Volunteers wanted in Camino Art House

Dear (wannabe) Volunteers!

(First the scary part 🙂 ) I’m writing to you honestly and with respect. I know what volunteering means, i was there too and i am still volunteering in many ways. In my opinion volunteering is helping others while learning new skills and practicing already existing ones. Is a self-development and helping to develop the project at the same time. I understand you want to travel without spending money on basics (food, accommodation, care and love), this is a nice idea, except if you don’t do it truly, like taking advantage on the offers but making a poor effort to fulfill tasks.

I think you are not helping for free. Those benefits you might get for your help are values, and can tell the value in money (like food, accommodation, electricity, water, internet access, medication, working hours spent with your teaching and taking care of you, etc.). I don’t want to count the euros, just trying to explain that what you get in return to your help is a pretty big value already if we see the material side, even bigger if we add the mental, spiritual or ethereal ones! In this case i expect you to focus on our project while you are the member of our team. I would like you to be present, be involved and be the part of the whole thing, and not to count the hours for your next day off, or count the hours of your work in return the quantity of food. We are not a travel agency giving beds for free for cool travelers. We are a hostel, an art house, and a growing community in the mountains, running a lot of different projects as well. We have colder and rainy days (especially in winter), we have slow internet, we have rooms with no windows (it is a 90 years old farmhouse), please take notes of all these before you decide to come to help. Once you are here, we expect you to stay at a minimum of 6 weeks, even if its raining or colder than you expected, i will give you extra blankets and we do exercises together to warm up. I hope this is clear and understandable. (We also have a dog and cats. Cats are free in the garden area, cannot enter the house, please consider this if you have allergies for animals.)

We have been working with volunteers for more than 6 years now. We have our own special way to do it, and the main thing is cooperation, communication and happiness. How do i mean? We always make a plan for tasks and working hours together. We talk about it. We talk about the tasks even during the process. We are an art hostel, so you can express yourself and learn a lot at the same time. We are also an off the road hostel, which means that our guests are mainly the cool guys who you actually want to meet during your travel experience. We are off the road because we are not on the beach, and we are not in the city. So you will have plenty of time to enjoy yourself in the nature. Hanging up laundry while watching the mountains, listening to the birds. We are based in Vega de San Mateo, in the heart of Gran Canaria, only 13 kms from the highest peak, called Pico de Las Nieves.

If you still like all these, please be our volunteer!

So, let’s go on for the details:

1. Why this whole volunteering thing is good for you?

Because you can have a special experience living right in the nature, (not too) far from the cities. Because you can develop new skills and practice the ones you already have. Because you can learn about hostel industry and be involved in challenging projects, art projects, events. Because you will meet very cool people and you well have amazing conversations. Because you can have your morning coffee with an incredible view behind the tables. Because you can enjoy yourself, learn new things and help out at the same time. Because the time you spend here might help you to get real paid jobs in the future with my recommendation.

2. Where is Camino Art House located?

We are located in Vega de San Mateo, about 1,5km from the center of this little, lovely town. The hostel is by the road GC15, and facing to the magical Valley of Mireles. We have a small garden and a bigger land with caves and old eucalipt trees and a camp site.

For proper description about how to get here please read this site.

3. Where do the volunteers sleep?

We have a small volunteers room connected to our dorm room in the house. We also use our biggest cave (Dragon Cave) to accommodate our crew and guests crew members. We have a few tents as well for volunteers. We cannot provide private rooms for couples.

4. How does the schedule look like?

We are expecting you to stay with us for at least six weeks.

We agree together about timing. We can do shifts: morning (8am-3pm) and afternoon (3pm-10pm) shifts. Or we can just arrange days of being busy at the hostel, and days when you can be totally free. Sometimes guests arrive in late hours but doesn’t happen often, also sometimes they want to have breakfast around 8am, so you need to start bit earlier. Cleaning is in the morning, starting from 9am, it takes maybe 3-4 hours to clean all the rooms and the garden area, do the laundry, etc…

Volunteers always have at least two days off (often more) so there is a chance to go and see other parts of the island. We do the schedule together for the following weeks, so all of our working hour requests can be planned together. Many people ask me how many hours they will work in reality? Honestly: i don’t know. But you will have a nice harmony between working and having your own time. This is very important!

