Chile: 1 Month of Volunteering in Mapuche Country at Samadhi Eco Resort - Valentin Marmin

Samadhi Eco Resort

After 6 months and a half of travel, we wanted to try to find a volunteer on our course for the following reasons:

  • to try something totally different

  • to stay in the same place a little longer than our usual 3-4 days

  • to try to improve our Spanish

After some research on the HelpX site and a great Skype interview with Samantha, we head to the small town of Vilcun to join the Samadhi Eco Resort! We will spend 4 weeks in an absolutely fantastic setting.

The Samadhi Eco Resort is not yet open to the public, but it aims to become one of the Eco Resort standards throughout South America! And in our opinion, they have plenty of potential !!

And in addition to this great work environment, we were able to make some really great encounters.

Dog note : About 5 seconds after our arrival, we get to know muscled Yuki and Amethys, two plump 4-month Akita dogs (especially Yuki) that will make us laugh every day !!

At work !

During our four weeks, we will mainly work on the luxury chicken coop (aka "Cluckingham Palace"). He is already well advanced when we arrive and will not be quite finished when we leave. We make maximum use of the materials available to us, "wood crusts" for the outdoor cover, bamboo found in the field, etc.

Another of our tasks will be the painting of tubes, huge concrete cylinders normally dedicated to urban pipelines, which will then be placed in the slope of the hill facing Villarica volcano, then buried to make rooms in the manner of Hobbit Holes. the County (reference geek yes).

On our last week, we left the chicken coop aside to lend a hand to the workers on the site of the containers: these recovered containers will be assembled two by two to form 3 super rooms at the top of the hill, offering a fantastic view on the Llaima volcano.

Extra Voluntary Activities

It must be said that we were pampered during these 4 weeks, the managers took great care of us. We ate like kings and probably regained all the weight lost since the beginning of the trip. We discovered Mapuche culture and cuisine and Samuel's inexhaustible culinary talent

In addition to all the activities available on the spot for evenings (epic darts, Uno-Blindtest ©, archery ...), Yocelyn organized some activities in the region.

Thus we were able, with our super guide Patricio, to go towards the Alpehue Valley where we went up the river (in surprise canyoning mode) to Geysers and hot springs before to come back down by bewildering gorges.

Most of these photos come from Samuel, who braved the river with the reflex hanging on his bag (hat) !! You can find more pictures of his travels at the following link !

Note in passing some ultra thin mountains that look like an Avatar landscape! 

Another very rewarding trip organized by Yocelyn, we were able to attend a ceremony of a Mapuche community !!

In the previous photo, we can see two local specialties: Poulmai, meat dish and mussels cooked on the fire, and Sopaipillas, which are baked bread rolls that are dipped in the juice of Poulmai (yum!).

A hint of history : the Mapuches are the original inhabitants of this region of Chile. They have given the Spaniards a lot of trouble and have been since colonization in almost permanent conflict (more or less violent) with the Chilean government. The latter has been working for several years on the restitution of the property and land that were lost by these communities. The ceremony we attended was held in honor of 14 Mapuches families who were returned 10 hectares of land each by the government.

Balance sheet

These 4 weeks have been a real treat for us. First of all, we have to admit that it did us a lot of good to stop moving for a while. Then, what about this living environment ... A cottage to live absolutely superb, great meetings, interesting and motivating work, beautiful landscapes.

In short, a radical change following our first 6 months of travel which has done us the greatest good. We would like to thank the entire Samadhi Eco Resort team and the volunteers we worked with for these 4 great weeks !!