Light Rehab Program

Rehabilitation at an Ecological Farm In Nova Friburgo

Eco Caminhos is a farm in the interior of Rio de Janeiro that promotes the recovery of people with depression and other challenges related to mental health, through meaningful work and community life.In our beautiful location in the mountains in Cardinot, Nova Friburgo, close to the Três Picos national park, part of the Atlantic Forest, we create the ideal scenario for mental health recovery, we welcome people with depression, anxiety, stress, burn-out syndrome,
among others.These people participate in the farm routine, eat healthy food, and participate in activities such as hikes, campfires, game nights, camping weekends, and horseback riding. We’re back to basics.

Over the past few years, we have hosted a number of people with mental health issues who have successfully recovered.
The work carried out on recovery farms has recently been studied, indicating incredible results. Read more about this research done on Norwegian farms.

How our community works

Our community environment consists of local and international volunteers who treat each other with respect and form a close-knit team. We live and work together and hold weekly meetings where we discuss work, life and our differences, always emphasizing respectful communication, offering people the opportunity to truly become part of the Eco Caminhos community. Our setting is simple, so people can focus on what really matters in life.
In our experience, many of our clients are happy to be away from the conventional way of life, immersed in a new and
refreshing environment, in the middle of nature, with constructive and individualized support and feedback.

Personalized support for your rehabilitation

Each client will be supported and guided throughout the program through frequent conversations and weekly feedback sessions with our experienced Founder and Director. This will provide a framework for personal exploration and understanding so that you are comfortable talking about issues without pressure or judgement. Once you are more comfortable in the program, these chats will reduce as the goal is recovery and independence.

Our general coordinator Dutra is responsible for his well-being and that of all the people who live on the farm.
He is responsible for purchasing, maintenance and other requirements related to room and board.

Personal Recovery stories:

Eco Caminhos Can Help You Overcome Problems | Rehabilitation Program

Eco Caminhos Can Help You Overcome Problems | Rehabilitation Program

João Diogo, a 24-year-old Brazilian, came to Eco Caminhos in November 2020 and in this interview he reports on how ...
Kennedy | Canadian reports her experience in our rehabilitation program

Kennedy | Canadian reports her experience in our rehabilitation program

The three months I spent at Eco Caminhos was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. The combination ...
Rehabilitation at a Brazilian eco farm: “A place where you can find relief and clarity”

Rehabilitation at a Brazilian eco farm: “A place where you can find relief and clarity”

Currently, I am 21 years old and I have been working for Eco Caminhos for 9 months. I was born ...

Healthy food

We grow our own organic food and all participants rotate in a cooking schedule. If someone does not know how to cook, there is no need to worry. The client will start by assisting others until they acquire the skills to cook independently.


Structured farming and bioconstruction work

We believe that structure is an essential component to healthy living and our experience has shown us, time and time again, that people who struggle with mental health and related issues tend to have either maladapted and/or unsustainable structures or none at all. At Eco Caminhos, we will bring your life back to the basics and provide a steady routine that you can depend on. Our day starts at 7 am and ends at 4 pm, with a one-hour lunch break at noon. We wake up early, work on the farm, eat healthy food, and enjoy time with on another as equal members of the same team. Depending on the interests of the candidate, one can choose to participate in bioconstruction, agroforestry, and/or organic farming. There are no deadlines; we only expect people to be motivated and do their best.


Accommodation options

Depending on your specific needs, we can offer 2 housing options. Option 1 is staying in the volunteer house and living with other volunteers and workers that are already accustomed to the routine of the farm. This is an ideal environment for those who feel comfortable enough to share and live with others from day 1. The alternative option is doing a homestay with the Bijen family. The Bijen family has over 12 years of experience in social work with youth and volunteers. You will have a private room, prepared food, and personal attention from the family. The accommodation is really incredible and this is certainly a more comfortable way to start. After 4 weeks of homestay and having had the chance to get used to the routine, the farm, and the people, you should hopefully be ready to move to the volunteer house in order to progress towards the goal of recovery and independence.


What your week at Eco Caminhos could look like:

Time MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday Friday
6 AMBreakfastBreakfastBreakfastBreakfastBreakfast
7 AM - 12 AMBioconstructionOrganic FarmingBioconstructionActivity (hike, horseback riding or tourism)Organic Farming
12 AM - 1 PMLunch / BreakLunch / BreakLunch / BreakLunch / BreakLunch / Break
1 PM - 4 PMBioconstruction workOrganic FarmingOrganic FarmingActivity (hike, horseback riding or tourism)Organic Farming
5 PMChat with BuddyChat with BuddyChat with Buddy and CoordinatorChat with BuddyChat with Buddy
7 PMDinnerDinnerDinnerDinnerDinner
8 - 10 PM Portuguese ClassGames NightFree TimeBrazilian CinemaCampfire

*There is one additional activity on the weekend. Your buddy is available 24/7.



We have a few very simple criteria to be able to join the program:

  • Enjoy nature and getting your hands dirty
  • Being open to feedback, recognizing your problem(s), and willingness to get better
  • Motivation to participate in the structure of the program
  • Unfortunately, we can not accommodate people with substance use disorders (e.g., drug or alcohol addiction) as we lack the proper resources to deal with these particular challenges.


Prices (all-inclusive)

Periodprices in BRLPrices in US$Prices in EUR
4 weeksR$ 10,000$ 2,031.27 *€ 1.867,83 *
5 weeksR$ 11,500$ 2,335.96 *€ 2.148,01 *
6 weeksR$ 13,000$ 2,640.65 *€ 2.428,18 *
7 weeksR$ 14,500$ 2,945.34 *€ 2.708,36 *
8 weeksR$ 16,000$ 3,250.03 *€ 2.988,53 *
9 weeksR$ 17,000$ 3,453.15 *€ 3.175,31 *
10 weeksR$ 18,000$ 3,656.28 *€ 3.362,10 *
11 weeksR$ 19,000$ 3,859.41 *€ 3.548,88 *
12 weeksR$ 19,500$ 3,960.97 *€ 3.642,27 *

* In case you choose homestay for the first 4 weeks, we charge an extra R$ 8.000,00.

Our prices are in Brazilian Real and include tax. The prices in $USD and Euros are estimates and the exact amount in $USD or Euros will be calculated on the day of booking.


Included in the rehabilitation program

  •  Accommodation & Food
  •  Personalized guidance by founder and director
  •  Learning about bioconstruction, agroforestry, and organic farming
  •  Activities: hiking, cinema, camping, visiting tourist sites.

Not included in the rehabilitation program

  • Guidance of a psychologist or psychiatrist – this is optional but can be provided at an additional cost
  • “Luxuries”
  • Health insurance – people are expected to have an international health insurance policy


Join our program: 

These are the steps to follow to be part of our program:


1) Make contact

2) We will set up an online interview to get to know each other
3) The customer makes a deposit of US$ 200
4) We settle the details between the client and the companion who will follow up with you
5) The customer receives a detailed program and manual
6) Preparations for the trip

Airport Transfer

To guarantee your safe and comfortable arrival, our trusted driver from Nova Friburgo, Dutra, can pick you up and drop you off at the Eco Caminhos doorstep. He will wait for you in the arrival hall with a small nameplate. Dutra charges only R$900. We can also arrange for you to be dropped off at a different specific location on your day of departure, if you prefer.

Safety & health care

There is no need to be concerned about safety. We live in a very safe rural community where crime is close to zero. We can organize airport transfers for you with our trusted driver. In case of an emergency, we can drive people to the private hospital located just 15 minutes from the eco farm. We expect you to come with your own health insurance.