5. What kind of tasks will you be doing as volunteer?

– cleaning

– checking in and out, payments part as well

– be around the guests, talk to them and find out their needs

– organize activities and in general be involved in the daily life of the hostel

– gardening (basic or advanced 🙂)

– doing laundry

– cooking, or make breakfast (basic or advanced 🙂)

– fixing (basic or advanced 🙂)

– being creative (basic or advanced 🙂)

– look after our pets (they are lovely so you will do this anyway 🙂 )

6. How many hours the volunteers work in a week?

More or less 25-35 hours a week (4-5 shifts a week). Approximately.

7. How many volunteers will be in the hostel at one time?

3-6 volunteers at a time.

 

8. What do you get in return for your help?

Accommodation, basic food (pasta, rice, onions, potato, coffee, tea, lentils, etc.. occasionally fruits, or other things..), discount for staying in other hostels on the island on your days off, discount for your friends and family visiting you here at Camino, slow internet, perfect laundry service, amazing experience, opportunity for self-development and singing birds all day long 🙂

I hope i didn’t frighten all of you away. Those who still want to come and help us, please write us an e-mail to caminoarthouse(at)gmail(dot)com and introduce yourself, please include in your e-mail a short story of your experiences and a little bit about your motivation on becoming a volunteer. also we would like to know what interests you, what are your main activities.

sincerely yours,
Bea Baltavari
Camino Art House, founder

Storytelling – gathering of the curious nomads

In old ages, before photos, radio or electricity people gathered in a warm place when ancient vagabonds returned from their journeys to listen to their stories.

storytelling
Stories about never seen lands, wars, mystic animals, new solutions, surprising weather conditions, adventures and knowledge that these travellers have learnt on their trips. The reason of the journeys might have been similar to the ones we have today: seeking for new opportunities, exploring untouched places, learning about the world, bringing messages to far away places, looking for new home, fulfilling an adventurous heart wishes, searching for remedies, gods, survival tools, or hoping to find connections to other humans.

In these program series we will invite travellers who are happy to share their meaningful stories, so we can learn and get to know about places and happenings that we have never known before. We will listen and ask questions, talk and discuss about all the stories that are ready to be shared.

Our aspiration is to challenge ourselves and learn from each others without the sparks of instagram photos and filters. Without the „branding” of a nomad influancer. Lets try to do the old-fashioned way of communication: storytelling.

Our first gathering will be on
12th November, 2024
Camino Art House

After the storytelling we invite you for a simple vegan dinner and some drinks

Gathering of travellers

The Butterfly Dance – a children’s book that was born in Camino

Emily and Andrii, two of Camion’s volunteers, decided to make a children’s book together. It took them only a few month from the first idea in december ’22 until the book was published on 22nd of May, 2023. Camino is a great place to find new ideas, and to act on them, either by yourself, or with a collaboration with someone else. I got very interested on how this book creation happened, so I asked a few questions of my ex volunteers. I am hoping there will be many similar, creative and beautiful stories in the future.


The Butterfly Dance follows the fun and surprising journey of a young child and a butterfly as they discover true beauty, even in the ordinary.
I first questioned Emily about this arty experience.

How did you come up with the idea of the butterfly dance book?

It all started last summer when I was walking to my local lake. It’s a long, scenic walk so I write poems in my head. I can’t say exactly what I saw without giving the story away but a very simple sweet moment happened and it inspired a poem. That poem then sat in my notes, forgotten, until I met Andrii at Camino.

Did Camino inspire you in any way? How did it help in the process of creation to be in Camino?

During my time at Camino, I wrote 50+ poems and filled two notebooks with thoughts- the most I have ever written at one time. I had never shared my writing before, nor really believed that it would be enjoyed by people other than me. With time, and great people around me, I started sharing my poems. I soon mentioned a possible book and Andrii said he could illustrate it. The book would still be forgotten in the notes app of my phone if I hadn’t met the incredibly kind, creative people in Camino.

