Volunteers of 2022 in Etyek

This year there has so far been 8 volunteers from 8 different countries in the Szatyor volunteering project in Etyek. It is the 4th time that volunteers are hosted in this project. We are here to learn and experiment on sustainable lifestyles. Our actions aim to share awareness on environmental issues in the village. Here you can learn more about us and our experiences! 

Introduction to permaculture

Last friday we hosted a workshop on the basics of permaculture. Fi facilitated the first part of the workshop where she presented us the definition of permaculture and the 3 pillars the principles of permaculture are based on: Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share, before digging into the principles. After going over the principles, we got some definitions that we had to match with the right principle and we were asked to think about examples that could relate to them. 

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Natural Cosmetics Workshop

Hey there! September marks the month of the first natural cosmetics workshop and I had the pleasure to share some of the knowledge regarding this topic with the community and the volunteers. It has been a long time since I had the chance to teach how to make our own products and after a few reflection we have decided together that the chosen cosmetics were: cream deodorant, body lotion and fragrances. 

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Intercultural nights: SPAIN & PORTUGAL

Another month, another international night! This week we went to the Iberian Peninsula and had the pleasure to know more about the Portuguese and Spanish culture brought to us by our volunteers. This time, the event started at 18h30, and, we had the chance to try 3 different dishes from each country. We started with the portuguese pataniscas and cogumelos à bulhão de pato (mushrooms with a lot of spices and flavour, normally made with white wine, but we offered a wine free option as well) and the spanish tortilla de patata, well-known internationally for its flavour and creamy texture. The desserts offered were bica gallega and pastel de nata pie, which showed perfectly the Iberian culture. As for the drinks, we had alcohol free sangría and normal sangría. We tried to do something different from the normal flags displayed and offered an interactive museum where you could find the maps of both countries, a list of the best places to visit, as well as some curiosities and folk tales about the different regions. Additionally, we offered the chance for people to know more about the countries and did a trivia night, with around 60 questions, with different levels of difficulty, to challenge the participants and the people from to the community about their knowledge and offer the chance to explain the questions that they didn't know. As for the rest of the games, we played the patata caliente, or hot potato game, whilst listening to a spanish-portuguese playlist, followed by the three in-a-row game.

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Gyüttment Festival

Last week I went to Nyim to help the volunteers there prepare for the Gyüttment Festival (or Movers Festival). Nyim is an eco-community part of the South Eastern European Ecovillage Network, that’s why the community members decided to create a stage at the festival that would present the network and encourage other communities to join and expand their collaborations outside of Hungary. 

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Intercultural nights: GERMANY & AZERBAIJAN

As you could see on our social media pages, we had our international cultural night last Friday. It was a very interesting combination of countries, since we were presenting Azerbaijan and Germany together. The start of the evening was, as often, the food. You can see our selection of delicacies in the pictures. Especially, the Azerbaijan kitchen has an emphasize on meat which made it hard to find something to present to our guests, but even that worked out in the end and was really tasty!Following up to this, we played a game called „der große Preis” in Germany, where you have different categories with different difficulty levels. Two teams are playing against each other and try to gain more points by answering questions.After this, we tasted the promised Azerbaijan wine and Aysel and Orxan showed us how they dance at celebrations in their home country.Personally, I really enjoyed the game, since everyone learned something new and it was interesting and educating at the same time. I am looking forward to get to know the other countries too.

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Plastic awareness

Last Wednesday, Szatyor organized an event on awareness of plastic pollution. Me, Fi, and Paula went to a pharmaceutical company where three thousand people work.

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Making tiles

Last week we started making some tiles that will be used in the bathroom area of our yoga room. So that our guests when we host events can enjoy some beautiful handmade tiles. 

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Summer Camp

A few weeks ago, Etyek's most awaited Kids Camp arrived in our garden! Children, volunteers, and coordinators enjoyed a week filled with eco-sustainable artistic activities, such as making clay figures or "paper dough", where creativity flourished with mastery. We also played a thousand and one games, tasted delicious homemade and natural food made by our star cook, Zsuzsa, and her assistants - us - with products from our garden, and we went exploring at the lake! Although most of us can't speak Hungarian, and the children can't speak English, we proved once again that friendship and communication knows no barriers! It was really fun and beautiful meeting again the participants we already knew as well as getting to know those we don't. Thank you very much for a great week!We should do it again!

