from 472€

Brilliant 4.7rating (28)

Sustainable Equine Sanctuary Programme

location
1 - 50 weeks  ·  Age 14 - 50+

rating  Brilliant 4.7  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Moderate response rate

Highlights

  • Look at the needs of nature, the land, and the horses and learn to problem solve to create sustainability
  • Have fun being productive and learning new skills
  • Give love and attention to create harmony
  • Take both the time and space you need within nature
  • Grow as a human in whichever aspet you choose

Especially suitable

Age 14+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

About the program

Learning from nature to implement techniques, creating an interesting and diverse landscape that is functionable and stimulating for human and horse.

About Us and What to Expect

We are a small association aiming for self-sufficiency and working with the land and animals in harmony. We look after a herd of seven horses on site and others off site at various times. We rely on help from nature and animal lovers so that our project can grow.

We live in ...

About the program

About Us and What to Expect

We are a small association aiming for self-sufficiency and working with the land and animals in harmony. We look after a herd of seven horses on site and others off site at various times. We rely on help from nature and animal lovers so that our project can grow.

We live in a village of 150 people in the mountains. It is friendly and intimate. Even if you don’t speak any Spanish, you will be welcomed as if you do.

We are an English-Spanish family, and you are invited to join us and take part a fusion of at least two languages and cultures.

Clare and partner Chico have a wide variety of experience and skills between them. Chico is a native Spanish speaker and runs the gardens and building projects. Clare oversees the horse training sessions, often with the help and support of other volunteers.

Volunteers vary in number, age and background all through the year. Our youngest unaccompanied has been 14 years old and our oldest in their 60’s. Sometimes we just have one, and at other times a group of ten or more! If you are particularly interested in joining us when we have a few others, please check beforehand. If you are more focused on your horsemanship than your socialiation then we have plenty of quiet times too.

Work is often physically hard and although we welcome people from all experiences. A hard-working attitude fits best here. Please let us know before booking if you have specific needs or disabilities so we can discuss the possibilities. You will be joining a family with animals and children. It is essential that you like these as they all join in every area of our lives! Younger volunteers are welcome with parents or guardians.

We are always looking for helping hands whether with general care and maintenance; helping us keep our horses happy; or helping with promotion – there shall be something you can bring your skills to.

Work hours normally are up to 25 hours per week. Check out our Equine Programme if you want to work mostly for and with the horses, or our Sustainable Sanctuary Programme if you are interested in focusing more on building and gardening.

One reason many volunteers decide to take this experience, aside from what they may learn on our actual programmes, is to have the opportunity to experience a different culture and a different way of life to that in which they are used to.

Apart from the fact that each family functions differently from home to home, here we also try to live as sustainable as possible, both as a family and as a project. This is a good opportunity when experiencing the world and new cultures, and we hope you can also embrace this. For example -


In the village:

The accommodation may/may not be basic compared to what some are used to. There are beds, bedding, towels, heating, electric fans, a bathroom with a modern toilet, shower, and bath, running hot and cold water, and a kitchen with a washing machine, stove top and fridge. However, the electric is not very powerful so it may cut out for a few moments if too many appliances are being used at the same time.

No smoking inside the accommodation.

The tap water in the accommodation is drinkable, and there is also the option to bottle your own water from a natural source in the village. We do not provide bottled water. You can buy this yourself in the weekly shop if you still feel it is necessary.

We shop from an extensive, but predetermined list which is provided to the volunteers each week to complete depending on what they need. We do it this way for a number of reasons:

- There is not a shop in the village. So we drive out once a week to shop for everyone. This is a 30 minute car drive each way. You are also able to go into town by bus or taxi on your days off.

- We are on a limited budget. Although you are free to add other items, you must pay for these yourself.

