch into brunch, usually around 11 or 12. Dinnertime is at 19:30. All meals are prepared by volunteers, anywhere between 1 and 3 people depending on how many volunteers are on the farm at the time

  • no money is involved