WORK/PROJECT: The county administration of the Langanes district (Langanesbyggð) will be our host and we will be working on environmental related matters. Volunteers will be mainly working on reforestation tasks; planting trees will be the main job while others may include follow up on survival and growth of trees planted in the past.
Additional task, depending on advance of the reforestation project, will be cleaning up the coastline in the area, as 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. During the volunteers stay they may be helping the locals preparing for the celebration of Kátir dagar (Happy days), a festival held in the town every July!
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be lodged in the local sports centre, sleeping on mattresses on the floor. Therefore a warm sleeping bag is highly suggested. Within the facilities of the centre volunteers will have a kitchen to cater themselves. Food will be provided and meals will be then prepared/cooked by volunteers. Luckily there will be 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 479 Inhabitants (01.12.2007) 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.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language in the camp, but high proficiency is not a requirement.
STUDY THEME: Environmental messenger in the project. She 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.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airports: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF and Akureyri; nearest domestic airport is Þórshöfn (THO), while the closest bus stop is in town. SEEDS organises the "minibus option", a shared transport from Reykjavík to the camps and vice-versa, which apart from being cheaper and more convenient, allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting and tourist sites.
SPECIAL REMARKS / EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR 120,- (Euros). Free entrance to the local modern swimming pool, sports centre facilities. Excursions will be arranged by the local contacts.
* 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 horseshoes shape. It is a must to visit the ponds in Ásbyrgi on your way to Dettifoss.