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Volunteer Gathering

There are experiences that only happen once in a while, but they are so enriching that you almost wish they could happen every day. It was the case for the event that was held in Etyek in the first days of July. Volunteers from different projects (Hidegeghy Eco community, Nyim Eco community, Fülemüle, Szatyor Budapest and Szatyor Etyek) met in the same place to share their experiences and their different visions, and carry out activities with the aim of getting to know each other and reflecting together on the absolute need to protect the world around us, the nature that every day offers us nourishment and yet all too often we take for granted. My name is Miriam, I am part of the Szatyor Etyek project and when the event took place I had only just arrived in Etyek the day before. It was therefore a nice way to start this experience and to be able to immediately appreciate the climate of positivity and growth that reigns among the people who were present. In the different activities we carried out, a common point emerged between all the volunteers: despite our cultural and character differences, we all care about respect for the environment and for others. Which in the end are the same thing, because it is impossible to truly respect each other without first respecting what is around us.

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Since we welcomed July, our team decided to focus on a new topic for this month: GREEN TRAVEL. So, I would like to discuss how we can make our travels more green or sustainable. But first, before knowing how, we need to understand what green travel is. 

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Filipa Costa

Hi, everyone! My name is Filipa, I am 24 years old and I come from a small city in the north of Portugal. Since I was 19, I have been engaged with Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion in my country and I had the pleasure to be a delegate in COP26 this past year, in Glasgow, where I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the climate negatiations and community building.

I found my love for permaculture last year, since I started engaging with the topic of agroecology and ecofeminism and I have participated in several youth exchanges and training courses about said topics, being one of them in Etyek! I immediately fell in love with the place and knew right away that I had to volunteer here. But, before that, I had the opportunity to be a volunteer in Bulgaria for two months where I learned even more practical stuff about permaculture. I am super excited to be here and share my knowledge about mushrooms, analog photography, natural cosmetics and community building :)

Hello! I am Haitam, and I'm from Morocco. In 2020, I chose Hungary as the next destination to pursue my higher studies. The pandemic made university life for me more stressful and challenging. Therefore, I was always thinking about taking some time off to try something new and different. Luckily, after graduation, I quickly found that answer within Szatyor's borders.

When I was young, I recall that my father would take us as a family to visit my grandparents every summer in their village farmhouse. I still vividly remember how relaxing and enjoyable that experience was, surrounded by nature and simplicity. When I saw the Etyek project, I realized that it could be an opportunity for me to relive that experience again.
What grabbed my attention about Szatyor is how people here are welcoming and friendly, from the coordinators to the volunteering, everyone is willing to help and team up to create something meaningful. As someone who is unfamiliar with gardening and environmental things, this made me more comfortable and optimistic about my stay here. So far, I am enjoying my time in Szatyor and looking forward to more cheerful vibes in the future.

Haitam Hamdan

Orxan Babayev

Hello, I am Orxan from Azerbaijan. I have always lived in the big city during my life, hereby I have never experienced the country lifestyle. During the last few years, stressful and rushing city life made me overwhelmed and anxious, so I began to be interested in living within nature and finding peaceful and humble life, so I decided to join this project. It is an absolutely new experience for me because living in the village and learning about eco-friendly life are completely new pages in my life. Moreover, getting away from my comfort zone, traveling and living abroad, meeting with new people from different cultures, and learning about the European lifestyle and traditions are quite exciting for me. Hence, I believe that this volunteering adventure will help me to go beyond my limits and improve myself in different ways. Love and Peace!

Hi my name is Milan and I came from Hungary. I want a little bit break from my university studies and join to a whole new experience. Previously I was working for a multinational company, but as a curious young mand I wanted to build new experiences a friendships. I am very happy to be the part of Szatyor because since 2020 I am enjoy to experiencing enviromental friendly lifestyle. In my free time I love to write my own book and poems. Also i enjoy sports like Cardio exercises, running and swimming. It is a pleasure beacuse eating is one of my weaknesses and I enjoy every kind of sweets:)

Varga Milán Márk

Alesia Serdiuk

Hi! I’m Alesia, 30, from Ukraine. I studied English language and world literature, but worked as a artisan in different factories and workshops.

I was always supported by my family and i thus learned that you can achieve much more in a more effective way if you share knowledge with others and build communities wherever you go. There's war in my country so I see now very clearly how volunteering literally saves lives.