What is your experience, is it easy or difficult to work in camino, in the term of making art?

Like I said, I didn’t stop writing during my time there. I would sit and watch people talk over dinner and write, I’d watch Andrii and Hannah draw and write, I’d get lost on a sad day in nature and write. Everything and everyone inspired me, the environment allowed it to flow effortlessly.

Is this book a starting point? Are you planning to write/publish more books? Will you stay with children’s stories?

I’d love to write more children’s books. I think I want to write as many stories as possible, I’m sure some will be good and some not so much, and then choose 1 to make the next book. I’ll also keep writing poetry but I think I will return to keeping those private.

What is your favorite thing about this book? If you think of the whole process, starting from the first idea until the publishing, which part warms your heart the best?

I think the sense of accomplishment from holding a finished copy is the best part. I was part of creating something beautiful and it feels incredible to have that in my hands.

How was it to work in collaboration with Andrii? Camino is a great mixture of different artists, and one of the ideas of the art house is to find partners in art making, or in other creative works. Do you think Camino fulfills this idea?

I think the book would have never been created without Camino. Camino mixes music, art, poetry and nature – it also brought together incredible people to share art with.

What is the thing that you like the best about Andrii’s work? What do you think about how his drawings and your stories fit together? Did he deliver something that you planned or did you let him create freely, and it was a perfect match?

I think Andrii’s art is by far the best thing about this book. I adore every single page, every thought and idea that I had was made even better by him. I’d say for the most part, he created freely – we wanted his style in the book. We discussed word placement and logistical things together but the art all comes from him. He brought the story to life and made it breathe.

What is the message of the book?

The message of the book is that everything has beauty, even hidden in ordinary things. There’s a little bit of magic everywhere, even if you have to look a little deeper in that thing or yourself to find it.

Andrii arrived to Camino a few weeks before Emily, and they quickly had a strong bond. Andrii is a great artist, spent many hours in different spots of Camino in silence, and just draw on a piece of paper he found or on his laptop.

How did you come up with the idea to cooperate in making the Butterfly Dance book?

Well, it was a spontaneous idea, as far as I remember. Emily saw me painting and she asked me if I wanted to make a book together. She already had the poem written. After she read it to me, without any hesitations, I said yes.

Did you illustrate others books already or is it your first book?

I was working as a book illustrator for about two years and illustrated a number of books as well as other projects.

What was your experience in working in Camino? Was it difficult or inspiring?

I think it was a perfect place for it because it has this special creative atmosphere and incredible nature. The place itself is a pure inspiration.

This is the first time when two volunteers collaborate and make an art project come true. How do you feel about that? do you think Camino is a good place for collaboration? or for actually making a dream come true?

Camino is full of artists and creative people and it’s just a matter of time when the next art will happen. People here collaborate on a daily basis doing yoga, meditation, art, all sorts of things. And it all happens naturally. I feel really lucky to be there and actually to have a chance to participate as a volunteer.

Did you need to face professional challenges? What were they and how did you deal with them?

The main challenge was to decide how to break the text in to pieces and create and illustrations for each of them. Honestly, it was more or less smooth process with just a few adjustments we arrived with solution that worked for us. The challenges kind of solved themselves and the answer came with the time. we took it slow and the book was ready in a few months from an idea to the finished project.

How was the working flow with Emily? The Butterfly Dance book was her original idea, how did it feel to when she wanted to include you into this project? How did your working process develop?

The project developed very smoothly without any problems really. Mainly because it’s our book and a collaboration 50/50. Therefore i felt it was more like making a personal project rather then work.

what do you think of your ready art pieces in the book? Are you satisfied with your work? What is your next step? Are you going to make more books together?

It’s very difficult for me to feel satisfied with my art, but this book specifically is an exception. I had full creative freedom to do illustrations in any style as I wanted, as long as it communicated the idea. Emily fully trusted my personal taste and I hope the result is speaking for itself. So far we don’t have any plans to make the next one, but we received many positive comments and reviews which can be a good motivation to create more books in the future.

The Butterfly Dance book is available on Amazon or contact @thebutterflydancebook on Instagram directly for a cheaper price.

