OCATE CLIFFS RETREAT CENTER BUILDING
- Divergent Labs is an autistic-run organization with a mission to advance the economic status, spiritual growth, human rights, and representation in the public sphere of disabled and disenfranchised people. Ocate Cliffs is a retreat center and autistic workspace, which is a laboratory for growth and empowerment.Website: www.divergentlabs.org
- Volunteers will work on one or more construction projects at the retreat center, which might include trail construction and other outdoor projects; building a shed, tent pad or deck; and laying tile, paint, and other interior finishing work. We will work a morning and afternoon shift each day, leaving the evening free for personal time or activities. We will also take a recreation trip on one or two days. Training and tools provided for all the projects.You will be accompanied by a small number of our residential staff.The people involved cover a wide range of abilities and communication styles, and you should expect LGBT and questioning people, those with other less common identities and those with traumatic histories.
- Sleeping is on the floor in the unfinished staff house. There is no gender segregation. If you want more privacy you can bring or arrange (in advance) to borrow a tent.Amenities: Running water, electricity, very limited internet, clothes washing machine, stove and wood-stove. There is an outdoor solar shower.Altitude: At 9,000 feet (2800 m) elevation, be prepared for a lot of rest the first day or two.Food: Volunteers will cook meals together. Vegetarian food provided.Warnings There are wildcats and bears in the area so this site needs to be kept free of meat odors. Also fire danger can be very high so we do not allow anything making a spark or flame. (One exception is smoking, but only in the designated safe area.)
- Ocate Cliffs is 8 miles from the village of Ocate, NM, in the very remote Sangre de Cristos mountain range.On the mesa top there are hiking trails and lots of views of the New Mexico mountains and plains. We ll also rely on you to come up with evening games and discussion topics. On our travel day we will choose between a wilderness hike, Eagle Nest Lake, or the alpaca ranch in Mora.
- Because of the remote mountaintop location, you will need to bring everything you need for two weeks without the benefit of a city. During the out-trip day we ll visit a grocery store in a small town, but don t expect that they will have your medications, specialized phone accessories, or anything beyond the basics.
There are many types of work available because projects arise from grassroots local community needs. Most projects are 2-3 weeks long. Accommodations vary widely, but usually volunteers share the same living space, doing all their own cleaning and food preparation on a rotating basis. VFP is a Vermont non-profit corporation with tax exempt status (501 (c) (3), as determinated by the IRS. We are located in Burlington, Vermont which is the largest city with a population of ~40,000. VFP is an Executive Committee member of the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) at UNESCO and works in cooperation with Service Civil International (SCI), and the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organizations. The history of International Voluntary Service dates back more than 85 years. Our office staff, Board, Advisory Board and thousands of volunteers in the field help to facilitate these projects. Within the CCIVS network, over 100,000 volunteers are exchanged annually. VFP was founded in 1982 and since then has exchanged over 28,000 volunteers. http://www.vfp.org/
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