Israel - Desert Days Eco Family Project
Families are welcome to join us in the Negev Desert. This project will allow families to experience the wonder of constructing an ecological building, while enjoying the scenic landscape and idyllic lifestyle of the resort!
|Location of Project||Tzukim, in the South of Israel|
|Project Costs||US$1,150 per family up to 6 for 5 days|
|Project Length||5 days (Sat - Thu) (Sunday morning optional start date)|
|Arrival Airport||Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion or Eilat|
|Volunteer Work||construction, sustainability education, recycling work|
|Number of Participants||1-2 adults and 1-3 children|
|Age||0 - 80|
|Accommodation||Family guest suite|
|Food||Breakfast and provisions for cooking|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Orientation||All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival|
What's Not Included
The Negev is a desert region that covers the southern half of Israel. The least populated area in Israel, it is a home to (among others) the nomadic desert people known as the Bedouin and unique African wildlife. The Negev offers some spectacular scenery and is home to captivating sites and places.
About the Project
In this holiday resort made out of mud, volunteers will be able to feel the desert, earth, and stars, and enjoy this special part of Israel like they never have before.
This is a unique opportunity to introduce families to life in the desert. Volunteers will get to know the mysterious surroundings to the eco-lodge, eat bread made from a mud oven, learn about earth building and sculpturing, and even tour the local farm and help out in Ronit's vegetable garden. Volunteers will have the amazing opportunity to ride camels through the desert, take a jeep ride in Wadi "Ashosh," and walk through breathtaking desert canyons. Experience authentic music and bellydancing, and practice shooting with a bow and arrow, while watching the powerful red sun meet the sandy horizon.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
Working with your hands and getting dirty is always a lot of fun, especially for children. Using the earth as a building material is an extremely durable way to construct buildings and other structures. Families will be building eco huts, constructed from straw bales and the earth. This method has a number of advantages: the walls isolate heat and cold, the building materials are biodegradable and the final result looks quite beautiful. Volunteers and staff will use earth found in the surrounding area.
This project will give families a chance to learn all about the construction of mud bricks, sustainable living in the desert, and using recycled and reclaimed objects to construct beautiful buildings.
Please note that the following dates in 2014 fall on Israeli holidays and therefore the volunteer work will revolve mainly around tourist hosting: April 13-23, June 3-8, September 24-October 19, and December 17-24.
Each straw bale and mud hut for families can sleep a family of up to 5 members and includes a sleeping area, a sitting room, a private bathroom, a coffee corner, a private yard and even a fire place for the sometimes chilly desert nights!
Volunteers and their families will also have access to a large shared kitchen with a gorgeous sitting area and a swimming pool (open Apr - Nov).
After work hours, volunteers can enjoy this unique desert region, relax by the new eco pool (open Apr - Nov), and just chill out under the stars. Volunteers will receive 1/2 day desert walk. There are beautiful hiking canyons within a 10-40 minute drive of the project as well as an antelope farm and a crocodile farm that families are sure to enjoy!
- Basic English or Hebrew
- Good physical fitness
- Motivation to work in practical ecology
- Able to work in harsh desert climate
- Full travel & medical insurance
Check out our Volunteer Blog at blog.goeco.org to read experiences
written by GoEco volunteers from all over the world!
"Our visit to Desert-Days in Tzukim was an absolute highlight of our travels. (An “11” on a scale from 1-10) My family is on an eight month tour and our days with Rinat, the owner, and her family were easily some of the very best! This is an amazing place full of beauty, tranquility, spirit and love. It is “off the beaten” track and a hidden destination that most people don’t know about. At the same time, it is less than five minutes off the main road that goes from Jerusalem to Eilat so it is extremely convenient to stay here for a night or two while traveling between the north and south of Israel.
Rinat is incredibly welcoming and she will help you create the kind of stay that works best for you. A one or two night visit to enjoy the stars and chance to stay in a mud hut (which is actually nicer than most of the hotels we stayed in) and enjoy hikes and your own private fire pit is very easy to do. Visiting with a group of friends or for a conference would be fun, too. There was actually a yoga group arriving the day we left. You can bring your own food or she will cook for you. Her cooking is fresh, delicious and plentiful and I highly, highly recommend it!
In our case, we went there to make a mud hut. It was so much fun and we learned so much about land, earth and the building process. We felt such satisfaction for completing our project and our kids were beaming. Working with mud is totally different than anything else and, combined with the beauty of Tzukim and kindness of Rinat and her family, we felt we had an absolutely unique experience and one that you can’t find just anywhere. Our kids (3, 8 and 10) thoroughly loved it (understatement!) as did my husband and I. We can’t wait to return for a visit. " - Liz Pola, GoEco Volunteer 2011, USA