Emily Rose is also known as Emily O’Reilly. she is a 25 year old poet, teacher and now author. She was born just outside of London and started writing as a child. She wrote short stories and attempted novels throughout her childhood until she fell in love with poetry as a teenager. For as long as she can remember, she have experienced life through the lense of poetry; it has become a way of thinking as much as a hobby.

At Camino, she wrote something new to her – a children’s book. Together, with Andrii, they created ‘The Butterfly Dance’. Although her poetry will return to the privacy of her notebooks, she wants to keep writing and sharing stories for children. It’s an exciting and surprising direction that would have never been possible without the incredible, artistic environment of Camino or the people there.

Andriy Klumchyk is a self-studied illustrator and artist, born in 1995, Ukraine. From 2018 he was working as a freelancer for international clients. Had worked on various projects including character design, book illustrations, song covers, picture film, nft, game design. In 2022 had started to work on personal art, making murals, and had an exhibition in Camino Art House. In 2023 made a book with E. Rose called Butterfly Dance, which is mostly a charity project made to support children’s of war in Ukraine and around the world.

interview by
bea
camino art

Let Me Bloom festival – calling all artists and teachers

Calling all artists, performers and teachers to attend our very first art festival. LAST CALL! Deadline: 28. FEBR, 2022.

Camino Art House is inviting artists, performers, instructors, teachers and coaches to participate in our Let Me Bloom art and self-improvement festival in Vega de San Mateo, Gran Canaria, on March 18 – 20, 2022.

Vision

Let Me Bloom is a mini art and self-improvement festival in the wild valley of Los Mireles, in Vega de San Mateo. Spring is the time when nature blooms and a new era of growing and maturing starts. We, as humans, need this growth more than ever. We need to unlearn our toxic habits and makespace for real, original values, like empathy, care, creativity, synchronicity and learning to live in harmony with nature and other beings around us.

Two essential tools on this journey are art and education. You can be creative or just let yourself take it all in; everyone will be part of the whole. We are inviting you – as an artist, performer, teacher – to use your skills and connect with our participants in your special, unique way so we all can enjoy and grow in different skills, like communication, creativity or empathy.

The festival will bea small, but inspiring three-day event in our magical valley. The venues of the different events, performances and workshops will be hidden in the land, in the caves, and under the trees. We imagine beautiful, inspiring and meaningful moments that we share while taking in, practising, or performing art in nature. The te mini stages will host all kinds of activities, they might be performances, where the audience is observing, interactive shows where the audience is involved, or workshops where the participants learn something new, or practise a special skill. The artists, performers, and teachers might perform their own show at one time and teach a connecting (or totally different) skill at another time in a different venue. We are all artists, and we are all students. Teaching and learning, performing and in-taking art are almost the same, we all meet in the beautiful line in the middle.

We invite all of you in the following areas of expertise (these are just ideas, suggestions, we are happy to enlarge the list):

Theatre / Theatre improvisation / Singing, singing classes and practice / Drawing / Painting / Free painting / The extraordinary world of illustration / Natural art making / Handpan music / Playfight, a playful method of connection and cooperation / Zen writing / Leaded meditation and visualisation / Collage making / Gypsy music / Jamming / African drumming / Dance / Free movement / Treasure hunting / Herbal medicines / Wild teas / Cooking workshops (vegan and raw) / Nutrition workshop / Food analyses / Enneagram and the art of acceptance / Whispering and storytelling / Men’s and women’s circles / Yoga as a whole / Asana practice / Mindful meditation / Music theory, where the trance comes from / many more..

Camino Art House

Camino Art House opened its doors in 2015. Since than we have offered accommodation and have run different projects with artists. This includes exhibitions, workshops in art, health and lifestyle topics, and many more events. We welcome travellers who are always happy to be involved in our daily life and share their own experiences with us.
We have an old building, which is the central house, and a large land, where the festival will take place. We have caves, meadows, and terraces to use. The house itself will not accommodate all of us, so we will open a special camp site for visitors and a special camp site for artists/performers/teachers.

