Eco Caminhos

Why choose Eco Caminhos?

Eco Caminhos is a self-sustaining Eco Farm situated in the in the beautiful green mountains of Nova Friburgo, Brazil. We bioconstruct (natural build) our own houses, We apply organic farming and agroforestry to grow our own healthy food. We invite people from across the globe to join us, share, learn and experience the Eco Farm. Besides the activities on the farm we do hikes in the mountains, camping weekends and horseback riding. You can also learn Portuguese.

Come and join our adventure!



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Yes, I recommend this program

Building a house from cob

I'm staying at Eco Caminhos for roughly 5 months to complete my internship for Environmental Sciences, focusing on bioconstruction research. I think that Eco Caminhos is a good place for anybody that wants to learn the basics of permaculture, bioconstruction or agroforestry. All the people that work at Eco Caminhos are very open to share their knowledge on different topics, meaning that if you ask the right questions you'll be able to soak up a lot of information. I think what has been to most important thing for me at Eco Caminhos is my journey towards happiness and peace. If you have the right attitude, this place is perfect for self-improvement, due to the like-minded people that are willing to share their stories and knowledge. I think this is a good place for those who want to learn how to become more disciplined, more independent, more mature and maybe even more happy. What you give is what you get.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Keep in mind that you can not always pick the jobs you like most, because these jobs might not correspond with the farm's priorities. This place is good for those who are independent, but maybe not so good for those who need a lot of assistance or attention, simply because you are expected to take responsibility of your own life here. This means that if you are lazy and/or uninterested, you'll get way less out of this program than if you have a proactive and independent attitude. Just something to keep in mind :)
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Yes, I recommend this program

It's a beauty

The conditions are ripe for anyone who is looking to sink their teeth into hands-on work. I believe that the best way to learn something new is to do it, plain and simple. There are many opportunities to learn bioconstruction, agro-forestry, and permaculture. There are beautiful gardens that provide fresh food, there are trees growing that will eventually cover the landscape with fruits and berries, and there is a high standard of building prowess that is rarely seen in the field of bioconstruction.

As a carpenter, I'm obviously most familiar with the construction and maintenance of homes. I live in a cold climate (Canada), which volleys between hot, humid summers, and frozen, bone-chilling winters. We need to build to a high standard in order to make through the year alive. Seeing the importance placed on a professional approach to building is inspiring, to say the least. I applaud the effort to find a way to build beautiful, expansive, and creative homes that boast practicality, modernity, and forward-thinking.

There are wide variety of volunteers from all over the world, so in addition to learning to speak Portuguese, and absorbing the Brazilian culture, we are all able to share our own humble corner of the world with others we would not have otherwise met. I truly enjoy my time here, and look forward to seeing the completion of the projects I am now contributing a small amount towards.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have asked if there were any tools I could bring from Canada that directly help the building process. We need chisels, auger drill bits, and a few simple hand tools that I could have easily brought with me if I knew.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Eco Caminhos life experience

I was at Eco Caminhos two years ago and stayed there for 9 months together. During my time I learned a lot about naturel building and perma culture. Especially the building program was very interesting. But the most important thing for me personal was to became myself again. I couldn't find my way in the Netherlands - I had an depression - and stepping out of my comfort zone was the best decision I could make. When I was in holland I never had the feeling to talk about all my problems - the people had constantly an jugde about me what makes me feel very frustrated. Brasil teached me to be more open minded and the people there are very relaxed. I made a lot of new friends who I am still in contact nowadays. This place and the nature are just fantastic and it will refresh your mind!!

What would you improve about this program?
I think during the week everything was pretty good organized. But in my opinion the weekends could be better - more activities for people.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Building towards sustainability

I've came to Eco Caminhos in the fall of 2017 and stayed for three months. I would have stayed longer if the visum had permitted it! During this time I've learned a lot about eco-contruction and permaculture, I made new friends, took in the smashing surroundings and generally had a blast!

For me, going back to a more basic form of life has really done me well. It helped me reconnect to the things in life that are really important to me. Meeting people, social interaction without a social media interaction layer in between ;). You could say it helped me realise that in life, we get surrounded with a lot of useless and pointless extra bagage and luxery we really don't need, and actually don't want for the most part. It was refreshing and inspiring to spend my energy on concrete and meaningfull activities like working on building our eco guest lodge, working in the gardens to grow our own food etc. Being out in nature, taking in the smashing views while working with your hands, really helps to clear the mind and just enjoy the moment. Hiking in the beautiful surroundings was ammazing aswell and worthwhile cities to visit like Rio the Janeiro, Búzios etc. are all in reach with decently organised public transportation.

My goal was to have a break of my regular job in health care, experience something new and learn new things like eco building techniques. During my stay I got so excited about the work, I decided to change things around when i'd go back to Holland. And so i did. I decided to take on a new career and am now working in construction, planning to steer my newfounded company in the direction of some form of eco construction!

I havent had much experiences like this that really set me on a new path, I guese you could say the experience has been life changing for me!

What would you improve about this program?
There is always ways to improve, I couldn't really say what needs work at the moment. Sure, I ran in to stuff at times but on the whole don't think these were things that could have been solved with a different planning for instance. During my stay I experienced a willingness to improve and listen, I really loved that open form of discussion and openeness to input.
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing people and view!

A place to (re) connect with yourself, nature and like-minded people. Waking up early, eating tasty and healthy food, working among nature, having a stunning view everywhere you look this is how your days will be like. Needless to say it is a life changing experience and a great opportunity to grow and develop yourself. I've also learnt a lot about sustainability, bioconstruction and organic farming. :)

But the highlight is definitely the time spent with other volunteers, will take this memories with me forever.


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