What does permaculture mean?


Permaculture is a set of design principles that holistically copy what we see in natural ecosystems. While many principles apply to farming and how we consume food, every aspect of life is covered by permaculture and the principles that Mother Earth gives us. Read more about how we implement permaculture principles.

"From the very first day I arrived at Gaarawé I found such a peaceful and lovely atmosphere that it felt like I was home. The village feels like a sacred place, in the middle of the forest, fulfilled with birds, trees, the river and all kinds of living beings. I can tell that it is a real oasis for whoever is tired of a chaotic lifestyle and looking for reconnecting with nature in a sustainable way."

Why do some volunteers pay?

Gaarawe is a not-for-profit village. Everything that we make and do is invested back into the project. That’s why we can’t offer free food and training to all who visit us. If you have one of the skills we need (or have a skill you think we need) Gaarawe will invest in you if you invest in us!

How do I get to Gaarawe?

Gaarawé Village is next to a main road but quite cut off from tourism infrastructure, for details click here.

"My experience at gaarawe. Where do i start? Its a place like home but then in the jungle. I don't know what's my favorite? Working in the garden to get your mind off of things, the delicious food of phi phi , the dogs that greet you in the morning or when you went to the village and come back the dogs are be the first ones to greet you, the cozy hut you stay in for a period of time and the longer you stay the more you start to decorate it, the sunrise/sunset, the thunder even tho i was scared shitless lighting was still beautiful to look at. I miss it so much. Not only is the place so so beautiful but the people are warm and so welcoming."

What will I learn?

Anyone who visits Gaarawé will need to take some time to get to know the garden and learn about key plants and processes. On future projects there will be a chance to learn about traditional Thai building techniques and how to blend knowledge from east and west. Check out our Instagram or Facebook page too see what we get up to on a daily basis!

"My kids and I had a great time at Gaarawé, learning about the local permaculture techniques, harvesting vegetables, planting more, as well as watering and feeding the chicken daily. We also repotted aloes plants. We had time to visit the area too, which has some stunning landscapes. I particularly recommend the Frog Island outing on the nearby lake. Iris and Leon love to remember their outings on the bike with Lele! Love to all!"
Joana and kids
South Africa

What should I bring with me?

There is no way to reach an ATM without a car or motorbike so we recommend you take out any money you need beforehand. You should also bring clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty but we can provide wellington boots for garden work. 

"It's a brilliant permaculture project that made me think about how we live in this world. If you come here be prepared to contribute; but the maestro, Lele, is a very welcoming person. Ideally he would have residents stay here for a year in order to truly learn about this way of living - a way that could make the population self sustaining. It really is the future. Respect what happens here. It's its own kind of magic."
David Curtis

What can I do at Gaarawe?

There are many long-term projects planned for Gaarawé, but, like any village, we have daily chores that need to be done. In the garden there is plenty of basic work such as weeding and general maintenance. We also ask everyone at the village to contribute to the housework: keeping the kitchen and bathrooms clean, fixing up the bungalows, helping make products for the café etc.

When you arrive you will have time to find the place that your skills are most useful, and we will guide you until you can work independently.