Doing good

As our renovation work is slowly coming to an end, we now focus more and more attention to our primary goal – helping the local community. In past weeks we participated in several actions that support local sustainable activities such are eco farming, sustainable tourism or preservation of local natural and cultural heritage. It is really fulfilling to focus our strength on what we came here to do.

Last week we continued with clean-up action in vicinity of Hrvoji that we started two weeks ago. In one morning we cleaned two more cubic meters of waste.

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There is a beautiful old fountain near church in Hrvoji. In last decades it was abandoned and it slowly filled with rocks, mud and waste. We cleaned it. Now it can be again used as a water supply. Water is scarce in Istria, so this action contributed to preservation of natural as much as cultural heritage of our environment.

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We cleaned one of the terraces and set up volleyball and basketball courts which bring us much fun and are also accessible for all the locals. Only later we found out that locals already planned to make basketball court at the same location :)

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We started to support our first local company. Istraterra is a fairtrade tourist agency, established this year by young enthusiastic locals.  They organize culinaric, etno and cultural trips that strive to preserve local traditions while giving cooperating locals chance to be fairly paid for presenting them. It is an amazing idea, as creating job opportunities for locals is probably the best way to protect local heritage. One example of Istraterra’s trip is truffle-picking with local expert, followed by cooking workshop and truffle dinner at the local’s home.

We made a brainstorming with our volunteers to figure out what we, as a target group, find interesting about Istria region. Then we tailored trips that we would like Istraterra to offer us.


We sent our work to Istraterra team and they already agreed to offer special trips for our volunteers. We will now support Istraterra and local economy with becoming their regular customers and also offer our voluntary work to help them organize their trips and events.

Another action supporting local sustainable tourism happened this week in nearby village of Abitanti. One of the houses there will be saved from disintegration and turned into a wine cellar and an appartment for tourists who seek peace and nature. Miro, the overwhelmed owner, took our girls there with his tractor.


We cleaned old plastering from stones of the 300 year old house.

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After work, Miro showed us the village and explained how he has been trying to save Abitanti from destruction for the last twenty years. Thanks to his efforts the village is now being slowly renovated.

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While walking with Miro through the village we met the first young person who moved back into the emptied village. Martin is 21 years old and is starting a farm here, alone. The brave young man took us to his wine cellar and offered us his rifosco wine. He plans to bring back to Abitanti an almost extinct local breed of cattle, called Boškarin. He asked us to help him prepare grazing area for them and we gladly offered our hands.

In the meantime Miro’s wife prepared lunch for us at their house. After amazing meal we decided that we will definitely continue to help Miro with his renovation.

We did a lot of work and more is still to come. This Sunday we will help another local eco farmer. Next Friday we help organizing ethno, literature and poetry evening in Hrvoji…  Locals now know about us and are starting to call us to help them. This is what we came here for and it makes us proud and happy to be here.