Travel to one of the most breathtaking places on Earth with Road2Argentina. Our hands-on experiential learning program in Patagonia, Argentina is designed for adventurous gap year and university students who have an interest in sustainability and the great outdoors. Participants live, learn and volunteer on-site at a well-established sustainable living project in the wilds of the Patagonian backcountry.
There is no other place quite like this!
Road2Argentina hosts this unique program in partnership with a sustainable living project located near El Bolson, Argentina – a small, friendly mountain town in the Rio Negro Province of southern Argentina which boasts the Rio Azul Protected Natural Area, part of the largest UNESCO Temperate Forest Biosphere Reserve in the world, as its backyard. The project was conceived in part to carry out the mission of the Land Ethic Action Foundation (LEAF), a not-for-profit organization formed in 1994 with the goal of teaching and demonstrating self-sufficiency and sustainable development. By implementing the techniques developed by John Jeavons of Ecology Action, the project has
succeeded in bringing the benefits of Biointensive Mini Farming to the Southern Cone region of South America. The project sustains itself in part by operating a sustainably built wilderness lodge which employs members of the local community and welcomes travelers from around the world to enjoy farm-to-table meals, outdoor recreational activities and opportunities for authentic cultural interaction in Patagonia. While the lodge is undoubtedly an integral part of this project, volunteers play a vital role in helping this experiment in sustainable living achieve continued viability year after year.
As a participant in this hands-on program, you will expand your knowledge of sustainability topics and local efforts to preserve and protect the natural environment that makes Patagonia such a special place. Through direct involvement in organic farming and gardening practices and environmental conservation initiatives, you will learn valuable skills while at the same time helping this pioneering project advance and meet its goal of sustainability.
Participants are expected to spend 6-7 hours per day Monday through Friday volunteering in the core areas described below. Weekends are free to visit downtown El Bolson and La Feria Regional Artesenal or explore and enjoy the Patagonian wilderness which surrounds the program site on all sides.
Participants will be assigned tasks and responsibilities in the following core areas. Assignments will be made according to the skills, interests and experiences of the individual, and the needs of the project. Volunteers are asked to have a flexible attitude regarding their specific assignments.
ORGANIC FARMING AND GARDENING
Tasks include preparing beds, seeding, transplating, weeding, irrigating, harvesting, making compost, caring for the farm animals and assisting with ongoing construction projects, etc. Participants may also lend a hand to the chef in the kitchen, preparing fresh, organic meals for guests.
Tasks include removal of non-native species, trail building and maintenance for low-impact use, as well as construction of a circuit of trails, bridges and campsites in cooperation with local organizations committed to promoting sustainable tourism in the surrounding natural area.
Tasks include working with local schools to develop or remodel greenhouses and gardens during the academic year, and lending a hand to the community with ongoing projects such as building a community hay barn, rebuilding barns and sheds, and helping neighbors with the harvest.1
1Please note that a limited number of community outreach projects may be available between December and March when schools are on summer vacation and many locals are dedicating their time and energy to the seasonal tourist activities which provide essential revenue for the community.
An extensive system of trails and refugios, or mountain shelters, which lead you through the spectacular mountains and glaciers of the Patagonian backcountry, is literally at your doorstep. Recreational activities including kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, canyoning and horseback riding are also available to interested participants.
Participants live together in a cabin shared with other volunteers and travelers. Hot water for bathing and other purposes is available 24 hours per day due to the abundance of hydroelectric power originating from the hyrdroelectric generator just upstream.
Meals are prepared with fresh, local ingredients, most of which come directly from the farm and its gardens. You will participate in growing, harvesting and preparing the food you eat on a daily basis. The diet does include local, organic fish and meats, however vegetarians and vegans are more than welcome. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions you have on your program application so that we can make the necessary arrangements.
We are now accepting applications! This and other four-week programs are available year-round! Contact us for details regarding environmental and animal conservation opportunities!
The following items are included in the program:
Daily meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients
Welcome orientation and tour of the project site
Dormitory style accommodations
Transfer in and out from the bus terminal to the project site
Bus transportation from Buenos Aires or transfer from Bariloche (BRC)
Weekly visit to downtown El Bolson and La Feria Regional Artesanal
Volunteering activities including organic farming and gardening, environmental conservation and community outreach projects
Recreational activities including kayaking, whitewater rafting, moutain biking, canyoning and horseback riding can be added on to the program at an additional cost
Support from the Road2Argentina and on-site project staff
Questions or comments? Send us a message using the form below, or Skype with us!