“So what is the concept of an ART HOSTEL?”
– asked me one of my volunteers. She was studying art therapy and was the first person giving me this question straight.
“You know, when you make an artwork, and you have the silence in you, and that focused attention, others might call it ‘flow’… I want to have a place where you can have this feeling easily, a place which actually makes you create something, which inspires you. I would like to add tools in people’s hand to have this feeling, and I want to have the same, of course, I want to be inspired. And this creation can be anything, can be a song in the morning, a small drawing on a piece of tea filter paper, can be a sculpture made of mud. Can be anything, a small little thing..” I told her. And i think, this is still true, this is the philosophy of my hostel. (Bea, founder of CaminoArt)
What are you looking for help with?
- Animal keeping
- General Help
Dear (wannabe) Volunteers! First the scary part.
I’m writing to you honestly and with respect. I know what volunteering means, I was there too and I am still volunteering in many ways. In my opinion, volunteering is helping others while learning new skills and practising already existing ones. Is a self-development and helping to develop the project at the same time. I understand you want to travel without spending money on basics (food, accommodation, care and love), this is a nice idea, except you don’t do it truly, like taking an advance on the offers but making a poor effort to fulfil tasks.
I think you are not helping for free…
Those benefits you might get for your help are values and can tell the value in money (like food, accommodation, electricity, water, internet access, medication, working hours spent with your teaching and taking care of you, etc.). I don’t want to count the euros, just trying to explain that what you get in return to your help is a pretty big value already if we see the material side, even bigger if we add the mental, spiritual or ethereal ones! In this case, I expect you to focus on our project while you are a member of our team.
I would like you to be present, be involved and be the part of the whole thing, and not to count the hours for your next day off, or count the hours of your work in return the quantity of food. We are not a travel agency giving beds for free for cool travellers but we’re a hostel in the mountains, running a lot of different projects as well.
We have colder and rainy days (especially in winter), we have slow internet, rooms with no windows (it is a 90 years old farmhouse), please take notes of all these before you decide to come to help. Even if its raining or colder than you expected, I will give you extra blankets and we do exercises together to warm up. I hope this is clear and understandable.
We also have a dog and cats, they are free in the garden area, cannot enter the house, please consider this if you have allergies for animals.
If you still like all these, please be our volunteer!
So, let’s go on for the details:
1. Why this whole volunteering thing is good for you?
Because you can:
- have a special experience living right in nature, far from the cities
- develop new skills and practice the ones you already have.
- learn about the hostel industry.
- meet very cool people and you will have amazing conversations.
- have your morning coffee with an incredible view behind the tables.
- enjoy yourself, learn new things and help out at the same time.
- be sure that the time you spend here might help you to get real paid jobs in the future with my recommendation.
2. Where do the volunteers sleep?
At the moment we don’t have a separated room for the volunteers, so they will stay in a dorm bed in an 8-bed dorm. The bathroom is also shared with the other guests. You will have lockers to have your personal things in a safe place. We cannot provide private rooms for couples.
3. How does the schedule look like?
We are expecting you to stay with us for at least four weeks. We agree together about timing. Therefore, we can do shifts: morning (8am-3pm) and afternoon (3pm-10pm) shifts. Or we can just arrange days of being busy at the hostel, and days when you can be totally free. Sometimes guests arrive in late hours, but it doesn’t happen often, also sometimes they want to have breakfast around 8 am, so you need to start a bit earlier. Cleaning is in the morning, starting from 9 am, it takes maybe 2-3 hours to clean all the rooms and the garden area, do the laundry, etc…
Volunteers always have at least two days off (often more) so there is a chance to go and see other parts of the island. We do the schedule together for the following weeks, so all of our working hour requests can be planned together. Many people ask me how many hours they will work in reality? Honestly: I don’t know. But you will have a nice harmony between working and having your own time. This is very important!
5. What kind of tasks will you be doing as a volunteer?
- checking in and out, payments part as well
- be around the guests, talk to them and find out their needs
- organize activities and in general be involved in the daily life of the hostel
- gardening (basic or advanced)
- doing laundry
- cooking, or make breakfast (basic or advanced)
- fixing (basic or advanced)
- being creative (basic or advanced)
- look after our pets (they are lovely so you will do this anyway)
6. How many hours the volunteers work in a week?
More or less 25-35 hours a week (4-5 shifts a week). Approximately.
7. How many volunteers will be in the hostel at one time?
1-3 volunteers at a time.
8. What do you get in return for your help?
Accommodation, basic food (pasta, rice, onions, potato, coffee, tea, lentils, etc.. occasionally fruits, or other things..), discount for staying in other hostels on the island on your days off, discount for your friends and family visiting you here at Camino, slow internet, perfect laundry service, amazing experience, opportunity for self-development and singing birds all day long.
We provide basic dry food for volunteers, they need to cook for themselves. On events when we have food, of course, they can eat for free. There is an option to make breakfast/Dinner for our guests and spend the income on food for the volunteers.
I cannot help with Visa but I can offer assistance
We are located in Vega de San Mateo, about 1,5km from the centre of this little, lovely town. The hostel is by the road GC15, and facing to the magical Valley of Mireles. We have a small garden and a bigger land with caves and old eucalyptus trees.
For proper description about how to get here please have a look at the section on our website (caminoart.org).
How to get to your site
Camino Art Hostel is located in Vega de San Mateo on Gran Canaria, only 13 km from the highest peak, called Pico de Las Nieves. We are about 1,5km from the centre of this little, lovely town. The hostel is by the road GC15 and facing to the magical Valley of Mireles.
For proper description about how to get here please read this site.
Is there internet access?
I hope I didn’t frighten all of you away.
Those who still want to come and help us, please write us an e-mail to:
Camino Art Hostel, founder