Category Archives: Training and volunteering on Permaculture

The daily routine of volunteer student

In Anovafloresta we give value to nature and human community. A positive attitude, kindness, altruism, community spirit, open mind and respect are key to share this place together. Being independent, responsible and motivated will help to make the best of our projects.

There is no problem in taking your time to perform an activity as long as it’s done with quality. Have doubts? Ask! Especially before you do something permanent. The answer you’ll get will always include an explanation on the reason of the design you implement.

We live by the principles of gender equality and sustainability: “reduce, reuse, recycle and design in these perspectives.”

The routine for student volunteers

The day starts early, because the temperature is milder and facilitates physical work. At start we have a quick meeting to determine the activities of the day and to allocate the resources. We work for about two hours, then we take a 45-minute break for an enhanced breakfast and recharge the energy. We work one and a half or two more hour (in the shade) which includes the very important step of cleaning and tidying tools and material at the end of the activity. The rest of the day is free to do your activities: go to the beaches, stroll in the city, work on your project, work on a creative project, among others.

If the volunteer student wants to work on a creative project (sculpture, painting, handcrafting, etc.) during the afternoon we will do our best to support and provide the necessary tools for its accomplishment (we are accepting suggestions!)

This timetable serves as an example, since the activities and the time of realization tend to vary during the seasons.

6:00 am – 6:30 am: Your Morning Routine – Light Breakfast
6:30 am – 7:00 am: Meeting to determine activities
7:00 a.m. to 9:00 am: Practical training (physical work)
9:00 am – 9:45 am: Full breakfast and free time
9:45 a.m. – 11:15 am: Practical training
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 am: Break to relax, take a shower, etc.
12:00 pm – next day: Lunch and free time

Usually if the volunteer does not know how to cook he will ends up learning with the support of the community.

“Eating is an agricultural act” (Wendell Berry). It is important to make a connection between food production and food eating. Learning how to cook a vegetarian meal is part of volunteer training.

The training

On average we do 4h of practical work per day, 4 days a week, and 1 day of theory per week, the 5th day of the week.

The theory is related to the work we are doing or introducing different concepts: incorporating Permaculture, sustainable development, economic and scientific domains, ecology, ecosystem design and simulation, soil study, etc.

The practical work goes from how to make a knot, how to properly cut a tree branch, what is the best position / way of doing a job, how to use the tools … Usually the techniques are performed first with the instructor and the person (or group) is left to proceed with the work. The goal is to teach the person how to do the work autonomously. Every activity is described in the lens of the intended design.


Anovafloresta proposes facilities within the organic farm with either dormitories or campground.

The general infrastructure of the accommodation includes: camping lots, electricity, mineral water, showers, modern dry toilets and standard toilets connected to a sustainable system for water treatment in case of dormitory.

Cost of living, lodging and shopping in Trancoso

Trancoso is particularly expensive if you adopt a tourist lifestyle (restaurants,  bars, buy clothes, beers on the beach, etc.). However if you buy items in supermarket, it comes back to the normal Brazilian cost.

There are many shops in Trancoso, including small supermarkets.
Taxis are expensive, Moto taxis are cheaper.
Bus is cheap and works well;
There are ATMs  in Trancoso. Do not let sellers get out of sight with your credit card to avoid cloning.

Once you get  your travel ticket;

Please contact Anovafloresta to inform us about the details of your arrival:
– Your date / time of arrival (to Porto Seguro, Trancoso);
– If you come by plane: The airline, flight number and airports of correspondence, if any.
– If you come by bus: The bus company and the,departure city. The bus station is small, with the possibility of eating and sitting.

Feedback from students and volunteers


…was very welcoming from the beginning. He seemed to be quite apt at assigning me tasks that provided a fun and challenging learning experience suited to my level of experience. His occasional interceptions for a quick edifying demonstration or instructions are possible to receive as dogmatic or dismissive if you are sensible to criticism, but for me they were always helpful and justified by his relative advance in skill and expertise …

…And I got even more: the experience of what permaculture is like in a tropical country (Stephane has a big knowledge about this subject plus lots of information to share!), sharing meals in an outdoor kitchen and seeing the most exciting variety of insects under the most amazing night sky…

…This is a great opportunity to learn hands on this beautiful way of taking care of the earth. You’ll have a good balance of theory and practice every week day, guided by Stephane who is always present to answer your questions and help you and tries to match your interests with your learning experience…