- The availability of items which you may use at home may be limited (therefore expensive) or non-existent here. We try to be as sustainable and as ethical as possible. This means that we buy seasonally available fruit and vegetables. We do not buy items containing palm oil, meat or fish, and we avoid processed food. These things if you feel you need them can usually be eaten in the local bars at your own expense. We won't add meat to the list as an extra, because there are many that come that would not appreciate it being cooked in the shared kitchen, and we like to respect this. But we do have a recipe folder which contains some of our favourite meals which can be made from our usual items if you are in need of inspiration. We provide coffee and teas, but soft drinks and juices are an extra (although we are happy to buy oranges for juicing yourself).

WiFi and phone service:

There is WiFi available in the first accommodation. When this is full we rent other accommodation which is just a minute walk away from the first one in a family friendly bar where there is WiFi inside the bar bit it does not always reach the rooms. There is also a free internet building, but the opening times are sometimes a little sporadic. If you want to use the internet in the accommodation, then we suggest checking with your service provider before you leave. It is also possible to buy a Spanish SIM card if this is a better option for you. You would need to tell us before your arrival, or wait until the weekly shop or your day off to go into town. Vodafone has a very good signal and we use our unlimited mobile data to connect via hotspot to my laptop. I can not vouch for the availability of service/coverage/signal of other companies in the village. The same for making phone calls. Some people are easily able to make calls/Skype calls from the accommodation, and others have to walk out.

Any other details such as pharmacy opening hours, bus times etc can be found in an information folder which we leave available in the accommodation, and encourage you to read before you start on the project.


On the project site:

You must take your own water bottle which can be refilled from the natural source we have there. The main area of work is a little further down the land, so you may have to walk back up to the source to refill (especially in summer). Bear in mind this is not far, but it is a steep hill. You can also refill plastic bottles which we can provide to take down to refill, but someone will need to be responsible to change this each day.

There is no smoking on the project site due to fire risk.

The bathroom on the project site is in nature. This means that you can pee anywhere you like, and there are plenty of hidden spots. We have a compost toilet for solids. This is in the form of a wooden shed with a large wooden box and a toilet seat to sit on. Everything goes into this box then you throw some compostable material on top to cover it which is there beside the toilet. Any tissue and sanitary products go into the bin provided. The box is left aside covered when full, until it is composted. Then it is totally safe to be emptied onto the land (don't worry, we don't ask volunteers to do this!) - which is why you must only use it for solids or it would fill too fast and be impossible to move.

Other details such as start and finish times can be found in an information folder which we leave available in the accommodation, and encourage you to read before you start on the project.


The Sanctuary
The sanctuary is in its infancy having moved to new premises in February 2016. There is a lot of work to do and your help is important to get this exciting project off the ground. Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary became a registered association in August 2018. We have installed the 'bones' for the horses, and now we need to develop the centre in an agricultural aspect. This will involve building, clearing, planting and harvesting. We have vegetable gardens for our own use, and we are currently working in interesting and stimulating ways to complement human needs with those of the horses. We are working on protecting the land against erosion and creating sustainability in all areas.

Our Aim

  • Learn to work with nature to fulfill human and horse needs
  • Develop the land to encourage life
  • Use innovative designs to meld together beauty, practicality, and sustainability
  • Create a space for successful shared use of land
  • Promote good and sustainable horse care by creating an enriched environment for our own herd

Other Areas you can get involved in throughout your stay:

Cooking
Clare cooks balanced, healthy vegetarian meals and enjoys sharing ideas and skills with people that we can all enjoy! This is particularly satisfying when it is prepared with homegrown produce. Chico is a wonderful cook with knowledge of many traditional Spanish dishes passed down through generations. We are happy to share this spontaneously, but it is not an integral part of the planned programme.

Language
In the house and while working, we speak a mixture of Spanish and English. We are happy to help and to correct both the written and spoken word. You will get practice in all areas of work and play. Most residents in the village only speak Spanish. You will be welcomed whether you speak Spanish or not, but can practice if you choose to with locals on the streets, other family members, in the bar, catching the bus on on a trip into town...

Horse Care
We are a functioning horse sanctuary and you are welcome to get involved in the daily care of the horses, or just to enjoy being around these wonderful animals.