For last 5 years i got immersed into environmental issues related activities such as gardening, composting, textile recycling and waste sorting. I used to share my experience with others, trying to inspire people and organise activities in my hometown, but at some point i felt stuck because of a lack of certain managerial skills and thus motivation to keep going. At some point I moved to Kyiv to built my life from scratch and spent two pandemic years in a crazy survival mode till the moment the war started. And even then i still could grow plants on a balcony of a rented room or make a compost in a container or sort out waste in a bombshelter.

Finally i learned about Szatyor and decided to participate in it because it fits my temper and skills so well. I already spent a week, full of absolute happiness, with my new friends, learning about their cultures, doing household things, planning future activities, waiting for the planting season. My experience is 100% satisfying right now and i hope in the end of this programm i would learn maximum about how to built sustainable community and contribute in a better future for everyone.

Hi! I am Mathilde from France. I have taken a break in my studies to get involved in more meaningful projects and in the past few years I have gotten more and more interested in environmental issues. I have always been very curious especially when it comes to discovering different cultures and languages so I have travelled around Europe and lived in Iceland for some years. I think that travelling and living abroad has helped me take a step back and realize that the simple lifestyle I had growing up in the french countryside was pretty sustainable. So I am going back to the roots and trying to learn new things as well in order to reduce my impact on the environment. You will most often see me knitting, drawing, baking or doing any other kind of creative activity. I also love the outdoors and am always ready to go on a hike or a camping trip!  

I am very excited to start this new adventure and to learn about the local community and Hungarian culture!

Mathilde Maindrault

Enrico Fabbri

Hi everyone! My name is Enrico, I'm from Italy and I'm 20 years old. I love cooking (like a classic Italian person) , playing basketball (I played in Italy) and traveling.

I chose this project because I wanted to discover new things and because I love to  work with nature. Make a smile and be happy!

My name is Gàbor, I am 20 years old.  I live in Switzerland, in the Italian part. I’m a gardener and I love the nature. I don’t like people who are always stressed. Chill life is my mood.

I like this project, it is cool to see new places, new country and work with Hungarian people.

I am part of the ICYE Switzerland program.

Gabor Mazzucchelli

 Volunteers of 2021 in Etyek

Projektkód: 2020-3-HU01-ESC11-093812

Spain trip

In the beginning of October, we had the opportunity to travel to Spain to gain experience and cooperate with other associations. The Hungarian team was represented by 4 people, including Italy, Germany and Israel.

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CECE project

This small village became part of our lives for more than 5 months. This is a big and challenging project that involves teamwork and fun learning from practice. We tried to learn how to grow up a great deal amount vegetables without any harmful chemicals and one hundred percent naturally. During this challenge, we faced all difficulties but experienced the great power of success when in the summer we had a chance to see the sweet harvest of hard work. This project also taught us to appreciate bio vegetables in the market and don't feel like they are too expensive for just a vegetable. It was the most enjoyable and impressive path that we get through during the year. You can see that in our faces in the photos. :)

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Kids courses

At our place in Etyek we started the English kids courses again. During the pandemic we had to stop the English lessons unfortunately. But for four weeks now, we are practising the courses again. There we try to give children from Etyek the opportunity to learn English, but for that we try to give them more of a light learning. We do not try to teach them like the school, where they already go in the morning. The courses are more like an educational relaxing time, where they can join for learning through drawing, playing and speaking or singing the English language.

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Birdhouse Workshop

Birds are a good and important part our environment. A lot of bird kinds are breeding in closed nesting sites, unfortunately natural nesting caves are getting more rare and uncommon. Also because of the coming winter and the coldness it gets more difficult, for the birds, to build a nest on their own. But with closed birdhouses we can support those birds.

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Kids Camp

Every summer a children's camp is organized in Etyek, where in addition to creative and playful tasks, various programs structure the children's days.

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Halloween in Etyek

Our Halloween was great fun, we made a lot of decorations, and the two of us did the halloween makeup workshop for the kids. We really enjoyed it and it seems like the kids and their parents too! 

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Community branch crushing II

As the summer ends and the autumn begins, most of the people trim and prune the trees and shrubs in their garden. From this occurrence their remains a lot of green waste. So to deal with this waste in a environment healthy way, we conducted a mulching tour through Etyek. There we drove to the people, which register before and crushed there green waste into woodchips. The people could decide if they want to keep the mulch to use or if we should take it with us.

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Seeds of tomorrow

We had an amazing “Seeds Of Tomorrow” project, that Etyeki Szatyor has made for young people from different countries as Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. The value of informal learning of how to make sustainable and healthy choices and live a greener life was well shown in this experience.