Stages

We are planning to have ten mini stages. We have four caves that we can use for concerts, jamming, meditation, or other activities. The timing of each stages won’t overlap significantly, so participants can visit more activities/shows. We are located in a valley, but we have to be very careful with sound limitations. Our good relationship with our neighbors is very important for us We will have on-site supervisors, who will be responsible for safety and acceptable sound levels. .

Challenges

We are challenging you to keep the following recommendations:
1. Avoid drug consumption
2. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
3. Avoid loud, aggressive behavior
4. Avoid creating dangerous, reckless situations in nature
5. Not build fires or use open flames
6. Avoid littering
7. Avoid abusing nature
8. Be patient and understanding
9. Be careful when walking around in the valley or in the house (including the patio and the terrace)
10. Be helpful and courteous
11. Be quiet and caring
12. Be an considerate smoker. Please be polite and caring when you choose to smoke cigarettes, and always collect your cigarette butts in your personal ashtrays.

We are sharing a small space in these three days, and the space will be filled with a wide variety of activities, so we all need to be attentive and patient.

Toilets/showers

The toilet facilities are limited in the main house. Please use the dry toilets and pop up showers. Please leave the places clean after yourself.

Quiet hours

From early morning until the end of breakfast we will follow the rule of quiet hours, which means that talking, using the phones or other devices are not allowed , so we can enjoy the sounds of nature and our inner silence. We can take a moment to look back to our last day and take in all the benefits of our participation in the festival.
In the night we need to finish all loud activity before 11pm.

Accommodation//food

We offer free camping to our artists/performers/teachers. The area will be separated from the visitor’s camp site. We provide complimentary food three times a day. Drinking water is available all the times.

Benefits and Pay

We offer 100% funds from ticket sales to our artists/performers, instructors/teachers/coaches. This means that this 100% will be shared with all of you who are willing to participate/perform in this festival. Beside this, you will enjoy accommodation and food for free. Alcohol is not included in our hospitality, but coffee and tea are 🙂 Please bring a sleeping bag, as blankets are limited.

How to apply?

If you are interested in participating in the festival, please write an e-mail to bea@caminoart.org, or contact via whatsapp or phone on +34 633339903. Please briefly introduce yourself, your project(s), and write a few sentences about why you would like to participate in the festival. Please attach your portfolio or website. We are happy to see references of your work, if you have photos, sound recordings or videos of your earlier shows/performances/workshops please attach them or send a link.

The call is open until 15. February, 2022. Please send your application before the deadline.

We hope to see you at Camino Art House!

Earth Days at Camino Art House

Do you dream about spending a few days connected to Nature around Christmas? This is your chance!

We are happy to invite you to spend two days at Camino Art House and do yoga, listen to music and connect to Earth. You will be able to learn about local plants, help in building shelters in the land, participate in handpan meditation and eat nice food made of local ingredients from the local market.

You can come only for a day, but feel free to book with us and stay over in our 90 years old farmhouse, or one of our cave rooms.

Here is the program:

20 December, Friday

  • from 4 pm arrival, landscape art-making, learning techniques
  • 7 pm – dinner (vegan)
  • 8 pm – sound bath in the cave
  • campfire

21 December, Saturday

  • 7.30 am – morning sound bath with yoga
  • 9 am – breakfast
  • 10 – 12 – Flora walk in the land, picking snacks
  • 12 pm – lunch
  • 2 pm landscape art-making, learning about permaculture
  • 7 pm – dinner (vegan)
  • 8 pm – music and wine

22 December, Sunday

  • 7.30 am – morning sound bath with yoga
  • 9 am – breakfast
  • finishing art/building projects
  • 1 pm lunch
  • free time, goodbye

Contributions:

stay over: 10€/night/person

one day: 15€ / person – including workshops, yoga, music and food on a full day (not including accommodation)

half day: 10€ / person – including workshops, yoga, music and food on a half-day (not including accommodation)

all days: 22€ / person – including workshops, yoga, music and food on all  days (not including accomodation)

Info and booking:

caminoarthostel@gmail.com

on WhatsApp: +34 633339903

What we do

After running Camino Art Hostel for a few years now, we realized that we don’t need to save the whole world. It is enough to make a little change at once, and the best way is education and showing a good example.