Force-free training
If you are interested in knowing more about this you could either join our Equine Programme, or we may be able to fit a little something in with the horses if you let us know you would like this and it is possible.



Typical day

First thing in the morning we either drive or take a pretty 15 minute walk from the village to the finca. You can breakfast early before we leave, or take a break during work for a picnic breakfast (you prepare this yourself). We are flexible! Usually when walking, on our approach we will hear the ...

Typical day

First thing in the morning we either drive or take a pretty 15 minute walk from the village to the finca. You can breakfast early before we leave, or take a break during work for a picnic breakfast (you prepare this yourself). We are flexible! Usually when walking, on our approach we will hear the horses calling for their breakfast as they hear us arriving.

We have volunteers specifically taking care of the animals, whilst you will be assessing and designing the next step in our sustainability project to work on. We welcome ideas and skills you may bring to us, whilst Chico will share his knowledge and tips with you about working on the land here.

In summer we go home for lunch and a siesta, or stay and have a picnic and maybe a dip in the 'alberca'. We have a recent edition of an on-site outdoor kitchen so options are flexible! There is a pool in the village in summer. In winter we may stay all day, but start a little later and finish earlier. 

We have a similar routine on the afternoon. In the evening at home we can rest, use the internet, read, socialise, go to the bar, listen to music, cook....

Spring and autumn are generally the most pleasant months to work in, but if you are visiting during the summer months be aware that temperatures can reach 45 degrees, and work needs to be started very early at day-break (or before) and continued in the evening, finishing and eating late. We fit into the Spanish way of life by taking siestas in the afternoon, which is necessary with the hours and temperatures. 

It can be very wet in the winter, but also sunny at midday! Temperatures can drop quite dramatically and as in most countries spring and autumn can be variable. You must be prepared with warm layers and waterproofs. There will be a packing list sent to you after booking.

Our projects are seasonally, financially and volunteer dependent. There are seasons to plant and seasons to harvest. Building and maintenance is all year round. Here is an approximate calendar of work with vegetation :

Winter -
  • December, January, and February we harvest olives and process them to make ecological olive oil. We also clear the land in preparation of new growth and fire protection. It is now the time to plant garlic, beans and various seeds.
Spring -
  • March, April, and May we prepare the ground in the gardens and other areas before planting vegetables. Weeding also needs to be done now around the crops which were planted the previous season.
Summer - 
  • June, July , and August is the season to harvest the gardens of tomatoes, peppers, garlic onions etc, and  various fruit trees. We can eat them fresh, cook with them and process and store them for use later in the year.
Autumn - 
  • September, October and November we will still be watering the plants and planning and creating other projects around the finca.


Free-time activities

Your stay here will provide you with memories and skills you will never forget! Atajate is mostly a very quiet village, but there are  festivals and parties that take place in all the villages at certain times of the year. The big water fight in Atajate is in August; there is a German beer ...

Free-time activities

Your stay here will provide you with memories and skills you will never forget! Atajate is mostly a very quiet village, but there are  festivals and parties that take place in all the villages at certain times of the year. The big water fight in Atajate is in August; there is a German beer festival in Jimera de Libar in October and mushroom festivals in November. In summer there are music and horse festivals, foam parties and more! The beautiful local ‘white villages' vary from 2000 inhabitants down to a population of less than 200 and are well worth a visit.

Please note during the weekend of around the 15th of August is when Atajate has their three day-all night fiesta. It will be more noisy and crowded than usual including during the night. It can be fun if you want to join in though!

As well as the villages, there are towns to visit. Ronda is around 25km away and is on a main coast to city train route. It boasts a spectacular viaduct as well as many other historic sites and a variety of shops. After exploring these, the huge variety of cafes and bars will offer welcome refreshment.

If, however you prefer a break from civilisation then you will be in your element. The surrounding mountains, forests and river are beautiful, peaceful and watched over by soaring eagles. Close by there are natural sites to visit such as the Canyon of the Vultures. There are guided walks to vast caves with ancient cave paintings. A Palo-Christiano church is tucked away off the beaten track and an Arab tower is hidden in the countryside with not a tourist in sight.

