Israel - Mountain Eco Lodge
Volunteer at the breathtaking Nimrod Eco Lodge on the scenic slopes of Mt. Hermon. Help construct and maintain sustainable buildings, explore experimental bio-farming, take in the awe-inspiring scenery and visit the ancient ruins of Nimrod Fortress.
|Location of Project||Nirmod, Mt. Hermon|
|Project Length||Min 2 weeks - Max 8 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Ben Gurion, Tel Aviv|
|Volunteer Work||Sustainable building, experimental bio-farming, hosting guests|
|Number of Participants||1 - 5 international volunteers|
|Age||18 - 70|
|Accommodation||Cabin dorm for 6 people|
|Food||Provisions for cooking|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Orientation||GoEco volunteer and travel orientation in Jerusalem|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Health Insurance||Comprehensive health insurance for volunteering in Israel|
What's Not Included
Nimrod is a small Israeli town in the Golan Heights on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon. It is a cooperative agricultural community and the highest town in Israel at 1,110 meters (3,642 ft) above sea level. Nimrod is located approximately 4 hours north of Tel Aviv.
About the Project
Situated on one of the highest peaks in Israel, the Nimrod Mountain Eco Lodge is an impressive center for eco-tourism and experimental bio-farming. The lodge sets an example of modern sustainable living on the rugged Golan Heights using down to earth techniques such as grey water systems construction from recycled materials, natural insulation, and bio-farming. The lodge works with government organizations to help renew forests, while also implementing ecologically beneficial programs into the local community by working with both orchid owners and farmers to create ecological solutions for the recycling of wood.
The program focuses on hospitality and gardening, where volunteers will be involved with the daily tasks of running the lodge and bio-farm, as well as eco building with wood, a physically challenging yet rewarding task where volunteers will be involved in the construction of eco buildings from start to finish. Volunteers can choose to focus on just one component or a combination of the two.
The Lodge is in the process of creating a living and working eco community for people with special needs, there is an opportunity to work with a disabled child throughout the project. There is guidance and training provided for this component.
Orientation in Jerusalem
The volunteer adventure will start off with a GoEco orientation at the Abraham Hostel in the center of Jerusalem. The orientation is a great base to meet fellow volunteers / travelers and includes the following:
- Volunteer preparation and travel directions to the program
- Expert travel advice in Israel for during and after your volunteer placement
- Walking tour of Jerusalem, including the Old City and the famous Machane Yehuda market
- Discount card to experience Jerusalem's vibrant night-life
- 1 night dorm accommodation and breakfast (private rooms available for extra price)
The GoEco orientation will begin at 10:00 AM on arrival day. The next morning, volunteers will travel to the volunteer project with public transportation. Full travel details to Jerusalem and the project will be provided upon registration.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
The Mountain Eco Lodge program has two main components. Firstly there is the hospitality and gardening aspect and secondly the eco building with wood. Volunteers may choose to focus on just one aspect or a combination of the two.
Hospitality and gardening: Volunteers will be involved with general hospitality duties including processing guests, general admin duties, looking after the eco-garden, maintenance, hosting, and cooking.
Eco building with wood: Volunteers will be physically challenged with the rewarding experience of building structures using wood from the ground up. Work with a professional carpenter and discover just how much is possible while pushing architectural boundaries. The lodge also implements community initiatives, helping local orchids dispose of ‘dead’ wood by chopping it down and distributing it to both the lodge and surrounding communities for fire-wood. This is a great ecological solution to the disposal of this wood so that instead of going to waste, it is being reused in an eco-friendly manner. The lodge also works to help build eco structures for the farmers and surrounding communities. This helps create awareness and spread the message of the importance and accessibility of eco-building.
Participants are invited and encouraged to bring their own special skills to the project. There is plenty of room for innovation, so whether the volunteer's specialty is a trade skill, web design, yoga, painting, botany, or virtually anything else, there is room at the eco lodge for them to add their own personal touch to the program. Volunteers are expected to work 30 - 35 hours, 5 - 6 days a week.
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.
Additionally, due to the high altitude, please note that this project can get quite cold in the winter months (about November to March) and volunteers should expect snow and mist during these times. Consequently, volunteers should expect more hospitality-related tasks in the winter.
Accommodations: volunteers will stay in a comfortable dorm cabin suited for 6 people with beds, bathroom with hot shower, and fully equipped kitchen.
Food: provisions will be provided for cooking
Internet: shared computer for emails
Laundry: washing machine available
Nimrod is nestled on the southern slopes of Mt. Hermon. From this vantage point, visitors are treated to the breathtaking views of the Golan Heights and the surrounding area. Travelers can visit the ancient ruins of Nimrod Fortress which dates back to the Crusaders era. Beautiful national parks in this region include the Banias Waterfall, Tel Dan Nature Reserve and Mt. Hermon, which has skiing during January - March. The mountain villages of Majdal Shams and Mas'ade offers a unique insight to Druze culture and cuisine. Please note that from November - February, temperatures can get very cold and there can be snow. Please bring adequate clothing.
- Min age 18 - Max age 70
- Conversational English or Hebrew
- Good physical fitness
- Strong work ethic
- Motivation to do physical and demanding work
- Full travel & medical insurance
Check out our Volunteer Blog at blog.goeco.org
"I had a kitchen garden to weed and seed. I asked innumerable questions on what this family does to grow vegetables without having to use a lot of chemical fertilizers and insecticides. I did get help in learning how to transplant very young, tender seedlings. I picked fresh cherries from the orchards and enjoyed eating them daily. The hikes to the nearby villages was fantastic for exercise and views. I met Arab Drews and Israeli jews and learned a lot about peaceful coexistence and the warm hospitality of this northern mountain community." Vasudha, Israel, 2011
"Overall, the trip was absolutely amazing and I wish I was still in Israel on the program. GoEco was a breeze to sign up with, and unlike other international volunteer organizations, they do not make you feel like you are being ripped off, scammed, or getting yourself involved in a dangerous experience. The program I chose, the Mountain Eco Lodge, was absolutely amazing! The family we lived with was beyond welcoming, caring, understanding, and just amazing people who love having a good time. The work was tough sometimes but knowing you are doing something good for the earth and yourself makes every bit worth it. Lifting your chin up and seeing the breathtaking views at all angles is by far the best part. It was a dream to live on top of a mountain for a few weeks working with the land. A great experience that I would recommend to the world. " Jesse, Canada, 2011