Core mission of Playa Viva is to “Create Meaningful Community.” Volunteers are becoming a larger and larger part of the Playa Viva community. We currently are at maximum capacity with 6 volunteers spending most of this fall with us. Where do volunteers come from, how do they find us, what do they do and what are we looking for from volunteers?
Where do they come from? We have volunteers from all over the world. Mostly from North America and Europe. We have had volunteers from the US, Canada and Mexico as well as Germany, Denmark, Spain, Belgium and most recently Australia and New Zealand. We ask that volunteers stay for a minimum of one month but some have stayed for 3 months.
How do they find us? The largest source of volunteers either come via referral from guests or via voluntoursim websites. These websites include WWOOF Mexico and WorkAway.info. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF, /ˈwʊf/), or Willing Workers on Organic Farms, is a loose network of national organisations that facilitate placement of volunteers on organic farms. These two websites contribute the bulk of volunteers who come to work on an organic farm to learn and apply techniques of permaculture.
What do they do? Volunteers are asked to work a split shift. In the AM, they work on the farm and in the afternoon they work on a community service or other project of their design. Farm work varies from planting seeds, weeding and tending the garden. It also includes other permaculture related projects in conservation, restoration and general landscape management. These types of work have included mangrove restoration, keyline water projects, forest restoration, maintaining trails or working to build a chicken coop, make organic fertilizers, etc. The afternoon projects vary from cooking in the Playa Viva kitchen to helping out in the local library. The volunteers have self-organized and developed their own Volunteer Manual and Orientation Guide to assist incoming volunteers to know what to expect, provide a list of viable projects and prepare them for their stay in Juluchuca. Volunteers stay in “la Casita Blanca” (the White House) which is a 3 bedroom humble home we rent for volunteers in the town of Juluchuca.
What are we looking for from volunteers? We look for travelers who want more than the “been there, done that, seen that” experience. We are finding travelers of all ages, from those right out of high school to retires and everything in between who want to live “in a community and give back.” They usually love Mexico, enjoy being near and on the beach, are aligned with Playa Viva’s values for sustainability and regeneration and want to learn and giveback at the same time. For example, we had a nurse from Copenhagen stay over a month and work in the health clinic. She spearheaded a project to improve the roof of the health clinic. Another volunteer organized guests to paint the local kindergarten working side by side with members of the local community. We have had local Mexican youth who want to learn more about farming and permaculture come and stay and work on the farm while helping to remodel the local library.
If you are interested in volunteering at Playa Viva, go to this link and just follow the directions. We have limited space as the Casa Blanca only holds 6 people, but if you are committed to “Creating Meaningful Community” and the other core values of Playa Viva, please apply to volunteer with us. Special note: We are looking for a pastry / dessert chef to volunteer with us in the kitchen and cross train with our kitchen staff .