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I am Elias, I am 19 years old and from Germany.

After my graduation in the summer of 2020 I wanted to make a volunteering year in Germany, but I realised that I needed a change of my surrounding. So I decide to go outside the country. When I found Szatyor I was really fond by the project and its goals. The idea of being in another country, that I know very little about, making my own experiences, while learning about the environment and also doing something for it was very attracting to me.

Also the activities, like for example the bicycle workshop or the work with children sounded very appealing. Back in Germany I worked with kids and trained a group of kids doing athletics.

Also in Germany I went to a Waldorf School where I learned things about gardening which I want to use and expand.

All in all I can say I am really happy to be here, looking forward to explore the Hungarian culture and language, as well as Etyek with its people. I think that with this program we can achieve great things :)

Elias Klinger

Sherif Malek

My name is Sherif Malek, I was born in Sinai, Egypt (the most beautiful place in the world), moved to Cairo (one of the busiest cities) when I was young.

Out of curiosity to know other cultures and people, I decided to continue my studies abroad, so I moved to Hungary in the end of the year 2015 to continue my studies as a computer Engineer.

I was so lucky to choose Hungary and meet very cool people and get introduced to many different aspects of life which I haven't experience before like Hungarian folk parties.

I joined the project to take a break from the fast life and city hustle, take life more simple and work with my hands. I hope to learn from the people around me and maybe make a positive impact even if small.

Hey! I'm Roya. I'm from a small country bordering the Caspian Sea - Azerbaijan. I'm a minimalist person who trying to simplify my life as much as I can. I have several hobbies, such as watching movies, writing, photography, editing videos, etc. I admire the natural lifestyle because it gives me endless energy, creativity, flexibility, and motivates me to be a better person.

When I first saw the project "Green Seeds" I realize this is what I was looking for and just stopped looking for others.

Etyek is a cute and peaceful village. I love riding a bike here and enjoy the harmony of lives around me.
Village and natural lifestyle make me appreciate the luxuries of our modern world. It is the right place for learning and putting in my life an ecologically conscious life. Every day I'm learning new things about gardening and how to live sustainably. Here I have a chance to integrate it into my life and the lives around me. I love the idea of bringing people closer to nature and to natural food-producing.
People are forgetting the knowledge and the joy of growing and producing food for their own use. And I would like to bring these back. For me, happiness is a simple lifestyle. And I want to remind the majority of people as much as is possible.


Roya Tapdigova

Səma Abdalova

I am Səma, I am 21 years old and from Azerbaijan. As I am finishing university this year, I thought that it can be useful to focus on international projects as ESC. I searched for the meaningful idea behind, ability to be among people from different cultures and inspirational activities which I can use in my future as a contribution to my identity capital. So the reason I choose to be a part of this project is sustainability topics, ecologically conscious lifestyle that really is needed to be experienced.
When I came here, at first it was too much for me to be surrounded by completely new people and a new environment, but it was easy to adapt because they all have the same purpose close to yours and really believe in what they are doing. People here really care about saving the environment and their enthusiasm is inspiring. Etyek itself is a beautiful village, which is not far from Budapest, silent, and kind of modern for a village. I like riding a bike and exploring beautiful parts of it.
I recommend this kind of experience to those who really want to be a part of something meaningful, who wants some change in their life, who is interested in the environment and reducing ecological footprint and of course, meet new people from different cultures and became more sociable.

I am Luca, I am a 27 years old Italian guy. I joined Szatyor as a volunteer because I wanted to learn more about sustainability and moved by the curiosity of lowering my standards of living since in a small village like Etyek there aren't all the commodities that I can find in a city.

One of the activities that caught my interest and that I am enjoying is English class with children, I like dealing with kids and I already did it in the past.

Since now I have met many interesting people that helped me feeling comfortable in a situation that is completely outside of my comfort zone, from the other volunteers that live with me to the persons that collaborate with the organization.

An interesting aspect related to Etyek is that is immerged in nature without being distant from bigger cities such as Biatorbagy and Budapest. I believe it is the perfect for anyone, in the free time you can choose either to go biking in the woods or to grab a beer in one of the characteristic pubs of the capital.

Would I recommend this experience to anyone else? For sure, especially if they are involved in  sustainability topics. 

