Looking for fit, enthusiastic gardeners with experience, to tend our beds, plant trees, toss compost and harvest. If you have any landscaping experience, that is a plus. If you have permaculture or organic farming experience that is plus also. Must be a good team player and be willing to follow instructions. You will be working in a team of four, which is overseen by Jacob, who is our onsite permaculture and farming manager.
*Please note that all permaculture apprentices will need to pay 200 Euros per month to Danyadara. This will help to sustain the project. In exchange you will be learning about permaculture with ongoing coaching from Jacob aka, the wizard!
As a Permaculture apprentice at Danyadara, you will have the opportunity to learn about some of the following subjects:
– different forms of composting, including thermophilic (hot) composting, vermicomposting, cold composting
– soil building
– gardening in a mediterranean climate
– tree care and maintenance
– starting vegetables from seeds
– plant propagation, season extension
– water harvesting
– dryland edible landscaping
– forest gardening
At Danyadara we invite apprentices who are able to come for 3 months. (Unfortunately less time is not possible). We usually have our full quota of volunteers well in advance, so 3-6 months notice is preferable. You can also contact us to see if we need anyone last minute.
Please be aware of the following points about your experience as an apprentice in Danyadara:
- Our volunteers are required to work 6 days per week for a total of 6 hours per day.
- Gardening/Farming is hard work! Please be aware of this before committing
- This is a hands-on learning opportunity.
- Looking for people that can take initiative and be proactive towards their learning goals. The days are plentiful with learning opportunities. Jacob is always open to questions.
- The work here is seasonal and varies throughout the year. Example in October-December expect lots of olive harvesting.
- Some tasks may be repetitive or monotonous but have to be done for the running of the project! Example: weeding or landscaping as we are a working retreat centre also.
- Danyadara is a part of Suryalila Retreat Centre which is almost always hosting guests. There may occasionally be tasks involved helping that side of things.
- First priority as gardeners we work closely with the Suryalila kitchen to supply them with seasonal fresh produce and secondly we work to increase biodiversity and regenerate the surrounding land.
- Working hours change throughout the year. Throughout the cooler months its possible to work in the daytime throughout the afternoons, from June until October its not possible to work in the afternoons because of the summer heat so we start early in the morning and also do an hour or two in the evening.
- We are looking for passionate people who are interested in gardening and people who enjoy putting energy into completing a task. Some days we may work a little longer than the hours required to get a job done (although doesn’t happen often). This is always compensated at some point with time off.
- In your free time you will be independent and may choose to study, read, hang out with other volunteers or go for a walk etc.
- In the cooler months around November-May it will be possible to enjoy morning yoga classes (although some mornings you will do the pre breakfast shift which is on a rotation). In the hot months of June-October this usually isn’t possible on a regular basis because we work in the coolest time of the day although you will be able to enjoy afternoon classes at this time of year.
If you are conscientious, good-natured, easy-going, respectful and flexible, you may apply. Please apply by filling the form below. Please write a few paragraphs about yourself. Your nationality, age, interests and work experience. You don’t need to send a formal cv. It’s always nice to receive a photo of you too.
In exchange for your help, we offer yoga, meditation, fantastic organic vegetarian meals, comfortable accommodation, use of our facilities and really good company. The place is stunningly beautiful and volunteers usually love being here.
Generally we have around six volunteers at any one time.
The volunteers mostly stay in our property next door, either in the house or in a glamping area. The accommodations are clean, quiet, comfortable and spacious and are situated in an olive grove. You will share a room with one, two or three other volunteers (in larger rooms or tents) of the same sex.
Please note you cannot choose your own accommodation, it will be assigned to you as available.
You are required to have travel/health insurance or a European Health card.
How to get here
To get to Suryalila fly into Seville, Jerez or Malaga and from there go to the bus station and take a bus to Villamartin. If you are flying into Seville the correct bus station is Prado San Sebastian. Here you can find the bus timetable.
Our Contact Details
Suryalila Retreat Centre,
Cortijo La Fabrica,
Pago del Pajarete
11650 Villamartin, Cadiz Province
Office phones: +34 856 023 631 0r +34 633 403 007
*Make sure you keep these contact details with you when traveling to Suryalila.
Please remind us by email the day before your arrival and then when you are about to get on a bus, please call us, to let us know what time you are arriving in Villamartin, so we can pick you up.
