Eco Caminhos is committed to the social mission of developing and training young Brazilian youth from low income or socially vulnerable backgrounds and, in light of this proposal, it administers the apprenticeship program. Two people currently live and work on the eco-farm as apprentices through this program: Marcelino and Cleiton.
These motivated apprentices are educated in different areas of the eco-farm, such as bio-construction, agroforestry, and organic agriculture. In addition to learning how to live in a community and following the fundamentals of permaculture, those who need to finish their studies are enrolled in school and balance their ongoing work and school responsibilities.
Experience & Learning
The program is comprehensive, not only as an opportunity for learning in these professional areas but also for personal growth. Cleiton had been on the farm before but was sent home due to his behavior and lack of motivation. He then asked for a second chance and now, determined to grow personally and professionally, he has perfected the knowledge acquired in his previous stay and even got a paid job as a bioconstruction assistant in a project designed by Eco Caminhos.
Learning to live with people from all over the world increases knowledge of other cultures; allows for a sense of community development, of being part of a team rather than just being focused on oneself; and develops responsibilities and skills for household tasks. Marcelino, for example, who has honed his skills in organic agriculture and studied how to implement an agroforest from scratch, has also learned how to cook for himself and others and has greatly improved his communication abilities from having lived with several different people.
Eco Caminhos believes in the personal development of those who come into direct contact with nature and in learning the importance of organic agriculture and natural construction. During the first six months of 2020, another person participated in the program and developed a lot in the areas of agroforestry and implementation of irrigation systems. They also grew their social skills and greatly improved their English-speaking abilities due to the English classes we have organized on the farm. However, it is essential that the young person be motivated and open to learning new things and, in the absence of these characteristics, we asked them to withdraw themselves from the farm.
More Program Benefits
The apprentices have accommodation, food, comprehensive training, and a R$400.00 allowance for helping family members, transportation, and their personal projects. Eco Caminhos encourages the personal and professional growth of people in need and believes that education is the best way to improve lives and create a more equal and secure society.