WORK/PROJECT: The county administration of the Langanes district (Langanesbyggð) will be our host and we will be working on environmental related matters. One of the biggest pollution issues in the area is the litter brought to the shore due to sea currents that even bring timber as far as from Siberia. Volunteers will be working on cleaning up the shores and beaches in the area. Additional work will be undertaken as reforestation tasks, planting trees and taking care of those already planted. Depending on the advance of the mentioned tasks volunteers might be marking some walking paths and hiking trails.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be lodged in the local boarding school, sleeping on mattresses on the floor. Therefore a warm sleeping bag is highly suggested. Within the facilities of the school we will have a kitchen to cater ourselves. Food will be provided and meals will be then prepared/cooked by volunteers ourselves. We luckily have access to the nearby local swimming pool and sport centre with top-quality facilities.
LOCATION: Þórshöfn* is a compact, busy little town at the base of the Langanes Peninsula in the North-East of Iceland, located at the Þistilfjörður. The entire district (including farms and the village of Bakkafjörður) has 542 Inhabitants (31.12.2005) and they base their livelihood on fishing, fish processing and commerce serving the surrounding rural farming area. It is probably the best place in Iceland to experience what it is like to live in an isolated village almost 60 miles, 100 km from the next village. Around 400 people live in the village itself and the distance from the capital is 629 km by the Whale Bay tunnel.
The Langanes peninsula is the last word in Icelandic remoteness and it narrows like a spear point toward northeast and its fowling cliffs have been and still are a means of sustenance for those, who live there. Nowadays, the area is very sparsely populated. Most farms have been abandoned during the last few decades. Some of the remaining farmers tend the breeding colonies of the eiders and collect their down, clean it and sell at high prices.
Nature lovers often spend days on end at the densely populated bird cliffs watching gannets, puffins, guillemots, brunnich's guillemots, black guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars etc. One of the best places for the observation of the gannets is Cliff Storikarl off the bird cliff Skoruvikurbjarg. Other bird species colonise different parts of the peninsula, such as the arctic terns near the farm Ytra-Lon.
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 through organised activities as workshops, presentations, simulations, discussions, games on topics related to environment, nature protection and sustainability as use of resources, globalisation, millennium development goals, global warming, fair trade, recycling, consumption, etc. We intend to raise awareness and to encourage the participants to undertake simple but easy-to-implement actions which will affect the way we deal with the environment and the world we live in.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airports: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF, (also Akureyri and Egilsstaðir connected just by www.icelandexpress.com from Kastrup in Copenhagen, Denmark) nearest domestic airport is Þórshöfn (THO), while the closest bus stop is in town.
* The name Þórshöfn is the harbor of Þór. Þór is the thunder god. His wife’s name is Sif. Þór is the son of Odin the most powerful god. Odin’s horse Sleipnir put one of its eight feet down in Ásbyrgi, hence the horseshoe shape. It is a must to visit the ponds in Ásbyrgi on your way to Dettifoss.