Monte da Vida is an off-grid meditation centre and land regeneration project. We are increasing the biodiversity of the forest, producing food, improving our soils and increasing the water retention capacity of the land.  Our approach is to listen to the land and let it guide us, whilst embracing high tech solutions when appropriate. We love good design, functional systems and creating beauty with integrity, and are building using natural materials. We are implementing ideas for a life-affirming economy, and creating long-term vision sustainable businesses that are profitable and give back more than they take. We always look to find harmony and balance in all that we do. 

Our life and work here is rooted in Taoist practise. We created the project as a place to support our practise, and support others in developing theirs. The land has a stillness that encourages going deep into ourselves and with the nature around us. It is a place for discovering our symbiotic relationship with all of life.

We are still in the building phase of the project, and as yet do not have space and facilities to host many people or larger events. We are looking for people to visit who are excited to help us build, grow and establish ourselves as a centre for creative and regenerative enterprise, and as a retreat for healing and transformation.

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Free / Work-Trade

Woodsman Work Exchange

Minimum stay: 14 nightsMaximum capacity: 1 people
Food included
Ideally we are looking for someone who is interested in joining us for the longer term, looking after the forest and helping to regenerate it to a biodiverse mediterranean woodland. However this would begin with a shorter visit to see how we all get on. We are looking for someone with a passion for trees, experience with chainsaw work, and tree pruning, cutting and splitting wood for the fire, knowledge of forest ecosystems. Other skills such as coppicing would be useful, and milling , as we intend to get a sawmill. We are developing products from the woodland, and there is the potential to create an income in this role.
We offer a caravan, healthy vegan food, some instruction in meditation, Qigong, Tai Chi / Martial arts.
Free / Work-Trade

Forest Gardening /Agroforestry work exchange

Minimum stay: 14 nightsMaximum capacity: 2 people
Food included
We are looking for someone with experience to help us plan and implement a productive food forest, in an old orchard. Ideally this person would be interested in potentially joining us for the longer term.
We would like someone who is into no-dig / natural farming / sintropic agriculture / analog forestry / microbial soil building etc.
We love fruit and wish to increase the number of fruit trees, as well as looking after the old ones we have.
We can offer accommodation in a caravan or small dome (depending on timing), healthy and pure vegan food, instruction in meditation, Qigong / Tai Chi ? Martial arts.... and much more!
Initially this would be an exchange, with potential for income further down the line.
Free / Work-Trade

General Work Exchange

Maximum capacity: 2 people
Food included
Occasionally we have opportunities for people to come and experience our project and help out in a variety of ways depending on the season and what needs doing.

In exchange we offer a tent or caravan, healthy vegan food, some outings to local events / markets etc, or to the beach. We also offer instruction in meditation, Qigong, tai Chi or martial arts.

We do not always have availability for this, but you can write and see.

Key Stats.

Year founded


Size of project site

34 hectares

Languages spoken

  • English, Portuguese, Spanish

People on site

2 - 5

Dry season

June to October

Wet season

November to May

Living Conditions.


  • tent camping
  • private room

Vegan Food

  • communal kitchen access
  • communally cooked meals
  • over 80% locally sourced


  • slow: emails only

Ongoing classes

  • chi gong/tai chi
    3-5 times per week
  • meditation
    1-2 times per week


Monte da Vida is currently offering the following opportunities:

  • Natural Builder
  • Forest Gardener
  • woodsman
  • General Help and maintenance

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