The beach is approximately 1½ hours’ drive away, trips can be arranged at an extra cost on your days off, including beach and activity trips; visiting cities including Malaga and Sevilla; or special out of hours horse rides or camping trips. 

Transport: You can hire a car from Malaga, or there is a bus leaving every week day morning from Atajate to Ronda, and returning at midday. From Ronda there are regular buses to all major cities and many smaller villages. It may also be possible to hire a driver locally as a taxi service.


Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 14 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 14 years old on the program start date.

Language Skills

You need to speak English (basic level) or Spanish (basic level)

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

You are not required to have previous experience with gardening, farm work, or horses, but you will need a hard working attitude.

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday

What's Included

What's Included

Services by Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary

Your fee is a donation as we are a registered association, and it will be declared and used as such. Sometimes the word fee is used to keep the wording consistent with the Volunteer World site.

Start and finish days are flexible and you do not need to book for full weeks, and other time-frames are available.

Our organisation will cover:

  • your basic accommodation costs
  • groceries for three vegetarian meals per day

Your donation is used for:

  • feeding of the animals
  • veterinary and health care
  • maintenance and improvements of the animals' living conditions
  • insurance and program support etc.
  • complete our mission aims and objectives

Included in the programme:
  • Our organisation will provide accommodation and food for volunteers (groceries for three vegetarian meals per day). 
  • We will provide volunteer support and orientation in the form of written information in a welcome pack and documents which we will send after booking; verbal, phone, email, or WhatsApp support.
  • You shall receive training plus a huge learning potential in taking part in this programme, including practical opportunities and possibilities to gain many more experiences living and working in this beautiful place.
  • We have a small library of resources at your disposal in the volunteer accommodation, which include specialist books, and printed handouts and information around our project focus.
  • You can be provided with educational material to take home.
  • We can send a certificate of internship after completion of your placement.
  • Towels and linen (apart from beach/pool towel.)
  • There is limited internet access available.
Not included in the programme:

Flights, transport, days out, eating and drinking in bars are your own financial responsibility and not included in the programme. We recommend you provide your own personal accident insurance suitable for the type of activities you will be taking part in.

Arrival to the project is not covered by the association, but we can help you plan your trip, and airport transfer can be arranged for a fee to be paid locally, or public transport can be used.

Please bring a pool or beach towel if you are planning on going.

Accommodation

Accommodation

Volunteers either sleep in a shared village house or the hostel which we rent and you may share with other volunteers. Your programme hosts, Clare and Chico live on the project site which is a 15 minute walk away from the accommodation.

The accommodation may be more basic than you are used to, but you should have all you need. 

There are beds, bedding, towels, a bathroom with a modern toilet, shower and/or bath, and running hot and cold water. 

In some of the accommodations there is a living room with either an open fire or electric heating in the winter months, and a kitchen with a stove top and fridge. 

These sleep one or two people per room. Towels and linen are provided, but please bring a pool towel if you plan on using it. 

No smoking in the accommodation.

If you specifically require your own room, we would ask for a supplementary donation. Please request this by email after booking.


Phone & internet

There is Wi-Fi available in the main volunteer shared house. There is free Wi-Fi available in the bar/café just a minute's walk away from the accommodation, which is also where the overflow accommodation is situated. There is also a free internet building in the village, but the opening times are a bit unpredictable. If you want to use your own phone/internet service, then I suggest checking with your provider before you leave so it can be set for use here. If you arrange unlimited data and set to roaming then you should be able to pick up a good signal. You can then use your phone as a hotspot if you bring a laptop. Vodafone has a good signal but we cannot vouch for the availability of service/coverage/signal of other companies in the village. Some visitors have been unable to get a signal in the accommodation but others have, so if it is vital to you, prepare before you come.



Food & Beverages

Volunteers are usually back in the village for the evening meal, but this is also flexible in warmer months. We often invite each other to eat together to get a taste of international cuisines! There are also bars where you can eat at your own expense.

