Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 12. Kópasker - Home of the midnight sun!!
SEEDS Iceland
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From 23.06.2008 to 06.07.2008
Type: Environmental
Number of volunteers: 10
Language: English
Accomodation: Sports centre
Participation fee: 120 EUR
Extra: Excursions in the area, plenty of Icelandic mountain (organic) lamb, cod and haddock (Vegetarians are easily catered) & Midnight sun and 24 hours of light!

WORK/PROJECT: The administration authorities of the Norðurþing district will be our hosts again and we will continue working on environmental related matters as in the past years: One of the biggest pollution issues, in the North East of Iceland, is the litter and waste brought to the shore due to sea currents that bring all kinds of materials, even timber as far as from Siberia.

Volunteers’ work will be mainly focused on cleaning up the shores and beaches in the area. Additional work may be undertaken depending on the cleaning up actions on the coastline; if well advanced, we may work on reforestation tasks as marking some walking paths and hiking trails.

ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be hosted in the local sports centre in Kópasker*, where we will sleep on mattresses on the floor; therefore bringing a warm sleeping bag is highly recommended. Food ingredients will be provided and a kitchen will be available, volunteers will share the duties of preparing and cooking meals. During the time of the project volunteers will experience the midnight sun and 24 hours of light!

LOCATION: The Norðurþing district, located in the North east of Iceland (region Norðurland eystra) was formed in the year 2006 after joining together the city district of Húsavík (isl. Húsavíkurbær) with the country districts of Keldunes (Kelduneshreppur), Öxarfjörður (Öxarfjarðarhreppur) and Raufarhöfn (Raufarhafnarhreppur). It comprises an area of approx. 3800 km² and around 3000 people live in the whole district; around 125 in Kópasker itself.

This part of the country is a great place to visit. Some of Iceland’s most precious pearls of nature are found there, including the northernmost point of the country on Melrakkaslétta (Arctic Fox Plain) and The Jökulsárgljúfur National Park with Dettifoss (probably the best known Icelandic waterfall and the most powerful in Europe) and the enormous Ásbyrgi canyon (a horseshoe-shaped depression measuring approximately 3.5 km in length and 1.1 km across!).

Natural beauty is characteristic for the area, alongside a flourishing countryside where agriculture is the main industry while fishing, fish processing and commerce are the main bases of livelihood. As you look over the fjords you will notice a few mountains each shaped in its own way, silent reminders of the countries more violent geological history. Farther east you will become aware of how the sea must have been an unforgiving neighbour at times and shaped the lives of the people living along the coast here. A mysterious but yet fascinating place to go as you won’t get any farther north than on Melrakkaslétta, where you will find the two northernmost points of Iceland namely Rif and Hraunhafnartangi. Melrakkaslétta is also a bird watchers paradise.

The distance between Kópasker and Reykjavík is about 620 Km, in the town you will find all the services as convenience store, gas station, guest house, camping site, post, bank, garage, etc..

LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.

STUDY THEME: Environmental messenger in the project. S/he will be in charge of delivering ecological and global education messages to both, International volunteers and local hosts; organising few activities on topics related to environment, nature protection and sustainability.

TERMINAL: Closest International Airports: Keflavík – Reykjavík (KEF), Akureyri (AEY) and Egilsstaðir (EGS); and closest bus terminal is in the town of Kópasker.

EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR 120,- . Access to the local sports centre. Excursions in the area will be arranged for volunteers by our local host. Please expect plenty of Icelandic mountain (organic) lamb, cod and haddock in the menu! Vegetarians are however easily catered. During the time of the project volunteers will experience the midnight sun and 24 hours of light!

* Kópasker: The name of the town means “seal pup reef” or “seal scub skerry”. Most days one can see seals and their cubs basking on skerries or surfacing briefly to observe the people. Nearly every day you can see seals swimming in the ocean along the shoreline, or laying on rocks just a stones throw from shore.

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