There needs to be a 5*+ rating for this treat of a retreat. Definitely one of the best places I have ever volunteered. The work was more than fair given the plentiful and delicious food that was offered 3+ times a day and the wonderful grounds we got to call home. No food I have eaten since tastes of anything thanks to Caroline’s and Gemma’s cooking. The maintenance and dish-washing work is what you would expect but the incredible company and whole ambiance of the place makes it a real joy to live here. And it really felt like I was ‘living’ here. Harry does an excellent job of listening to what people say and their suggestions of where they would prefer to work and give their time. The morning meetings of sharing were an added bonus for me. It felt like a family and the regular staff and volunteers there were such a beautiful combination. Gracias y un gran abrazo. – Lisa
I worked in the kitchen for 3 months and loved every minute. The work is a fair exchange as you get 3 organic meals a day, free yoga and the volunteer house is beautiful. The location is incredible with some of the best sunsets I have ever I seen. Harry and Vidya work very hard to make everyone feel welcome and it was my pleasure to work for them. Hopefully one day I will go back! – Olivia
Although its now over three months since I left Suryalila I still think of my time there frequently. Even more so now as I’m in a British Autumn. I arrived here almost by accident and only intended to stay for two weeks before returning to Granada. In total I ended up there for around nine weeks and the time literally flew by- this place has a magical atmosphere which is hard to leave. The work is reasonably hard but more than a fair trade for the incredible organic food you are given and the chance to experience such a lovely place. I was lucky enough to be there with a group of volunteers who were some of the most friendly sincere and fun people I’ve ever met. Vidya and Harry run this place with a real ethos to make it a happy and rewarding experience for everyone who visit and the staff including the amazing gardener Manuel who I was lucky enough to work with when I was there are all committed to this ideal. Lastly the retreat is situated in a literally dream like location in Andalusia with wonderful local towns nearby and where every evening the sun sets over the retreat and creates the most beautiful sunsets over the southern Spanish landscape you’ll ever see. – Timothy
I stayed for two months and loved every minute of it. Fantastic food, amazing yoga classes, beautiful surroundings and fascinating people. – Michael
Suryalila is a very special place I fell in love with immediately! It is definately the best place I have ever volunteered at and I highly recommend it!
This place has a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, the houses are all furnished and decorated in the best of taste, staff and guests are open- minded, easy going and great to talk to, the food is delicious and very healthy and the yoga lessons very energetic and motivating! The volunteers are an appreciated part of the staff and I was sad to leave when my six weeks were over! I definately want to come back one day! – Hannah
This has literally became my home away from home in these passing weeks. Hark work is interlaced with stints of meditation and early-morning yoga classes, while the birds are literally chirping in my ears all the while. But the setting is really only half the treat – the staff, the other volunteers, the guests….. These people have a special place in my heart and I could not explain in words how much they mean to me (and after such a short amount of time….amazing). I would be back , my friends. – Tom
THE DANYADARA VOLUNTEER CHARTER
All our volunteers are valued members of the Danyadara team and we are very grateful for your contribution and creativity. We want you to enjoy your time with us and leave after a valuable and fulfilling life experience.
In order to work together with the staff and other members of the team we ask you as a volunteer to be aware of the following guidelines and respect them during your time with us:
- RETREAT CENTRE ATMOSPHERE: Suryalila is a retreat centre and our guests are here to step back from the world and get some peace and quiet. It is really important that as a volunteer you understand and respect this, and act accordingly. All the groups are different and it is important volunteers are sensitive to the requirements of the different groups.
Please be very aware of independent guests. Talk to them, invite them to sit with you or sit with them at meal-times so they feel included. Help them to feel like part of the family.
- TREATMENTS: Please do not offer or give any treatments, healings or massages to any of the guests.
Please note that we do offer a discounted price if you yourself would like to book a massage at times the guests are not around. You can book the massage through the office but pay the therapist directly with cash. The price for you is 28 Euros per hour or 41 Euros for an hour and a half.
- HEALTH: You should be in good all round health and able to work 6 hours per day 6 days per week. Volunteers from outside Spain must have their own health insurance or travel insurance with health cover.
- SAFETY: Please do not use any power tools without permission or climb up ladders etc. Also if you do not feel comfortable using sharp knives in the kitchen please tell us. Your safety is of prime importance to us.
- RELATIONS WITH GUESTS: Volunteers represent Suryalila and it is important as such you ensure all your relations with the guests are professional and appropriate. We encourage informality in the relations between staff, guests and volunteers; however certain lines should not be crossed. (e.g.: relations of an intimate nature).
- YOUR LIVING SPACE: It is very important that you observe tidiness and cleanliness in your own space at all times. You are responsible to make your own bed every day, wash your sheets and towels and keep your clothes and personal items tidy. There is a cleaning lady, Isabel, who will mop the floors and clean your bathrooms once a week. If you are in San Pedro you are also responsible to keep the Kitchen, fridge and living space clean. If you are unable to observe this request you will not be permitted to stay.
- VOLUNTEER LOCKERS: In the middle room at Suryalila there are shelves for your belongings if you bring a bag up during the day. You can also keep your coats there.
- HANG OUT SPACE: The volunteers can use the mezzanine outside the Ganesha Yoga Shala as a hang out space when not working. Please keep it very tidy and clean. Be very aware if a massage is happening you need to be very quiet in that area. Do not hang out in the dining room lounge area as this is reserved for the guests. Please never lay around in public areas.
- DAY OFF RIDES: We are happy to provide rides to the bus station for you between 9am and 6pm. After 6pm you are required to take a taxi. We can give you the phone number of the taxi company. If you need a ride to the bus station you need to let us know the day before.
- CARS: Never use any of the cars without express permission from the Suryalila Office Staff.
- TIME OFF: If you are staying for three months and wish to take a few consecutive days off for any reason please inform the office well in advance, preferably on arrival. Anyone staying less than three months has one day off per week.
- DRUGS AND ALCOHOL:
Recreational drugs are not permitted at Suryalila or San Pedro. Smoking is not permitted except on the driveway of Suryalila or outside at San Pedro.
Alcohol should only be consumed in MODERATION. Please do not have binges or parties at San Pedro. Please remember this is a retreat centre and act accordingly, even at San Pedro. Anyone not respecting this may be asked to leave.
- MEAT: Please do not bring meat or fish onto the property, including at San Pedro.