Apprenticeship Program at a Permaculture Farm.
“Practise, study and research permaculture, agroforestry, bioconstruction and its potential to change the world.”
Availability: All year Duration: 1 – 24 weeks Start date: flexible
Eco Caminhos is an eco farm in Brazil, situated in the beautiful mountains near Nova Friburgo, where we follow the permaculture principals and work with bioconstruction and agroforestry. We offer apprentices the opportunity to become part of our project and live in our Brazilian and international community while enjoying nature and ecotourism activities. At Eco Caminhos we bioconstruct since our foundation in 2015 and implement agroforestry systems since 2017. We not just talk about sustainability we work towards becomming fully self-sustaining every day since our foundation. At our eco farm, you will live and work with people from Brazil and around the world. You will have the opportunity to make lifelong friends while learning the Portuguese language. We have received students from all over the world. For some schools and universities the objective is gaining practical skills where for others a Research is required. We have over 15 years of guiding Students on the farm.
What makes our apprenticeship program different?
Our apprenticeship program is ideal for people who do not want do their apprenticeship in an office or company but prefer to spend this valuable time in amazing nature and with hands-on and meaningful work while researching topics related to sustainability. So often we arrive in companies that only contribute to destroying our plant or with the sole objetive to enrich the owners. At Eco Caminhos you will contribute to a project that wants to positively impact the region socialy, ecologicaly and economicaly. Also doing your traineeship in a foreign country allows you learn a new language, a new culture. Now the biggest learning oportunity at Eco Caminhos is to learn about yourself.
What will your average week look like?
Apprentices ussually work 8 hours per day, 3 days a week usually monday, wednesday and friday. The other 2 days apprentices work on their research or specifc tasks for their University. But of course we can be flexible as it is important to meet your university requirements. At the same time it is important for your integration at Eco Caminhos to have fixed days in the routine. People with specific skills such as arquitecture, civil engineering, forestry engineering, biology, communication, administration can also help us to put those skills in practise. The hands-on work can vary between agroforestry, bioconstruction, animal care and other jobs at the farm. In the first couple of weeks on tuesday’s we offer a few lectures on the different techniques on the farm. Then on the thursday we organize eco sport and touristic activities. We do hikes to the beautiful peaks arround the farm, visit waterfalls and natural pools, we organize mountainbike tours and visit touristic sites in the region. Once a month we have general meeting were we you can share your thoughts and bring suggestions for improvement. The weekends are free however we offer 2 extra ecosport our tourism activities per month for those whole like to join. Many of our volunteers use their weekends to explore Nova Friburgo or Rio de Janeiro.
Once every 2 weeks the people of Eco Caminhos unite in the evening to socialize. During these volunteer nights we usually cook together or make a fire outside, do a karoaka night or just watch the stars. We are always open for suggestions. What matters is that we spend time together.
Together with your traineeship supervisor of Eco Caminhos and your university supervisor you decide upon a research topics. If you want to understand better what you can research on our farm you can visit our agroforestry page or our Bioconstruction page. Our agroforestry system is considered a reference project in the region. We are developing coffee in agroforestry system to create profitable agroforestry concepts that can be applied in the region. Our idea is to tranform the local monoculture landscape into biodivers and productive agroforestry system that besides restoring the ecosystem can generate more income for the local farmers. For bioconstruction we are seen as a reference project in south america. We have constructed 3 high quality houses, cow curral and toolshed following the natural building principels. Now we are construction the Ecolibrium compound which will become our permaculture school. It will become the largest bioconstruction compound in South America with 1200 m2 of bioconstructed area. The building will have a 12 rooms to accommodate apprentices, volunteers and tourists. And there will be multifunctional space with serveral functions including: A restaurant, permaculture school and event space. We will also have a toolshed under the building for more practical workshops. So research topics can be on the farm but we also need more information how we can convince local farmers to apply agroforestry, how to convince locals people to use natural building techniques.
We have 3 accommodation options for our apprenticeship program adjusted to your interest. We offer the most basic shared facilities to the most beautiful high comfort facilities. Every human being has its own living standards. For one basic accommodation is not an issue but privacy is an absolute must. For the other the shared living with people for across the globe is the cultural imersion he or she is looking for. Important for people that want to have privacy for their research to chose the comfortable or luxurary accommodation option as our basic accommodation offers little comfort and privacy.
You can simply mention in your application form which accommodation you prefer and we will check availability. After you applied we will set up an interview and give you more detailed information and answer your questions.