We offer two-month guest ranch internships during our summer season. Ranquilco is a great place to learn a wide variety of country living skills and gain solid ranch experience as well as backcountry hospitality. During the two months, participants learn:
Horse skills: Horses are a central part of daily life at Ranquilco. Learn to catch, groom and saddle a horse, with specific instruction for a variety of different types of Argentine saddles. Interns are taught safe practices for handling and riding a horse as well as things to look out for when guiding others. Interns assist in catching and saddling horses for the guests, guiding trail rides, performing round-ups of the herd, and packing groups into the ranch from the end of the road. Horse work at Ranquilco presents a host of unique riding opportunities and challenges; we will stress the importance of risk management, good judgment and leadership skills throughout.
Mule packing: Most of what we bring into Ranquilco comes in on the backs of our mules. Interns learn to saddle the mules, adjust the rigging, prepare and sling the loads, and throw a hitch to secure the loads for travel. We teach how to manage a string of mules on the trail, keeping an eye on the balance of the loads, the wellbeing of the stock, and the safety of the riders. Through this work, interns learn a variety of knots and rope handling skills.
Gardening: Interns learn the fundamentals of growing food by spending time working in the garden.
Cooking: Interns join our chef once a week in the lodge kitchen to learn about cooking delicious, healthy, farm-to-table meals.
The other stuff: Milking the cow & dairy processing, butchering, bread baking, forging, tree harvesting & lumber milling, ranch chores, community living.
What to expect: We do not operate on a fixed schedule; workdays fluctuate with the comings and goings of guest groups and the various happenings around the ranch. We do work long days, but follow the tradition of the siesta, often breaking for several hours during the hottest part of the day. Ranch activities sometimes dictate that we begin our work in the very early morning, or work beyond nightfall. Flexibility, motivation, and stamina are a must. We make sure the work is balanced by time off to rest, ride, and explore. There are no phones and limited Internet at the estancia. We have a satellite email service that is available during certain hours and for a limited amount of time. We encourage you to plan on primarily being away from communication during your stay here.
Work schedules are ever-changing, but a typical week might include:
2-3 days of horse work and riding
1 day gardening
1 day kitchen help
1 day household and ranch chores
1 day off
January 5-March 5 2018
Food, including meat, dairy, and vegetables from the land
Multi-day mountain pack trip
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What I learned at Ranquilco
Written by Ethan Salwen
"How to get stuff done with less stuff; - How to feel connected to energy usage, as in butchering a goat to eat to make energy to chop firewood to boil water to make a hot shower to clean up after butchering a goat; - How people lived in 'simpler', 'more primitive' times, the gaucho-puesto lifestyle (and much of how we live being completely in keeping with how most humans have lived throughout most of human histoy)- How to build stuff from wood, starting with cutting down the tree! Yeeee-haaaa! (Milling is awesome!); - How to cook on a wood stove (yeah, you think it'll be easy, but you have no idea until you do it day in and day out, first it's a fun challenge, then it's a pain-in-the-ass, then it's. . .just what you do); -How to bake bread (when it is the ONLY bread you'll eat, which totally changes your relationship to it); - How to cook like a gaucho, asado and pucheros 24/7, never gets old, so many different tastes and textures from the same ingredients, always with total appreciation for the animal; - How to eat like a gaucho, as a group, taking your time, THIS is what life is all about; -How We Make Meat from Animals, a.k.a. participating in butchering, one of the coolest things I did at Ranquilco, changed my whole perspective about reality, really, and what it is to be alive and human, and how I want to eat and how I feel about society, and how I want to live. -- How to "buscar la vuelta" -- find the solution, in relation to working with limited tools and resources with major creativity and incredible patience and mellow perseverance, calmly knowing that it can be done, and that it doesn't need to be done 'great' or 'right', but it's just gotta work for today, and maybe tomorrow if we're lucky, 'gaucho style'; -- and. . . How to cut the hole in that box of wine!"
All guests, volunteers, and interns must present proof of travel insurance with horse riding coverage before they will be allowed to ride at Ranquilco.
Parents of volunteers and interns are cordially invited to consider a visit to Ranquilco to check in on their children’s experience and to enjoy the excitement and peace which Ranquilco has to offer. We are happy to offer discounts for parental trips.