…show us many power points about the practices learned that day, but also very interesting documentaries ranging from soil (vs. dirt), recycling, composting, reforestation, etc.. It was really very helpful to have the theory to re-emphasize the practices learned…
Mary Elisabeth

…The accommodation is nice and rustic, the adobe houses are more luxurious but i still miss my tent and hammock home. Food is always tasty, local and nutritious. Also flexible if you ever want to eat something special or not eat something then it should not be a problem.The course itself is really great. So interesting, good balance of practical work and theory work. Also very flexible, if you take a particular interest in a certain area, then you will be rewarded. …

… learned a lot about a lifestyle close to and determined by nature. I camped next to a mango tree, was accompanied by a bunch of chicken when showering outside and every night I listened to a concert of the sounds of nature….

…My best experience was probably to listen to Stephane presenting theory lessons on broad-based concepts like systems thinking as well as specific concepts such as soil composition and then being able to apply these lessons in the permaculture forest. The world of sustainable agriculture and construction has been opened to me….

Program 2017

List of training modules, activities and projects Aflorestanova – 2017

Theoretical training

Volunteer Students staying at least 2 week have 100% chance to experience modules in bold:

  • prerequisites (concepts popularization)
    • thermodynamics,
    • cradle to cradle,
    • systemic approach,
    • biomimicry and
    • natural patterns),
  • Soil ecosystem,
  • Aggro-forestry,
  • Water management,
  • Permaculture design,
  • Genesis of the 12 Principles of Permaculture and beyond

Practical training

Volunteer Students staying at least 2 weeks have 100% chance to experience activities in bold:

  • Adobe making and Adobe wall, Pau a Pique
  • Gardening,
  • Earth shaping and landscape design,
  • Worm farm management,
  • Chicken care, fruit harvesting, trees planting, food processing, etc.

Projects 2017

priorities in bold;

  • Green building with hyperadobe (second semester 2017),
  • Natural swimming pool / fish pond (end 2017, first semester 2018)
  • Wood stove and bread oven with clay (second semester 2017),
  • Mandala garden (2017),
  • Garden irrigation zone (2017)


Costs for volunteering

A discount can be allowed based on specific situations.

Formula “volunteer student”

Week Weekly cost lodging in camping Weekly cost lodging in house Number of hours / day (5 days / week) Comment
1st week 140 reais 240 reais 4 hours (WE free) Including lodging and food
2nd week 110 reais 210 reais 4 hours (WE free) Including lodging and food
3rd week 90 reais 190 reais 4 hours (WE free) Including lodging and food
4th week 80 reais 180 reais 4 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon, 1 hour on Saturday,  1 hour on Sunday Including lodging and food
5th week and following weeks (*) 70 reais 170 reais 4 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon, 1 hour on Saturday,  1 hour on Sunday Including lodging and food

(*)If the volunteer shows potential and handle responsibilities a discount can be applied

Formula “Volunteer Traveler”

Week Cost for the week Number of hours / day (7 days / week) Comment
1st week 40 reais 2 and half hours Lodging in camping / food not included
2nd and following weeks 5 reais 2 and half hours Lodging in camping / food not included

The volunteer should bring its tent (possibility of renting). The camping includes all basic facilities (toilets, showers, kitchen with electricity, protected area). Wifi under conditions.

General Information

Conversion of reais into Euro, USD, Pound, etc… can be found here : Currency rates

“Volunteers student” activity is based on training with a large spectrum of techniques. The aim is to give autonomy and enhance creativity of volunteers through transfer knowledge and support. Our objective is providing practical training as well as to enlarge the vision of sustainability, including related concepts like Cradle to Cradle, Bio-mimicry, Thermodynamics, Synergy and systemic approach applied to agroecology. These concepts are popularized in our approach and do not required scientific background.


Volunteer Student’s daily routine

Once done the registration and agreed the volunteer  participation to the program on given dates a reservation fee of 70 Reais is requested.


Prepare your trip (advises,things you’ll need, …)

Feedback from volunteers and students

Photos of volunteers and students

The village with supermarkets is located 2km from the site.

The sand beach is located 700 m by foot from the site with direct access.

The costs related to volunteering are used for

  • buying and maintaining the training center tools, materials, infrastructure
  • buying plants for reforestation and horticulture
  • the participation to the fees (energy, water, taxes, …)

The first day of arrival is dedicated to settling and getting familiar with the community, the infrastructure and the surroundings. Volunteers have essential commodities within the site and access to town commodities 20 minutes by foot.