Here is what we do to make a better world.

Selective Garbage

We separate plastic, metal, paper and glass garbage. If we pay a good attention on the selection we have very small amount of regular waste left. Starting from 15th January 2019, we have a special program: we are not collecting the trash from the guests. They need to take care of their own garbage and take it away when they check out. The purpose of this program is to raise awareness of the trash situation in general.

We don’t use garbage bags. We prefer to carry the garbage to the large containers in a separate bag that we clean time to time. The bins are also cleaned often.

Compost

We separate raw leftover or not usable food to make our own compost in the garden.

Shopping/NON-shopping

We offer bags/re-usable plastic bags for our guests to do their shopping. We keep these bags to use them again and again. We try not to buy trash: avoid those items in the store that end up in the containers just after you arrive home from shopping.

Recycling

We recycle almost everything we find thrown out by the garbage containers: old furniture, wood, glass bottles, boxes, palettes, etc. We use these materials to make seating or fun areas on the land, or turn them into an art piece.

Natural soap

We use chemical free soap for laundry. Since we use the washing machine a lot, it is important to avoid chemicals and artificial materials.

Cleaning liquid

We use vinegar, sodium bicarbonate and lemon to clean the kitchen and the bathrooms. The lemon usually comes from our own land.

Beach Cleaning

Time to time we organize beach cleaning on the island. It is not only cleaning up, it is also having fun together and playing, swimming and enjoying.

Drinking water

We use the traditional water filter made of lime stone. This is a very practical and natural way of cleaning the water. Please fill up your water bottle from our filtered water deposit. If you don’t have a water bottle please ask for one!

Your little trashy things –aka– meet your wake up call

We really try our best to make you happy. We serve you. We cheer you up. We put you into bed. We clean after you (and before you). We listen to you. We do love you and … we collect your trash.

Days after days we collect your trash, we separate them, we put them in a bag to carry them to the containers. We do all these with our hands.

trash
Plastic trash

Since October 2018 we don’t use garbage bags at Camino Art Hostel. It is just nonsense to buy plastic bags, to throw them out – at least 5 of them daily. Instead, we collect the garbage in little containers and carry them to the selective bin containers in a large shopping bag that we clean afterwards. But wait a minute. What does this whole thing mean? It means that we, the staff of Camino Art Hostel are conscious of the garbage issue. But we kindly invite you too to be part of the conscious trash culture.

Starting from 15th of January we are NOT COLLECTING your trash!

When you check into Camino Art Hostel you will receive a decomposing plastic bag with your name. This will be your personal trash storage. We kindly ask you to collect all your trash in your personal bag and take it with you when you check out.

You won’t find garbage bins at the hostel (except the one in the bathroom for the toilet paper and other small things) neither ashtrays.

No, we don’t do this to upset you. We would just like to raise awareness on the topic. We truly hope you will pay more attention to the trash situation in the hostel, and maybe later in your daily life.

The trash situation is fatal on the planet. We need to make definite steps, and we need radical change. WE MUST STOP PRODUCING TRASH! We need to learn how to exist without SPENDING MONEY ON TRASH! This is the first step. When we have learned this, we can start the cleaning up.

What can you do?

– you can leave your trash in the hostel anyway – we understand that you might get upset because we deprived you of the comfort of collecting your personal garbage. It is ok. We WILL CLEAN AFTER YOU
– you can collect your garbage in the bag provided and put all of it in the general waste container just in front of our building (the green container by the bus stop)
– you can collect your garbage, take it with you, and put them separately into the selective garbage containers on your way to your next location

This project will find people who highly disagree with the idea of collecting personal trash. But we truly hope that there will be more, who will understand the main purpose of the idea and will actually take it as an experiment: how much garbage they produce in a few days.

We will keep collecting the compost which will be a big help for you (just for the record: we produce about 20 litres of compost, about 5 litres of general waste, 20 litres of glasses and papers, and about 40 litres of plastic and metal garbage A DAY in our little 22-bed hostel. when we are more or less 70% full.

We are looking forward to sharing this unique experience with you, and we hope to see you co-operate and use this experiment for your moral growth.