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Volunteer in Santa Fe, NM area- Natural Building and Community Living

Posts: 36
Location: Cerrillos, NM
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Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center's off-grid site demonstrates sustainable systems including permaculture, land restoration, organic gardening, passive solar design, appropriate technologies, and wise water techniques. We build with natural and salvaged materials, cook with solar ovens, and rely on rain catchment. Rain is our only source of water for our entire site in this high desert climate, and we have accumulated years of experience learning how to make the most of this sacred gift. We are accepting volunteers starting the first week of September and staying through October.  We will be building with Salvaged lumber and earthbags, light clay, and earthen plasters if we get that far before freezing temps set in.

Ampersand is a working demonstration site and educational center, not a farm. We offer community events, classes, retreats, and residencies as well as volunteer opportunities.  There is a lot to learn here, and we have a casual environment with clear expectations.  Check out our website to learn a whole lot more about us and our place.  www.ampersandproject.org

Here’s what we can offer:

   Get experience with hand crafted DIY sustainable water and solar systems and passive solar buildings made of earthen and salvaged materials.  Learn about building by doing it. We will teach you how to cook with the sun.
   We provide shared housing in a yurt, tipi, or strawbale cottage. Our solar powered community outdoor kitchen is equipped with solar ovens, a propane stove and fridge, and a system for re-using greywater.
   We ask for only part time work. 20 hours of work per week gives you time to explore our beautiful land, peruse our extensive library, hang out in the funky village of Madrid (in walking distance), or visit different parts of New Mexico.
   We have been teaching the essential aspects of sustainable living in this climate for over a decade and we incorporate learning opportunities into life at Ampersand based on the interests of volunteers.
   Bulk food items like oats, beans, rice, lentils, and olive oil are provided.

Here’s what we ask:

   We look for community-minded volunteers who can be both hard working and flexible. A sense of humor is always appreciated.
   Volunteers will be asked to take on responsibilities like watering garden plots and will keep track of the timing of these tasks.
   Volunteers will maintain the community kitchen and take turns with meal preparation for our small group of 5 to 7. Community meal prep time is included in work hours.
   We will generally work together on building projects 3 days per week, and self-directed volunteer responsibilities will be on other days as well.
   While we provide bulk foods as well as produce as it is available from our small garden, we ask volunteers to provide supplemental ingredients for meals and snacks. We have found that pooling funds for group shopping trips works well.
   Minimum stay 2 weeks. There may be longer term volunteer positions available
Let me know if you are interested!
Solar Station Construction Plans by Ben Peterson -- ebook
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