WORK / PROJECT: SEEDS Volunteers will have the chance to work for the sixth year in a row 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 the settlement. As small-scale farming has become more difficult in recent times, some of the locals have decided to combine the farm-work with the new tourism services. Our host family, descendants of farmers from the area, who are developing new opportunities for work in the remote area. They live and work there, running diverse facilities and offering services for visitors.
Hundreds of years of farming work have taken its toll in the pristine landscape. Volunteers will support local farms in removing elements and machinery (e.g. old tires, old corrugated iron, fences, etc.) that has been left unattended and needs to be removed in order to restore the natural and historical heritage of the region.
Volunteers will also help repairing an old turf building, restoring it to its previous form and making it look similar to the several other turf buildings in the surroundings. Additional work will be turfing, fixing and maintaining walking paths and making a new trail.
Please note that the work in this camp can be very physically demanding (such as turfing) and volunteers need to be in good shape and ready to work hard.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be lodged in a house in one of the farms, sleeping in shared rooms in beds, please bring a sleeping bag. Volunteers will receive food ingredients and be in charge of cooking and cleaning activities. Equipped kitchen and washing machine are available.
Please do not forget some traditional food from your home country for the international evening.
LOCATION: The work camp is located in the highlands of Iceland, in 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 in the east side of the Ódáðahraun desert and close to Askja volcano. The desert is a large lava field originating from eruptions of volcanoes in the area. Due to the mountain's steep and unstable sides, the first ascent was in 1908 despite centuries of knowledge of its existence. Near the mountain lies an oasis with a campground and hiking trails.
The region of the Vatnajökull National Park is unique; one can find glaciers, volcanic activity, glacier bursts, eruptions and geothermal heat plus an extremely rare landscape.The area is now around 12.000 Km2 and is expected to be expanded within the next 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 thickest point.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language of the camp; basic conversational skills are required.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ).
SEEDS organises a “minibus option”, a shared transport from Reykjavík to the camps and back. Apart from being cheap and convenient, it allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting sites.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee is EUR 200 (Euros).Please note that the fees are to be paid to SEEDS on arrival in either Euros or Icelandic kronas.
This work camp takes place in a very remote place, located in a natural area of extreme beauty. Outdoor free time activities, for instance hikes, will be arranged for SEEDS volunteers.
Please bring warm clothes as the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable.Bring comfortable clothes to work in, good overcoats and outdoor wear as well as good shoes or boots.