» Archive for the 'volunteering' Category

Volunteer Spotlight: Mauricio

Monday, March 14th, 2011 by Marie

good-foto-of-himWe were so happy to have Mauricio join the Bosque team for three months!

Mauricio is originally from the state of Aguascalientes. He is a filming location manager and has been a part of creating several documentaries. His experience with filmmaking combined with his experience being a part of large teams made him an amazing addition to the Bosque.

Depending on the day, Mauricio helped out with general work such as building with cob and clearing trails, joined in on activities like pottery and papermaking, and filmed and edited videos that will give visitors a better idea of what to expect at the Bosque. During our team meetings he was able to provide valuable advice and ideas based on his experience running events and working to coordinate large groups of people.

In free time, Mauricio enjoys practicing yoga, meditating, and Edgu. He’s a people person but also enjoys time to himself; it was great to always know that he can be content with the simple forest setting and also participate in group events. A great person to know! We hope to have Mauricio back in the forest someday.

Be well Mauricio, and come back soon!

Videos Mauricio made:

Mauricio and Angela at bread class:
bread class

taking video

Editing video:
Editing video

Volunteer Spotlight: Niklas

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 by Marie

niklasportraitNiklas volunteered at the Bosque for two and a half months.

He saw all sides of the Bosque Village.  He was here through a large social event with 50 people, through slow times with just 2 volunteers, and through normal times with our average crowd of around 10 people.  Niklas is easy going, so friendly, and so intelligent!

Niklas worked on a variety of projects, including preparing for the rainy season by digging gardens, fixing the sauna, working on the chicken coop, repairing a large cistern, building benches and other construction work, and building a cob hut.  He also set up a few meditation spots and helped us discover some particularly magical places in the forest.  In his free time he spent many hours reading about permaculture and food forestry, and came up with some great suggestions that we immediately implemented - the most important project is a new small pool to collect water during the rainy season.

A Buddhist, Niklas often led meditation for other visitors and volunteers.  He meditated daily in various spots in the forest, and included people who were interested.  Brian and Niklas worked together on future plans for a spiritual center at the Bosque.  His experience with Zen Buddhism and his dedication to his own practice helped us understand what we need to do to make a great spiritual center here.

Niklas is also a talented graphic designer.  He created a logo for the new spiritual center, a banner for the center’s website, and he also spent many hours working on the Bosque Village map.  We now have a vector based map to work with and we couldn’t be happier with his help!

Our volunteer manager, Chilino, was also so happy to work with Niklas.  Chilino often has trouble communicating with our volunteers, as the majority (Niklas included) don’t speak much Spanish.  But for some, the language barrier slips away.  Niklas and Chilino grew close over the 2 months he was here, and Chilino was appreciative to have such a great helper.  Niklas is so respectful, smart, and thoughtful that any barriers of language, class, or ethnicity were completely irrelevant.

Dogs and cats and people and all living things, Niklas is a kind hearted person and takes care of the beings around him.  We had a recent fly infestation (it happens every year as the rains come), and the expression rings true for Niklas: he won’t even hurt a fly.  The dogs will miss his presence and his daily dose of love.  And as for the people, another volunteer mentioned to me that she was amazed at how much she missed him.  Having known him for just three weeks, Niklas made such an impression on her and on the other people around him.

For anyone who gets a chance to know this guy, know him deeply and enjoy.  He’s a story teller, a hard worker, a talented artist, and a great musician.  This man can’t have enemies; he’s just so darn like-able!  We miss you Niklas, and we hope to see you soon.

Working on the map:


Reading outside the Casita:

With a kitty!:


And playing guitar:

The Dogs and Niklas

Sunday, June 6th, 2010 by Marie

Niklas has been here nearly two months now, and we love how much he loves the dogs.

And the cats.

And all living creatures.

A great guy who makes life better for animals and people around him.

(photo by Ang)

Volunteer Spotlight: Jacky

Monday, March 15th, 2010 by Marie

Jacky is an incredible person on a two-year voyage which started in Mexico.  We feel so privileged that Jacky was able to spend 10 weeks of his journey volunteering at the Bosque.

Originally Jacky signed up to volunteer for 4 weeks.  As he began extending his stay, we began giving him more responsibility, until at the end of his time here he was cooking a meal (hummus!) every week for 10-20 people and self-managing most of his work days.  He volunteered to look after the Casita and keep it tidy during a particularly crowded time.  Jacky also was able to work with a long list of to-do items and do general maintenance and independent projects which freed up our volunteer managers to focus more on leading large teams.

Jacky is a great photographer!  In his free time and really whenever he had an opportunity Jacky captured great shots of life here and around the Bosque.  Because of his eye for nice photos, he also spent some of his working time organizing our flickr photos and adding good shots to the various sets and collections.

Beyond work hours, Jacky’s nature is friendly and helpful.  And he really jumped completely in to the Bosque experience in order to get the most out of being here.  He attended activities and workshops led by other volunteers and visitors with enthusiasm.  He signed up for classes and learned how to make a very nice looking knife.  He greeted and made an effort to get to know everyone related to the Bosque: residents, volunteers, visitors, volunteer managers, kitchen helpers, teachers…  even the 14 year old incredibly shy guide who walked Jacky into the Bosque found himself chatting amiably despite the language and emotional barrier.  “He’s not shy!” says Jacky.

Jacky will be traveling for quite awhile, and we’ve got no doubt that he will have an amazing experience wherever he goes.  Thanks for being awesome, Jacky!

On New Year’s Eve:

The dogs miss him!:

Sleeping with cat Kali Spot (nearly a nightly tradition):

Working with a team fighting the pine beetle plague:

Volunteer Spotlight: Judith

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 by Marie

Judith participated at the Bosque as a resident volunteer for 5 months.  She spent a year total in Mexico, first volunteering at a school teaching English, and then moving to the Bosque to learn about eco-village living, natural building, activity leading, and permaculture.

And how we miss her!

During her time here Judith learned how to teach eco-construction and led teams of 3-10 people building out of cob.  She helped out our volunteer managers immensely by taking leadership, helping overcome language barriers, and being available to get teams running smoothly.

Translation of our website into German was half-completed on Judith’s arrival, and she not only completed the translation but also read through to look for errors in the other half.  We still need to put all of her translations online!  During rainy days and in the afternoons Judith dutifully translated, and finished up on her last day.

A passion of Judith’s is circus activity.  Once or twice a week Judith led circus games on the Mesa.  She taught juggling, spinning poi, and diablo.  Before dinner she taught trapeze.  Judith also made a large donation to the Bosque of some of her personal circus equipment.

Besides her contribution of activities and her awesome work ethic and leadership, Judith’s personality is so amazing.  She greeted new people with warmth, she answered questions and made people feel comfortable, and her concern for the well being of residents, volunteers, and guests was invaluable.  Judith is a friendly, caring, and intelligent woman!  She has moved back to Germany to start circus school, where she will undoubtedly exceed expectations and be an amazing success.

We thank you Judith for your time, your energy, and being you!  Good luck to you and come back some day!

Judith made an advent candle centerpiece:

In a nearby village teaching the breadmakers how to make a German bread (it was tasty!):

On her birthday:


With Hippie:

Leading cob with Kwan:

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