WORK / PROJECT: For the eleventh year, SEEDS volunteers will have the chance to work in this special project based in the highlands, east of Lake Mývatn and north of the Vatnajökull glacier. The area has been inhabited since the early times of settlement. Our hosts are a family, descendants of farmers from the area, trying to develop new opportunities for work and alternative jobs in this very remote area, since farming at such altitude is very difficult. They are running diverse facilities and offer services for local and foreign visitors.
Volunteers will support the locals in removing the trash left by visitors and helping restore the land damaged by off-road driving. Volunteers will also help with repairing an old turf building, restoring it to its previous form and making it look similar to several other turf buildings in the surroundings. Additional work may be fixing and maintaining walking paths and making a new trail. Well-maintained paths enable people to visit the area without damaging it and this important work also helps to improve safety for visitors.
Please note that the work in this camp (such as turfing) can be very physically demanding and volunteers need to be in good shape and ready to work hard. As it is outdoors work, volunteers shall be ready to adapt and be flexible with the working and free-time schedule, as, depending on the weather, we may not be able to perform some of the tasks or activities planned. The weather conditions are unpredictable and the temperature in the highlands can drop below zero in the nights. Bring warm clothing, since the work takes place outdoors.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be lodged in a house at one of the farms, sleeping in shared rooms with beds, please bring your own sleeping bag. Volunteers will receive food ingredients and be in charge of cooking and cleaning activities. An equipped kitchen and a washing machine are available.
Do not forget to bring some traditional/typical food or drinks from your country for the intercultural evening.
LOCATION: The camp is located in the highlands of Iceland, at the highest inhabited place in the country at 469 meters above sea level. The location is in the North-Eastern part of the country and in the vicinity of the largest national park in Europe - Vatnajökull National Park. Mount Herðubreið, the queen of Icelandic mountains, is located in the area. It is situated to the east of the Ódáðahraun desert and close to the Askja volcano. The desert is a large lava field originating from volcanic eruptions in the area.
The Vatnajökull Park is unique; one can find glaciers, volcanoes, glacier bursts, eruptions and geothermal heat plus an extremely rare landscape. The area of the park is around 12,000 km2 and is expected to be expanded in the next few years. Under the ice cap, the glacier hides seven volcanoes and most of them are active. Vatnajökull covers about 8% of the country, and is about 1000 m thick at its maximum.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language in the camp; basic conversational skills are needed.
TERMINAL & TRANSPORT: Closest international airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF).
SEEDS offers the minibus option: shared transport from Reykjavík to the camp and back. Apart from being cheaper and convenient, it allows participants to meet and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting sites.
The SEEDS minibus will travel one way along the northern part of the country and the other along the south coast of Iceland. In this way we will travel the whole ring road and stop at magnificent natural sights, including waterfalls, glaciers, volcano craters, hot springs, iceberg lagoons, black sand beaches, etc. Meeting point at SEEDS’ office in Reykjavík at 7:00 am on June 5. Return to Reykjavík in the late evening of June 18.
The minibus to this camp will cost EUR 75 each way. This is about 30-40% cheaper than public transport.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 150 (Euros). The fee can either be transferred in advance via bank transfer, or paid in cash on arrival. The participation fee does not include the transportation from Reykjavík to the camp and back, which will cost EUR 75 (Euros) one way or EUR 150 (Euros) both ways.
This work camp takes place in a very remote region, located in a natural area of extreme beauty. Free-time outdoor activities, for instance hikes or walks in the surroundings, will be arranged for SEEDS volunteers.
Volunteers should be motivated to experience life in a very isolated part of Iceland. Participants should bring good, sturdy walking shoes & warm working clothes. Weather is unpredictable and it can be cold or rainy. Bring warm under layers, waterproofs, walking shoes/boots, a good sleeping bag and gloves.