Volunteers, Interns & Visitors
We also welcome Interns & Volunteers, who generally want to learn what it’s like to live in an intentional community, and stay for several months, as well as Visitors, who come for a short time, normally as tourists or participants in a training course or workshop.
All levels of participation have benefits for both the participant and for the community.
Interns & Volunteers invest their time and cost of living, they have the responsibility to participate in the integral permaculture course described in these pages (since volunteers are preferred for a month or longer), right to use the common areas and responsibility to comply with agreements regarding work hours. We hope they’ll become members.
Visitors invest in their cost of living and in the course or event they’re participating in.
Be a volunteer
Volunteering here is a good way to get to know the place physically, to enjoy some of the free Integral Permaculture classes if you happen to be here during one of the iPDC courses (volunteers are invited to one class per day, and the courses happen monthly but only if we have at least 2 people enrolled), plus all the usual benefits of volunteering in any permaculture project of course.
Once in a while we’ll have small projects that don’t require a ton of permaculture knowledge but which are nonetheless important. Most likely the designs will be done but we’ve needed someone to implement them. Some current examples are the compost system and the solar hot water system – both for the guest house. Staying with us and doing a volunteer project, on top of the experience you gain, we’ll make a written agreement the value of your contribution either in alternative currency or trade.
We take volunteer for a minimum of 15 days. Please try to contact us at least 1 week prior.
Do a study/internship
The most useful (multi-functional) way you can visit is to enroll in one of the iPDC courses offered by the Integral Permaculture Acadamy that we’re part of, which includes visits to the Eco Community site and dialogue with the founders. This will:
- provide you with a full-immersion experience which includes getting to know the 8thLife Panama Initiative well, doing real on-site designs with us, and also having time to visit the area
- enable you to understand more in depth what we do here and why — so giving you an optimal base from which to explore whether to join the project,
- also give you invaluable tools for joining any eco-village project, since the iPDC is not like a regular PDC – it includes a lot more precisely about models for living in community.
- give you a good base for starting your permaculture diploma pathway, if you have already taken a PDC and wish to continue your action-learning studies (we can talk about possible internships on site during the course also, if interested).
We offer various options to do work exchange and reduce the accommodation costs, as well as providing you with the experience of living in community and working on a farm. All Internships include the iPDC course as standard, as it is the minimum required for understanding the base of our work here.
We recommand a minimum 30 days, and please enroll at least 3 weeks prior.
Stay with us as a guest /visitor
With your reservation of at least 7 days as a guest at Villa Astoria Guest House we can coordinate so that you can experience different aspects of the forming EcoVillage. Of course, the exact activities depend on our progress and what we’re working on at the moment.
As a guest, your time is yours to spend relaxing at will or visiting local attractions such as beaches, other fincas, the town of Antón, the mountains of Coclé and the Antón Valley, among others. We will offer you the chance to join us at the finca at least once during your stay and one of the founders will spend at least two hours with you during your stay to talk about your interests.
If you want to talk in more detail about how we’re designing this project, what the options are for new people, etc, we invite you to organize a festive lunch or dinner one day (this means preparing a dish and getting everyone else to contribute a dish, and afterwards cleaning up the kitchen) as a means of helping us with household chores.
We also invite you to join our evening study groups if we’re doing one during your visit, since we love learning new things together, like studying different types of dance or exercise, singing, exploring the works of interesting experts, etc.