One of the things I love about doing these work exchange posts (and we have quite a few coming up in the next few months) is seeing all the wonderful and creative things people are doing around the world.
Building projects are a prime example. Sometimes they are simply a means to an end but often a building project is merely the beginning and the structure created with your help will house a school for disadvantaged local children, an art installation or eco-friendly business or charity – often requiring their own volunteer helpers to keep going.
So if you are good with a hammer or a saw, or are just a willing pair of hands willing to learn, here are five work exchange building projects that could use your help:
Volunteers needed for two projects with a Caribbean NGO
Any carpenters, masons or carpenters out there interested in living the Rastafari way of life? If so, two community activities in St Vincent & The Grenadines could use skilled volunteer help to renovate a five bedroom house. Volunteer teachers are also needed. Volunteers can also be featured as culinary artists or recipe tasters on the TV show of one of the hosts.
Permaculture centre in the Yucatan jungle needs working hands
This Mexican permaculture project could use some help with building and maintenance: painting, fencing, mixing mud, hauling materials, woodwork and roads. Volunteers sleep in the loft of a Mayan hut with palm roofing, and on days off can visit the many natural pools and ancient pyramids in the region.
Help set up a beach bar / restaurant in Playa Venao, Panama
An ocean view, surf waves and monkey visits near your bunk accommodation are offered in return for help with painting, woodworking and plastering. Surfing electricians are also welcomed.
Renovate a cottage in the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands
Willow Lohr is renovating a house on a wish and a prayer and every bit of her meagre savings and could use a lending hand in making the cottage habitable and creating a raised garden/pond and building workshops and sheds. She is looking for people with creative skills able to fix and mend and experienced in using tools. The Lecht Ski resort is nearby and you can learn about yurt building or beekeeping.
Cob Building, Earth-ship Home Building, and Organic Gardening in Queensland Australia
Along with the lure of signing the paperwork for a second year working holiday visa, this young couple can provide experience in cob building, earth-ship home building, and organic gardening. The hosts say there will always be building that both beginners and more experienced people can do, and also ranging from repetitive physical labour to fine details and finishing touches.
Image courtesy Jeffrey Beall.