Farm and retreat center work exchange program in Texas

Farm and retreat center work exchange program in Texas


Program details

Farm and retreat center work exchange program in Texas

Amansala Retreat and Wilderness Farm is an environmentally and ecologically aligned transformative community focused on curated wellness experiences through holistic practices in Southern Texas, close to Houston and Austin. Amansala promotes healthy lifestyles through Ayurveda implementation and application, being mindful in the thoughts and actions through meditation, and movement through yoga and nature walks.

About the volunteer&work exchange program

Amansala’s work exchanges are usually short-term, lasting from a one week to eight weeks. Depending on project needs, the volunteer may choose to extend her or his stay if there is a need by the retreat center.

Work exchange volunteers usually require no previous experience or formal education for participants. However, it will be very helpful in placement and accepting a volunteer’s placement request. At the very minimum, volunteers are requested to have a basic understanding and willingness to learn and participate in the projects in which they are interested and assigned.

There is a residential program for those volunteers who commit to at least 3 weeks. Volunteers are needed for long term and short term projects and commitments to include periodic and one-time projects.

What’s in it for You?

  • The residential program includes sleeping arrangements in either one of the bedrooms in the 3 bedroom, 1-3/4 bathroom house with a full kitchen, dining room and living room;
  • or in a 28′ travel trailer with a master bedroom and an additional sleeping space, a kitchenette, and a refrigerator; or intermittent lodging in one of the Tiny Homes following completion. All accommodations are subject to and may occasionally require shared living space.
  • As a residential volunteer committing to at least two weeks of service, Amansala Retreat and Wilderness Farm will provide basic food for at least one meal a day (and possibly 2 meals a day) to include: organic dry goods such as dehydrated vegetables (lentils, assorted beans, rice, pasta, tortillas, etc.), organic fresh vegetables (lettuce, spinach, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, etc.), organic animal products (beef, chicken, fish, dairy milk, eggs, etc.), organic plant based milks, reverse osmosis and pH balanced water. Please note that organic plant and animal products are based on local providers availability.
  • Paid positions to Work Exchange Volunteers ONLY!

About the paid positions

Paid Positions will begin in June 2022 and be extended only to work exchange volunteers who contribute work beyond the 20 – 25 hour work week. The paid positions will include no more than 25 hours per week beyond the 20 – 25 hour work week. This is an opportunity to earn some money while volunteering. Not all positions are paid, and paid positions are seasonal and depending on the organizational needs.

The following is a tentative list:

  • Volunteers’ House and Headquarters Clean Up and Arranging – Current thru July 2022
  • Compressed Earth Block construction workers – July 2022 thru December 2022
  • Trail Blazers for bicycle and meditation paths – July 2022 thru July 2023
  • Yoga Deck and Dock Construction – August 2022 thru November 2022
  • Hospitality Receptionist – January 2023 and on-going
  • Grounds Maintenance – March 2023 and on-going
  • House Keeping – January 2023 and on-going
  • Cook/Chef – January 2023 for retreat guests as needed
  • Yoga Instructors – January 2023 for retreat guests as needed
  • Massage Therapist – January 2023 for retreat guests as needed
  • Additional paid seasonal work available

Current and upcoming work exchange opportunities

Immediate needs include:

  • Assistance with Tiny Homes to include wall standing and roof installation. This may include interior wall construction and implementing on-grid and off-grid facilities (solar power, water supply, etc).
  • Working with compost materials and compost piles including turning and distribution, and materials gathering (tree leaves, animal by-products, wood chips, etc.)
  • Creating the organic garden including soil placement, nutrient inoculation, sowing seeds, and the entire gamut of horticulture care throughout the season.
  • Rain water collection and purification systems.
  • Removal, replacement and installation of fencing at select locations including the organic garden and livestock area.
  • Rubbish removal from previously neglected areas to include out-buildings and barn.
  • Felling deceased trees and portioning for fire pit/wood stove using hand tools and chainsaws.
  • Ride the lawn mower and perform weed and invasive species management, also includes hand tools for more difficult areas.
  • Compressed Earth Block infrastructure development and construction.
  • Digital media both video and still photography for memorializing and record keeping of the facility and architecture. This will be used on the web site of the farm and record keeping purposes.
  • Hiking, Biking and Meditation trail development, invasive plant species remediation, and plant management. Volunteers will have great latitude in developing all trails and lake shore areas.
  • Artistic minds to carve, design and color (dyes, pigments, and natural products) deceased tree trunks and used as markers throughout the property including the meditation trail.
  • Design and construct chicken coop for cage free and open range organic chicken eggs for use during retreats and distribution to local outlets including food banks and shelters.
  • Gather and process livestock manure used in organic composting facilities.
  • Yoga deck design, placement and construction on the island and at the retreat center.
  • Establish herbal medicine distillation process for local herbs and assorted plants.
  • Creating/Cooking family meals beginning January 2023 when the retreat center is operational.
  • Refurbish and remodel the house currently existing on the property into the retreat welcome center.
  • Design, Develop and Distribute stage, sound system, and musicians for August accoustic music festival of this year.
  • Other projects and tasks that are smaller and intermittent determined on a daily basis.

UPCOMING AND ON GOING OPPORTUNITIES

Builders and Construction Volunteers – Aside from Tiny Homes, Compressed Earth Block infrastructures are currently under development to be implemented as a new retreat center and lodging. Two tiny homes near the lake will be upgraded, so the farm is seeking volunteers for that project. This involves using hammers, nails, screws, hand tools, trowels, brick and masonry equipment, plumbing and electric installation, and the entire gamut of refurbishment construction. These projects are slated to begin in May and continue through December. This is a long term project to develop and build approximately 6,000 square feet of facilities. If you are interested in putting your skills to the test, these are the largest and most demanding projects they have.

Organic Gardening – Work outdoors with the plants that supply the farm guests with food. Volunteers for on-going organic garden maintenance and seasonal harvesting are needed. The Organic Garden is planted in the spring (usually in April) and regularly tended throughout the season. This includes soil cultivation, nutrient inoculation, seed sowing, weed removal, insect mitigation, communing with the plants, and harvesting. This position offers a longer term opportunity throughout the season.

Land and Trail Care Crew – Work outdoors on the landscaping crew, clearing and maintaining the plant life at the farm facility and network of hiking, biking and meditation paths. Volunteers joining for our land and trail team will spend much of their time in nature. Available shifts are from Tuesday through Friday mornings.

Openings from January 2023

Retreat Greeting – Help welcome incoming retreat attendants with greeting, directing, luggage and answering questions at the welcome kiosk, Meditation Center or Dining Hall.

Housekeeping and Hospitality – Incentive for the housekeeping volunteers – earn 4 hours for your first 3 worked on retreat closing days.  Offer your time and energy to help create a welcoming space for guest hosts on retreat. Help is needed on most retreat opening and closing days to help prepare rooms and facilities. A commitment of 4 hours 10:00am-2:00pm is appreciated.

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