Volunteering at Tojeiro is more than being part of a volunteer project, it is about being a part of a community. Coming to stay in a community for the first time is incredibly eye opening. For many people, it is a step outside of their comfort zone. You learn to live closely alongside other people, whether you are sharing a van or teepee or have your own tent. You have your three meals of the day together with your family and you work together in teams to complete daily jobs to contribute to the community.
Weekly and daily meetings help everyone to plan how to work towards group goals. There are also fun activities throughout the week that help maintain the family feeling and are a great opportunity to get to know others better.
If you like your own space and time on your own, that doesn’t mean community life isn’t for you. You can take what you want from it. You may prefer to chose a solitary job and spend the afternoon reading a book out in nature. You might even find a quiet place to eat your meal or sit with one or two of your close friends rather than the group.
There is something so special about being part of a small community where you are all contributing to the same goals. It does not feel like you are are working or volunteering, but rather you are contributing to help make this way of life a reality, whether its by cooking a delicious hot meal for your community family, working in the garden to grow the vegetables that will be part of your meals or constructing a clay house for your friends to live in.
You might discover that a community is the place where you are meant to be. Working together with people who were once strangers, but are now your family and friends away, from the outside world. You can make change happen in this setting because almost every part of your life is directly within your reach. Sharing an idea at a group meeting can result in something happening the next day or initiating the beginning of a long term project. Of course there will be politics and group dynamics among other factors and you won’t always have everyone on the same page, but what other setting can you have this incredible opportunity to create and change the world around you?