Welcome on our third article of the series volunteering.

Small reminder for everybody, Yakoilabas aims at discovering the agroecology, the alternative constructions methods and the cultures of the world thanks to an ecological journey, find here the link towards our article ” journey and ecology, it works? “, and volunteering through 3 continents. Click here to reach the link towards our project.
So we are going you to tell it more on our third and last voluntary service in Argentina El Bolson in the Río Negro region.

The owners and the place

We were welcomed by Catalina and Juan, her, a music teacher, him, a paragliding instructor. They are as Argentinian as they like playing music and singing songs, it is not uncommon to hear guitar music, singing or music at any time of the day. It is moreover the music school of Mendoza that gathered this girl from Mar del Plata and this boy from San Carlos de Bariloche. Juan had already begun to build his house in the periphery of El Bolson, city renowned for its craft market, its organic farming and its numerous hiking trails.

The situation is rather particular because Juan recovers from a paragliding accident and cannot move a lot. Catalina spent the last month to take care of him and all the house; our coming will allow them to rest as much as to move forward on the house construction before Christmas and New Year holidays.

The project

Juan bought the place by means of his family and wanted to build with local products, at low cost and according to his wishes. What about the trees, the straws, the clay and the sand from the valley?
The construction began in 2011 and continues even today, the reason is probably related to the fact that the duplex saw its surface doubled since the initial project. Two new bedrooms and a second bathroom are in progress.


It is during our 14 days stay that we have been able to realise various activities with them as:

  • Prepare and apply a clay-straw mix which serves as isolation;
  • Prepare and apply a filler to cover the layer of insulating material and which allows to level or to form walls according to our desires;
  • Cook, always a pleasure, and maintain the house;
  • Bring a help of all kinds.

Here, contrary to Martina and Yohan’s place, materials are freed to us by small trucks and there is a cement mixer to mix products. We just need to step the mix, which activate the clay.

Except the days of works, we strongly recommend to the volunteers to pass at Juan and Catalina’s. They will find a cosy place and a very nice couple there to speak the Argentinian Castillan, but also to soak in the Argentinian rhythm, including naps, matecitos (a small mate – also works for tea or coffee with tecito or cafecito) and music or song.

We wish to Juan and Catalina to finish their house and that music continues to live around them! And a good recovering to Juan …

Juan et Catalina devant leur maison – Juan and Catalina in front of their house

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