During our summer months of December through April, we have a limited number of work-trade positions available for people with applicable skill-sets. We have a four-month minimum stay for volunteers, starting on December 1 through the end of March. If you are interested in any of the positions listed, and feel that you would be a good fit, please fill out the application below. We begin reviewing applications for these positions in April for the following season starting December 1.
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.
Volunteers are housed in a rustic bunkhouse in a shared room, with a shared kitchen and bath. Meals are prepared and shared communally. A laundry machine is available at the volunteer house. We have a very slow satellite internet system set up in the office. There are no phones at the estancia. We encourage people to use the internet as little as possible during their stay - it is a gift to be away from omnipresent connectivity.
We expect our volunteers to contribute with a positive and proactive attitude, to embrace the rare opportunity to experience life apart from modern conveniences, and to respect every individual in our diverse, multi-cultural community.
We are looking for an experienced horse person to fill the important role of head wrangler. This person is responsible for supervising the horse riding guides, overseeing the whereabouts and movements of our 70-horse herd, paying attention to the health and wellness of individual horses, managing the tack, and guiding some day rides and pack trips. Preference will be given to people with experience supervising others, backcountry guiding, mule/horse packing, and equine vet knowledge. Flexibility, organization, and communication skills are a must. Current Wilderness First Responder certification required.
Horse riding guides:
Horses are a daily part of life at Ranquilco. Applicants must have solid experience with horses, preferably with a background guiding all levels of riders - beginner to advanced. Outdoor leadership experience is a big plus, as is certification as a Wilderness First Responder.
We are looking for a skilled horse trainer to start several colts and continue work on a group of 3 and 4 year olds. These horses are a criollo-quarterhorse mix. Must have solid experience in natural horsemanship training. Please detail out your training experience and who you've studied with in the application, and email one 2-minute video of you performing groundwork and one 2-minute video of you riding to [email protected].
We have a few spaces open for skilled builders. Ranquilco is a fun and challenging place to work. We mill all of our own lumber onsite and work with many of the local materials which lend themselves to natural design and creativity. Must have construction experience.
We are looking for an adaptable, creative and food-oriented person to provide wholesome lunches to our community of staff and interns. The staff cook works in a covered outdoor kitchen outfitted with a large wood-fired oven, a well-designed fire pit, stainless steel sinks and ample counter space. Must be comfortable cooking with fire. Meals need not be "fancy", but it's important they are delicious, nutritious, and filling. The cook maintains close communication with the gardener in order to receive fresh organic produce from the garden, and has access to an unlimited supply of ranch-raised meat (primarily goat). Other staple ingredients come from town. The position requires innovation and flexibility to make use of what is available without a grocery store on hand. In addition to providing lunches 6 days/week, the staff cook also manages the outdoor kitchen area, assigning responsibilities to members of the community to complete chores, wash dishes or cook community dinners.
Gardener (filled for '23-'24 season):
The gardener manages our large-scale organic garden to provide the community with fresh produce throughout the season. Must be comfortable starting everything from seed, have experience working in organic horticulture (without chemical fertilizers/pesticides, and using compost and manure as the primary source of amendments), and enthusiastic to take on the joys and challenges of food production in a remote location, with minimal access to garden supply or hardware stores. This person ideally arrives at the end of September and stays until the beginning of April.