Smoking is allowed only in certain areas.

Workshops on Tropical Permaculture and PDC

Workshops related to Permaculture;

  • Reforestation, land regeneration and food  production in the tropics
  • Green building
  • Production and management of ecosystem nutrients (composting, worm casting, mulching, hugelkultur, …) associated with water management
  • Strategies for a successful agroecology (Scientific concepts, business drives, change management and the benefits  of systemic approach)

Costs : 500 USD for each workshop

Duration : Each workshop last 2 weeks and includes lodging and food.


Anovafloresta proposes a PDC in English through 80 hours of theory, some practice and site design simulation on top of the theory. We use a simple 3d platform to engineer and reverse engineer 2 different scenario of landscape design and learn from the various possible evolutions in the site architecture design .   For the PDC in Portuguese (80 hours) please visit the Portuguese version.

Costs : 580 USD for the PDC (certification) including lodging and food during the stay (2 weeks) . We are located on the Brazilian tourist coast (1200 m from Trancoso Quadrado, 990 m from the beach). It gives the opportunity to enjoy as well few of the most beautiful beaches of Brazil.

This evolved version of the PDC provide with a stronger and realistic background, specially for people who wish to start a Permaculture farm from scratch, with a controlled budget and a realistic business plan.


MapAirTrafficANovaFlorestaWe are located in Brazil in the state of Bahia, part of the Nordeste. The training center is located close to the beach (1 km) and the village with public transportation (2.5 km).

The closest international airport is Porto Seguro, with 2 hours bus drive from Porto Seguro to the Permaculture training center.


The document How to get there explains each step of the way here :

This video shows the way to Anovafloresta from Trancoso center;

Training & Volunteering

Permaculture workshops

We propose a complete set of workshops. Our specificity is to have developed a set of tools allowing our students to make a link between Permaculture and the empowerment given by systemic approach. These tools are

  • a practical and easy way to understand the systemic modeling which goes beyond the classical 12 principles of Permaculture
  • a simulation platform associated with a step by step and versatile design construction method
  • coaching students on becoming autonomous in acquiring Permaculture knowledge in a local context

Workshops include :

  • step by step land regeneration and food forest settlement in the tropics
  • various green building techniques (house building, clay oven building, water heating system, food drying feature, water catchment, …)
  • a university like approach to Permaculture, meaning that we break the boundaries of the Permaculture 12 principles and give a broader vision based on systemic approach. We teach people how to learn autonomously from an ecosystem.
  • an omnipresent link between concepts and practice, a necessary background to become an ecosystem architect.
  • various garden landscaping and techniques adapted to the tropics


Time schedule : 8 hours a day / 5 days a week

Food : Nutritive and balanced Ovo Lacto Vegetarian food associated with nuts, smoothies and organic super food. We consider food as one of the main service provided by a healthy environment and the main drive in Permaculture design (food and habitat are the essential creative events in the food web, including human). Organic food management (production, distribution and processing) is an important part of our knowledge transfer.

Lodging : A separate dormitory for each gender

Read more about the workshops and prices


To apply as a volunteer you need;

  • to be
    • at least 25 years old and motivated in learning sustainability
    • or at least 23 years old and
      • following studies related to environment or architecture
      • or having an agroecological project
  • being autonomous, community wise (having been living independently from your parents at least 1 year)

Although we may consider exceptions based on motivation.

coucher de soleil

We propose low rate for volunteering, meaning that we expect autonomy and community caring. Any degradation made by volunteers will have to be reimbursed since we do not integrate the costs of degraded materials in the costs of stay which would be unfair for others. In exchange of the cost of stay we reforest and we provide with a strong knowledge transfer on agroecology.

We may apply discount in certain cases, depending on the student or volunteer situation and benefits the person can bring to the center (specific knowledge transfer or responsibility handling).

The full payment of the stay (limited to 4 weeks) is done the day of arrival or the next day, depending on the logistic constraints.

Lodging is done in a separate dormitory for each genders. Caring of the house is part of the lodging.

Time schedule : 4 hours on Permaculture, green building activities, community and food processing activities. We start early in the morning to benefit from fresh hours of the day.  Weekend are free.

A selection is made during a talk interview. We discourage visitors looking solely for a cheap and cosy stay closed to the beach.

Every activity on the field is supported by prior explanation on the objective and reason of the activity / Permaculture principles applied / method used / tools used.

Read more about Volunteering and costs