About Us

In 2014, we – Hilaine, Bart, Roger, Nico and Lucas Bijen – decided to head to Brazil to set up Eco Caminhos. We are idealists with extensive experience in social projects, engineering, management, entrepreneurship, and educating Brazilian youth. We know what it takes to set up a project in Brazil, where we have lived and worked for over 8 years. We enjoy getting our hands dirty, connecting with people, and exchanging knowledge.

In the past two years we have received volunteers from Brazil and across the globe. Slowly but steadily our team is growing with people who intend to stay here with us and become an integral part of the Eco Caminhos team.

We believe that the challenges we are facing and will continue to face while realising our dreams will allow us to grow as human beings. We are now cooperating with the local community and inviting people with similar dreams to join us.

 

Our Vision

The earth is in crisis. With 7.3 billion people on this planet the world is facing unprecedented challenges. Polluted cities, a growing number of natural disasters, financial crises, hunger, wars, terrorism and corruption. Eco Caminhos is part of a growing countermovement looking to pursue a simpler lifestyle and committed to finding and sharing sustainable solutions. Eco Caminhos believes in self-sustaining community living in terms of food, energy, and building materials, in exchange of knowledge, skills and experience between people, and in the importance of including youth this process.

 

Our Mission

Eco Caminhos wants to become a role model in Brazil and beyond when it comes to social development and sustainable building and living. Our goal is to live in harmony with nature and produce our own food and energy, while the land grows in richness, productivity, and aesthetic beauty. We treat our own waste, generate our own energy and train underprivileged youth. We will generate income by inviting tourists, who will be accommodated in Eco Lodges and will be offered locally cultivated organic food and a wide variety of eco sports and workshops.

 

The Caminhos Pillars

Eco Caminhos is part of the Caminhos group, a three-pillar organisation that offers the following services: 1) education; 2) social work; and 3) self-sustainable community living and ecotourism.

 

eco farm brazil CaminhosLC

Services:

  • Ipanema language school offering Portuguese courses
  • Accommodation services for students
  • Free activities for students
  • Visa services for students
  • Consultancy for students

Website

Location: Farme de Amoedo 135, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

Number of staff: 20

eco farm brazil Eco Caminhos

Services:

  • Bioconstruction projects
  • Vocational training for teenagers and young adults
  • Organic food production and restaurant
  • Accommodation for tourists (future)
  • Renewable energy production (future)

Website

Location: Estrada Ernesto Souza Cardinot s/n, Cardinot, Nova Friburgo, RJ, Brazil.

Number of staff: 6

eco farm brazil Mais Caminhos

Services:

  • Mais Caminhos Complementary for children
  • Mais Caminhos Exchange and Scholarships for teenagers
  • Mais Caminhos Family for families

 

Website

Location: Farme de Amoedo 135, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

Number of staff: 4

 

Meet our team

Bruno Nirello

Bruno Nirello

Bruno is a forest engineer. He is responsible for our organic farm and edible forest.
Bart Bijen

Bart Bijen

Bart Bijen Bart is the founder and managing director of Eco Caminhos
Franciele Tolentino

Franciele Tolentino

Volunteer Coordinator Franciele is responsible for the coordination of the volunteers and the volunteer houses.
Nathan J. Smith

Nathan J. Smith

Nathan is our bioconstruction project supervisor.