- What is the accommodation like?
At the ranch are a couple of rustic and cozy buildings. The Casa Grande has a large kitchen, a dining room, a self-made fireplace, and a veranda with a beautiful view over the river and the valley. The guest accommodation is next to the main lodge or spread as huts over the area of the ranch. Staff housing is communal – most rooms are bunkhouse style, with a shared kitchen and bathroom. The buildings are rustic but comfortable. Couples can get a private room, but will still share a bathroom. Hot water for showers is heated in wood-fired hot water heaters. For a shower, wood must be gathered and chopped and a fire started – it takes about 45 minutes to get a full tank of hot water. There is power supplied by small hydroelectric turbines. Small loads like lights, laptops, and speakers work fine, but the system doesn’t support higher draw items like hair dryers. There is a washing machine available at the staff house. The ranch has its own garden, which grows vegetables and fruit to supply the workers and guests.
- How is the food provided?
During the days which you will spend at the Ranch a cook is responsible for your daily meals, which can range from typically Californian or traditional Argentinean meals. The home-grown vegetables and fruit are used for the meal preparation as well as self-made dairy products and meat (goat, beef, lamb). Groceries such as potatoes, pasta, flour, fish, onions, special spices, jam, oils and vinegar, sugar, coffee, and tea are bought in the nearest city. One of your tasks will be to assist the cook for preparing the meals.
- How are working time and free time divided?
The ranch team does not operate on a fixed schedule; workdays fluctuate with the comings and goings of guest groups and the various happenings around the ranch. The team works long days, but follows the tradition of the siesta, often breaking for several hours during the hottest part of the day. Ranch activities sometimes dictate that you’ll begin your work in the very early morning, or work beyond nightfall. You’ll often put in a long string of workdays and then get several days off. Other times you may have a period of relatively less work. Care is taken to ensure that everyone is getting the time off they need.
- How can I spend my free time?
Interns usually have a free day per week for free time activities. You can go for a day ride, a pick nick or enjoy a wine evening at the veranda. You also have the opportunity to go for a swim in the pool or relax at the riverbanks of the close by Trocoman and Picunleo rivers or try your luck with fishing.
- Do I have a contact person on site?
Yes, during your internship you will have a contact person. You can also contact NATUCATE in case of questions or problems.
- What expenses do I have to expect during the project? Can I withdraw cash on site and do I have to pay in local currency?
The currency in Argentina is the Argentinian Peso. Instead of traveler checks you should change for US-Dollars or Euros. In the cities, it is often possible to pay by card. Compared to changing money at a bank or currency exchange it is simpler to look for an ATM and change money with a credit card. Keep in mind, that in most case this will include a transaction fee (~5$) per transaction. Before your departure you should ask your bank if there is a transaction fee for your credit card. During your course, you basically do not have any costs, as food and accommodation are included in the course fee. But you should consider bringing some money for your time before and after the internship, and if you go for a trip to a close by city. After your arrival, we recommend you, to change 200$ in Pesos for your time till the internship starts and to keep $100 - $200 for emergencies.
- How can I contact family and friends at home?
There is internet connection at the ranch. The connection is strong enough to send Mails, if you need to download anything and need a stronger connection you will need to wait till you visit a close by city.
- What’s the weather/climate like?
The weather in Patagonia is changing often within a day. Even during the summer months, it can snow from time to time in the higher regions of the Andes. Temperatures during the day range from 10°C (50°F) to 30°C (86°F), and evenings can be chilly, with occasional temperatures below freezing. The climate is very dry. Depending on the year, dry or wet and rainy conditions may prevail. Participants should come prepared for all of these possibilities.Temperatures vary dramatically with elevation, so be sure to pack appropriate clothing layers that are appropriate for this described range of environmental extremes, and that will perform well across a wide range of conditions.