WORK/PROJECT: Volunteers will be working on few different projects with the development agency of the Western Fjords, and this include preparations for the Hiking and Culture festival which will take place in late July, maintenance and marking of hiking paths, putting up of multilingual signs in places of historical and natural relevance; as preparation works on common areas of the town, embellishing the green recreational parts in the zone, gardening works, etc.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be hosted in a local house; sleeping 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.
LOCATION: Patreksfjörður is a small fishing town, which bears the name of the fjord and one of the communities of Vesturbyggð, where the main trades are/were fishing and fish processing. In Patreksfjörður a coastal lagoon has been dredged and opened to the sea to provide a sheltered harbour. The town stands on slender sandpits and stretches two kilometres along the narrow northern shore of the fjord. It began as a fishing port, like most of the villages and towns in this region. Nearness of rich fishing banks, and a sheltered harbour, made the town one of the main fishing ports in the region, dating back to the 16th century.
However, during the last years and due to the introduction of the quota system in the Icelandic fishing sector, the town lost its share in the fishing amounts to be caught and this has strongly hit the economy and living situation in the area, which will be one of the issues addressed during the workcamp. In the past years the emphasis on alternative industries has been more visible similar to other fishing villages in Iceland.
The vicinity offers a variety of interesting places to explore and hiking and mountain climbing are popular. The sheer beauty of the region attracts many people and tourism has started to play an increasing role recently. The distance from Reykjavik is 425 km (6-7 hours drive) by the Whale Bay tunnel but only 270 km via Stykkisholmur and by the ferry to Brjanslaekur. It is perhaps one of Iceland's most remote areas.
Patreksfjörður is located in the Icelandic Western Fjords, which are too often missed by visitors due to its distance (real and perceived) from Route 1, the circle road, and from other population centers. The West Fjords are a mass of fjords, mountains and isolated villages on spits of lands surrounded by water and mountains. Ísafjörður is the main town of the West Fjords with the regional airport in town. The area includes its own glacier, the magnificent, remote Hornstrandir and Europe's westernmost point of land at Látrabjarg, at two hour’s drive from Patreksfjordur a gigantic, sheer cliff facing the North Atlantic Ocean. There, millions of birds nest in the cliffs among them puffins, arctic tern, guillemots and other types of birds making Látrabjarg a must for bird watchers.
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. S/he will arrange and organise few 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 use our resources and we deal with the environment and the world we live in.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF. Closest domestic airport and bus terminal Ísafjörður (IFJ).