Aurora hunting & Sustainable centre in East Iceland

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Project location:  Scoured by Ice Age glaciers, the dramatic east coast boasts long, narrow fjords with steep sides and jagged peaks which contrast with inland fertile farmlands. Natural harbours depict postcard-like fishing villages and seemingly never-ending roads cross the region, providing beautiful views.

“Fjarðabyggð" is an association of villages in the Eastern fjords of Iceland. It includes 7 towns called Eskifjörður, Fáskrúðsfjörður, Mjóifjörður, Neskaupstaður, Reyðarfjörður and Stöðvarfjörður, all tiny fishing villages with steep mountains towering just behind the houses. In this area, you will see some of the features that make Iceland a unique place in the world: spectacular fjords with a rich sea life, a great variety of birdlife and countless breathtaking hiking paths. The camp will take place in the village of Stodvarfjordur.

Work: There is two different types of work involved –environmental tasks and different workshops related to art and sustainability. Volunteers will do environmental work for the local community, for example, cleaning the coastline, planting trees, weeding, taking down old fences and fixing hiking paths. Please keep in mind that during wintertime some of those tasks depend highly on the weather.

The workshops in the centre include permaculture, aquaponics, growing herbs in an earth sheltered greenhouse (a walipini) and growing vegetables in the big garden of the centre. We will also focus on topics, such as “food waste”, “recycling” and “renewable energy”.

The art workshops are all about creating pieces of art out of natural and/or recycled materials. The area in the east has variety of colourful stones, which we will use in our artwork. Our work will also depend on weather conditions, which is why we have to be flexible. Working hours are about 6–7 hours a day, 5 days a week.

In addition to the work, winter in Iceland also means AURORA HUNTING. If you like photography, having an amazing time with friends from all over the world and the Northern lights, this camp will suit you perfectly. We will be on the lookout for Aurora borealis at night throughout the whole camp, so you will have the opportunity to take photos of this amazing and unique phenomenon. It is very important to bring your camera with you (only cameras that work in long exposure will catch those lights), so don’t forget your tripod and camera. The photos will be of your personal use, but we will also keep the best photos and use them in our brochures, on the website and on social media.

Accommodation and food: Volunteers will be staying in a fully equipped house in the village. Beds are provided, however, everyone is asked to bring their own warm sleeping bag. Wireless internet access is provided free of charge.

Food is included for the duration of the workcamp, however, everyone is expected to do their fair share of the cooking and cleaning. Since it is always nice to try new and different dishes, volunteers are encouraged to bring along their favourite recipes from home!

Leisure: Our volunteers have free access to the geothermally-heated swimming pools in the area.

WF Iceland will also organise reasonably-priced weekend excursions to some of the most popular, beautiful areas and natural wonders that Iceland has to offer. Excursions include unique Icelandic sights, such as waterfalls, volcanic and geothermal areas, glaciers, lava forests, hot-springs, rhyolite mountain ranges, steam-vents or even icebergs.

The area in the east is also good for hiking, so please bring your hiking shoes.

We will also concentrate on intercultural learning and exchange. Every evening, volunteers from different countries will be in charge of presenting their country of origin and culture in an informal way. It can be a presentation, a game, theatre – the form of introduction is up to you! Therefore, we encourage you to bring along some food, photos or anything interesting related to your country for a fun and informative evening amongst other volunteers.

This workcamp gives you the opportunity to spend an amazing time in Iceland with other international volunteers and to have an incredible experience where participants share their knowledge with each other while exploring creativity, environmental issues and intercultural learning.

Language:  A basic knowledge of English is required for this workcamp.

Terminal: Intl. Airport: Keflavík (KEF), Reykjavík.

Flights arrive at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), just south of Reykjavik. WF Iceland will offer a minibus trip from Reykjavik to the east for 180 € that includes the round trip which is almost 1,400 km in total and takes 2 full days. On the way to the camp, we will drive through the south to the east of the island. After the camp, we will drive through the north and west to Reykjavik, if road conditions are favourable. This trip includes unique Icelandic sights, such as glacial lagoons, waterfalls, volcanic and geothermal areas, glaciers, lava fields, hot-springs, rhyolite mountain ranges, steam-vents or even icebergs.

Additional information: There is an extra participation fee of 220 euros for this workcamp.