Extended Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Opportunity: Greenhouse Assistant
The Patagonia National Park project is located in the remote Chacabuco Valley, in Chile’s Aysen Region, with little access to fresh produce. For that reason, the Conservacion Patagonica team created two organic greenhouses and a small garden to supply residents and visitors with vegetables. Now in its third season, the greenhouse will focus on providing greens and herbs for the main park restaurant, where workers, volunteers, Lodge guests, and tourists eat.
We are looking for two volunteers to manage the greenhouse. Volunteers should have ample experience in farming and gardening, and should be able to manage the greenhouses with minimal supervision. They will be expected to produce for restaurant needs, as well as periodically deliver produce to the 12-15 families that live full time at the park headquarters. The two volunteers will work cooperatively, with a schedule that allows each some days off to explore the area.
Fluency in Spanish is critical, since volunteers will live and work with local Chileans. Volunteers should be ready to put in long days of hard work with a cheerful attitude, and to take initiative in shaping their role within the project and learning from the experience. An understanding of the challenges of living and working in a remote setting and in a small community is essential. The nearest town, Cochrane, is 40 minutes away by car and volunteers have no access to vehicles.
While the scope of the Patagonia National Park Project is impressive, infrastructure and resources for the greenhouses are very basic. Most work, from compost building to weeding, is done all by hand. This winter we are currently working on replacing the houses’ plastic covering and doors, though interns will be expected to trouble shoot make repairs in the garden as needed. Flexibility and creativity here is key!
All work is unpaid. Volunteers must cover their own transit from the US to Coyhaique/ Balmaceda, the nearest airport to the park. Conservacion Patagonia will cover transportation from Balmaceda to the park, food (3 meals a day) at the employee cafeteria and accommodations, in a shared bedroom with bathroom.
We are looking for two volunteers who can travel to Chile and start work October 1. They would stay with us for three months from their arrival in Chile. We are also looking for two more volunteers to start in the beginning of January and stay through March.
To apply, send a resume and cover letter addressing your experience with greenhouses or farming, interest in participating in a large-scale conservation project, and willingness to live in a remote location in Patagonia to email@example.com with the subject “PNP Greenhouse Position.”