Healthy vegetarian/vegan groceries for three meals per day is provided for volunteers to prepare their own meals. Cooking can be done in the apartment or in the on-site outdoor kitchen, where we often eat lunch together when the weather is nice.

There is no shop in the village so we do a weekly supermarket shop from an extensive, but predetermined list which is given to the volunteers each week to complete, depending on what you need. If you would like items that aren’t listed, we can get them for you but at your own expense as we operate on a limited budget. Bear in mind that items you eat often at home might be unavailable or more expensive here. 

We try to be as sustainable and as ethical as possible so the list includes seasonally available fruit and vegetables. It does not include items containing palm oil, meat or fish, and we avoid processed food. Meals including these things are available in the local bars so you can buy them there if you wish. We won’t buy meat, even at your own expense, because some volunteers wouldn’t appreciate it being cooked in the shared kitchen and we have to respect this.  

We keep a recipe folder which contains some of our favourite meals which can be made from the listed items if you are in need of inspiration. We provide coffee and teas, but soft drinks and juices are extra (although we are happy to buy oranges for juicing yourself).


Drinking Water

The tap water in the accommodation is drinkable, and there is also the option to bottle your own water from a natural source in the village. We do not provide bottled water but you can buy this yourself in the weekly grocery shop.

On the project site you must take your own water bottle which can be refilled from the natural source we have there. The main area of work is a little further down the land, so you may have to walk back up to the source to refill (especially in summer). Bear in mind this is not far, but it is a steep hill. You can also refill plastic bottles which we can provide to take down to refill, but someone will need to be responsible to change this each day.

Internet Access

Limited access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Airport Pickup at Malaga Airport

An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Malaga Airport (AGP) in Malaga. We assist you to find cheap flights to Spain. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

Travel Insurance

Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Spain provides security and is a plus to have. GET A QUOTE

Vaccines

If you are intending to volunteer in Spain you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Spain. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

The program is available all year round any start date, and any number of days, but please be prepared for weather! We can advise on suitable clothing closer to the time.


Our closest Airport is Málaga.

Public transport:
If you wish to use public transport, first you must take the small bus or train from the airport to the city of Málaga – Maria Zambrano Station, which is a short journey and runs regularly. 

Then you take a bus or train to Ronda where we can collect you, or if you arrive in Ronda on time there is a bus that leaves around 4:30pm to Atajate on weekdays.

You will be able to get from Málaga to Atajate for under 20€ by public transport.

We recommend that your arrival flight is in the morning or early afternoon if you want to get a bus, and that your departure flight is not before midday. If your flight times do not fit into the public transport times you can either choose another form of arrival, or stay in Málaga for a night.

Arrival by car
If you are arriving with your own car or hiring a car from Málaga airport you will come to the village of Atajate 29494. You can get in touch with us beforehand for the accommodation address.

Collection from the airport
You can either pr-book a taxi or take one from the airport without booking which will cost somewhere in the region of 160€.

Alternatively and more economically we can arrange a collection by car which is very popular and will take you door to door. This can be arranged by email after booking and will be someone connected to the association or a trusted local person. We ask that you pay them directly in cash upon arrival, and not include it in your donation to the association. We can offer this at 120€ for one direction, or for 100€ per journey when booking for both arrival and departure.

Journey time
It takes approximately two hours to get to Atajate from Málaga airport, and it is usually possible to stop in Ronda on your way should you need an ATM or anything from a shop – just ask.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

1 week (min. stay) 472€
2 weeks 913€
3 weeks 1,315€
4 weeks 1,680€
5 weeks 1,990€
6 weeks 2,257€
7 weeks 2,480€
8 weeks 2,688€
9 weeks 2,772€
10 weeks 2,836€
11 weeks 2,852€
12 weeks 3,068€
13 weeks 3,323€
14 weeks 3,579€
15 weeks 3,834€
18 weeks 4,601€
50 weeks (max. stay) 12,781€
Average fees 363€/week

Program fees

363€ per week 1 - 50 weeks Age 14 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

1 - 50 weeks

Deposit

The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.


