Project Location: The work will take place in the Reykjanes peninsula which is located on a drift zone, between two continents, the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. It is a unique site where you can find different elements that exist because of the drift zone; geothermal energy and lava fields. There you can find a lot of natural phenomenon such as Gunnuhver hot spring, Krysuvik, the bridge between continents and Hafnaberg sea cliffs.
The volunteers will be staying in Hafnarfjörður which is the third largest town in Iceland, with a population of over 26,000. A progressive municipality that focuses on ensuring a friendly environment. It is only 10 km away from the center of Reykjavik.
Hafnarfjörður is a unique town with an extraordinary history, where daily life and culture thrives in the middle of an old lava field. The town had a population of approximately 1400 when it was granted municipal status. Now, a century later, the population has exploded. However, the town retains its small-town air, its rural aura and its heart - which is not surprising given that the it prides itself on the largest unbroken neighborhood of corrugated iron-clad timber houses in Iceland. The town has grown quickly over the past few years and the new neighborhoods have attracted a diverse community of people who understand that Hafnarfjörður offers a great range of commercial outlets and services, an active cultural life and plenty of activities.
The town is famous for having one of Iceland’s largest settlements of elves, dwarves and the so-called ‘Hidden Folk.’ Centuries-old folklore has it that whole clans of such beings reside in the rocks that make up part of the town’s centre. We do not doubt this at all. Though elves are visible only to those with second sight, many Icelanders believe in their existence. Indeed, there are many stories to support this belief and reports of cases where the construction of new roads or housing developments were hindered by strange happenings abound. Hidden Folk are highly respected all over Iceland, especially in Hafnarfjördur. There is even a Hidden Worlds tour that takes to their home sites, including Hellisgerdi Park and the base of the cliff Hamarinn, which is said to be home to the Royal Family of the Hidden Folk. Along the way, the guide relates ancient folk tales of the magical hidden worlds and narrates how the town developed in harmony with the Hidden Folk.
For more information take a look at: http://www.hafnarfjordur.is/english/
Work: We will be working with GFF which is one of the leading environmental organization in south Iceland. The purpose of the association is to prevent the soil erosion around the capital area of Reykjavik and to make the eco system stronger and sustainable. To reach those goals GFF is planting natural species to restore lost land and at the same time create an environment that people in the capital area can enjoy in the future. The area of Reykjanes peninsula is very volcanic and full of lava fields, because of the that the vegetation is very poor in some places and a lot of need to revegetate the areas. We will help GFF to do that work. You can find further information is their website www.gff.is
Our work will depend on weather conditions, which is why we must be flexible. You should be prepared for unfriendly weather, but hopefully, the weather will be nice most of the time. This is a perfect camp for people who like outdoor work and physical challenges. Working hours are about 6 to 7 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Leisure: There are two excursions included in the project fee - The Golden Circle South Iceland excursion and The Snæfellsnes peninsula excursion. Worldwide Friends volunteers have free access to the local geothermal-heated swimming pool in Hafnarfjordur. Traditionally, natural pools have played an important social role in Icelandic culture. Most Icelandic pools offer indoor and outdoor swimming, as well as hot tubs and saunas or steam rooms.
WF Iceland will also organise other 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 glacial lagoons, waterfalls, volcanic and geothermal areas, glaciers, geysers, lava forests, hot-springs, rhyolite mountain ranges, steam-vents, or even icebergs.
Accommodation and Food: Worldwide Friends volunteers stay in a community building offering basic sleeping and cooking facilities. Volunteers need to bring their own sleeping bag and towels, but mattresses and bed linens are provided. Wireless internet access is provided free of charge. The accommodation is located within short walking distance of many urban amenities, including: banks, pharmacies, supermarkets, public swimming pools, restaurants, cafes, libraries, theatres, shops, museums, and bus stations.
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 (and spices) from home!
Terminal: Flights arrive at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), just south of Reykjavik, Iceland. The meeting point is at 18.00 at the first day of the camp in Tjarnargata 11 which is the city hall of Reykjavik. From that place we will move you to the camp accommodation in Hafnarfjordur.
Additional information: There is an extra participation fee of 350 euros for this workcamp, the fee includes two full day excursions. The Golden Circle South Iceland excursion and The Snæfellsnes peninsula excursion