Environmental resistance and traditional mountain values in Val Codera
Description: Val Codera lies in a valley among the Retiche Alps, shaped by granite stones and distinguished with its still wild natural area despite the effects of climate change and industrial development in the region that cause severe soil and rocks erosion. The association “Amici della Val Codera" has been working for 35 years to promote the valley in an eco-friendly way. It aims to protect and enhance the environmental and cultural heritage of the valley through rediscovering traditional agricultural activities in order to respect local community and to promote an eco-friendly tourism respectful of the mountains' beauty and cultural values. The remote village of Codera is a rare example of Alpine civilisation and can be reached only by 2 hours walk from Novate Mezzola.
Type of Work: During the workcamp volunteers will work for 6-7 hours per day and they will be involved in the following activities: restoration and cleaning of abandoned fields; growing potatoes, beans and spring cabbage (a very typical plant of the area); renovation of wild and abandoned fields through digging; renovation of scaffholding little drywalls; forest cleaning from wild plants; wood collecting; ancient local footpaths cleaning and restoration. All the activities will be carried out in the surroundings of Codera village. Moreover, in order to prepare the workshop discussions, volunteers will be asked to take pictures and documents about ecosustainable development of their own urban and environmental contexts.
Study Theme: Focused on remote areas of Italian Alps where depopulation has caused loss of identity, traditional cultural habits and damage to the nature. Discussion on projects that aim to keep alive traditional mountain values and activities of the valley by promoting sustainable tourism.The volunteers will visit the Valley Museum to discover the ethnographic and historic heritage of Val Codera.A workshop on ecosustainable development will be held to exchange experiences and good practices related to climate change, ways of 'environmental resistance', promotion of environmental awareness among locals.
Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in big rooms with bunk beds in Rifugio Osteria Alpina. There are bathrooms with hot water. Mattresses, pillows and blankets will be provided but volunteers have to bring their own sleets. Codera is 2 hours by walk from Novate Mezzola, connected through a panoramic path above the lakes Como and Mezzola. SCI volunteers will cook together with the local volunteers and sometimes they will prepare take-away lunch that could be eaten outdoors.
Requirements: Strong motivation to work in a wild remote area and interact with locals; simple manual skills in using agricultural tools and a good phisycal condition are required. Volunteers will live far from modern life facilities, city noise and conumerist society, therefore they must share the main goal of the project - preserving a challenging, but fascinating natural reality such as Val Codera.
Approximate Location: The workcamp will be held in Codera, a little village 2 hours walking from Novate Mezzola municipality that is part of Sondrio province, in Lombardy (North of Italy). The most important cities nearby are Milano (2 hours by train from Novate Mezzola), Lecco (1 hour by train), Sondrio (1 hour and half by train) and Como reachable by bus from Colico in about 2 hours.
Notes: Val Codera is accessible only through a stairs path, about 2 hours walking from Novate Mezzola and the nearest road. There are no shops in the village. The only facility is Rifugio Osteria Alpina where volunteers will sleep, eat and could buy beverages, local cheese, etc. There is a phone in the village that volunteers could use in case their phones and internet connection does not work well. There are a lot of opportunities for the free time - hiking, swimming in a stream near the village, playing traditional games or visiting the local museum. Volunteers with special food needs (celiac, vegan, vegetarian) are kindly requested to specify it in the application form.