Ceará, Brazil. The first thing you would notice is the quietness. Well, in fact it is not quiet at all. Crickets are chirping, birds are singing. A sound that you never heard in your life, if you have never come to that region. Some birds sound like guinea pigs, others sing long melodies without a brake. You would wake up with them in your tent in the middle of the forest. It is a completely different life the volunteers have chosen here.
At this time of the year there are only five volunteers living on the Eco Farm “Flecha da Mata” near Canoa Quebrada in northern Brazil. Low season starts after carnival and even in this place you notice it. In high season there are up to 20 people living on the farm. The volunteers are between 20 and 32 years old, coming mostly from Latin America, one girl is from Spain. On the farm they have to work six days a week, no fixed schedule. The accomodation and food is free. The owner consignes the young people to their fate, he lives in another place, he has a lot of land in this area. But every couple days he comes by to organise new projects and to invite experts giving workshops.
Click through the slideshow and see the different projects
Construction experts come from all over the world. The main house was planned by the famous architect Nader Khalili, who was a pioneer for inventive structures that incorporated a range of atypical building materials to provide shelter in the developing world.
The most recent projects in the Ecovillage are two ovens, one is for barbecue, the other one for pizza. The volunteers do everything by themselves under the support of the experts. They have their own electricity, own water supply, biological toilets and many fruits.
Living in the wild
More and more volunteers look for places like this one to spend at least three months or up to a year out in the sticks. They are looking for inner freedom, finding out more about themselves and getting in contact with nature. Even if they would not earn money during that time, they get knowledge in construction, sustainability and farming. After leaving the ecofarm they can use this knowledge for other projects or for their own houses. Many of them study biology, architecture or agriculture. The volunteers select the projects they would work on, for example handicraft, making jewellery or painting. When visitors come, they are allowed to sell these works, too. After only one day spending with this community you feel relieved.