Final Payment

Your final payment will be agreed with Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary

Brilliant 4.7 rating (28 reviews)

Non-profit

Verified by Volunteer World

  Moderate response rate

Coordinated by

Clare

Spoken languages: Spanish, English

About the project

Our aim is to host nature lovers and enlighten and educate horse owners and enthusiasts in natural horse care, helping horses in the local community and further afield.

Meet your organization

Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary is in its infancy. After the need for a sudden move due to the horses losing their long-term home we are now working on improving the new pasture and facilities for both horse and human and rely on help from kind nature and animal-lovers.

Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary, established in 2016, is a horse sanctuary in Spain working to train horses without force and educating people how to improve the way animals are cared for. The project is situated in the mountains and your help is essential to continue it's progress. Whether you would like to construct and be a part of our paddock enrichment plans or would like hands on with the horses, this is an opportunity to be involved in something special from the start.

Time and Space offers volunteering and adventure opportunities to participants interested and inclined in helping horses, or to connect with nature. 

We are an educational sanctuary that aims to enlighten horse owners and enthusiast in caring for horses naturally and sympathetically, and sharing force free training techniques and the science that supports them. Based in Spain we see a lot of terrible cases of horses hobbled, left in stables 24/7 and ridden in the harsh serration bridle which often draws blood and leaves horses permanently scarred. We have spent over six years working with and observing a free roaming herd in the mountains, which filled us with inspiration as to how we can recreate certain aspects in a more realistic and achievable setting for many people. 

At the sanctuary our own six horses (some young, old, rescues etc) are a demonstration of key principles. They have a permanent and safe home here. When space and funding allows we would be happy to offer the same to other equines. At Time and Space Equine Education Sanctuary we take elements from the roaming herd into the paddock with the understanding of the horses' nature, whilst striving for self improvement to better our practices, providing a good example and preventing local horses from becoming rescue cases.

28 reviews · rating4.7

Esther Jiménez Íñigo rating4.4

2023 at Sustainable Equine Sanctuary Programme

Estuve una semana en el voluntariado de Chico y Clare y nunca la olvidaré. Conocí a gente maravillosa, el lugar es bucólico y el trabajo en el campo es gratificante. ¡Lo recomiendo a todo el mundo! ...
Hugh Vincent rating4.8

2023 at Force-free Equine Sanctuary Assistant

Couldn't have wished for a better experience, Clare & Chico are wonderfully knowledgeable people who will leave a great lasting impression on you. Their program is excellent as Clare is well versed in what she's telling and showing you. A brilliant 2 weeks ...
اولا اكون سعيد جدا عنما اتعامل معها والخيول هيا اكثر الحيوانات التي تشبه وتحب الإنسان ويجب على كل دول العالم الوقوف بجوار هذا الحيوان الأصيل لانه اكثر حيوان وقف ...
Lilly Loonen rating4.8

2022 at Force-free Equine Sanctuary Assistant

Hello, I liked the work with the horses very much.The working hours were very pleasant and also the work was very nice and not too exhausting.Everyone was always friendly, helpful to me. I found the delivery of the food was always in a good time and the fruit was very tasty and fresh. The way to ...
Madga and Alyssa rating5

2022 at Force-free Equine Sanctuary Assistant

Our time at the sanctuary provided us with many great experiences where we were given the opportunity to learn about a completely different side to horse behavior and communication. This new knowledge was highly interesting and shifted our viewpoints towards horses and how we treat them. Clare ...
Lotus Cohen rating4.6

2022 at Force-free Equine Sanctuary Assistant

My experience at time and space equine sanctuary was incredible. I have been riding for nine years and have used methods of training from all over on my horses but this way of communicating had never occurred to me before. The incredibly sweet and curious horses the lovely people and of course the ...

Location

Europe > Southern Europe > Spain > Atajate

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