Luca Nodari

Csenge Molnar

Hey! I'm Csenge, 22 years old. I'm from Eger and a Hungarian volunteer. I live with my bunny, and his name is Zsomi. I came here in April because I want to find myself and peace. I want to be here because I have so many plans, and this place gives me space for it.
My hobbies are make-up, dancing especially hip-hop. I need to learn here so much about gardening because I have not any experience of it. My other goal is to be more open to other people.
I am about a month here, and I love watering plants, participate in Szatyor programs, kids camp, Rapsody. And I love to help the other volunteers to learn Hungarian, and of course, I enjoy learning the Azerbaijan language. This place is very kind to me.

My name is Anna, I’m 30 years old and from Hungary (I actually live 5 minutes from this place). I chose Szatyor because I felt that they were offering something different to me. That’s why I always wanted to try new things, leaving my comfort zone puts me in a vulnerable position but maybe it has a positive impact on my personal growth. I like watching movies and series, I think we can learn many things from them, but I also love reading books, it takes me away or riding a bike is one of the best ways to explore new places in the village. I highly recommend volunteering to anyone, because it will inspire you how to be a better person, learn new skills or you can become a part of a great community.

Anna Himer

Past Volunteers

Volunteers of 2020 in Etyek! -

Project number:2019 -3-HU01-ESC11-077542


Our team in Etyek for 2020 consisted  7 volunteers from Croatia, Italy, Romania, Russia, UK and Ukraine. However the COVID-19 pandemic made our life more challenging than usual and we had significantly less opportunities to organize larger events.

However, given these limitations, we still optimised the situation we found ourselves in. Most significantly, we were able to devote a lot more time and effort into realising our permaculture garden project, which was very successful this year in terms of the variety of vegetables we were able to grow and the various installations we created such as a new greenhouse for off-season growing and a chicken coop for our newly arrived feathered friends.

The circumstances also led us to appreciate a slower pace of life in Etyek and developing fewer but deeper relationships with people within the community. 

Have a look what projects we were included or started in our following blog!

Kids courses

Here in Etyek we offer English courses for primary school children. The approach we try to adopt is to have a light learning, we don't aim to overcome school or act like it. Kids already attend school in the morning, in the afternoon, taking part to our lessons, they can join a playful learning through drawing, moving and interacting with the garden and the animals in it. 

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Eco-tamagotchis - our worm compost

Worm or vermicompost sounds weird for most of us, however there are many different variations of how we can host and take care for this mini excavators. They are very delicate and sensitive for any changes in their environment. They need little food - kitchen scraps, like carrots or tomato peels - air, humidity and darkness, if they get all these, they are happy, eating our organic kitchen waste and turn them to super valuable liquid or soil full of everything good for our plant both indoor and outdoor. If they are well maintained (content tamagotchi) they reproduce and you will have more of them. If they are for some reasons not happy, they try to escape from their bin.

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Permaculture - like - garden

When I have heart first the word permaculture, I thought that it is a newly created gardening approach attracting urban young people who have no clue about what gardening is, but they are happy to believe in something deep green, romantic happening in rural areas. 

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Cosmetic workshop

Home made cosmetics are not only free from any unnecessary preservatives, harmful chemicals, but also can be prepared based on our needs and with our favorite fragrances. 

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Bike repair workshop

During the summer we collaborated with the Budapest based organization Cargonomia in creating a workshop where people could come along and learn practical bike repair skills.

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Tony Douglas

My name is Tony and I come from Northern Ireland. I applied for this project when looking for volunteer opportunities which aligned with my values and interest in contributing to an ecologically sustainable future.

There was a bit of a culture shock when I first arrived in March, but that quickly dissipated as everyone here made me feel welcome and valued as a team member.

During my time as a volunteer here so far, I have had the chance to participate in a variety of projects and educational workshops, as well as meeting lots of interesting people who have opened my mind to new ideas and alternative ways of living.

What I like the most about the organization of this program is the flexibility and freedom to pursue your own projects if you have any you would wish to implement. For example, I started a weekly film group where we invite people from the local village community and hold critical discussions on ecological documentaries that we screened. Budapest is only 30 minutes away on the bus which I love as it allows me to go and explore and enjoy the city.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and have discovered many new things. I would recommend this program to any potential future volunteers if eco-sustainability and practical ways to achieve this appeals to you, and have an adventure in Hungary.

Hi, my name is Marina!

I am a 30 year old Croatian girl with a lot of passion for playing with children and doing body-oriented psychotherapy. I love having some quiet time with myself reading books, meditating and going for a walk in nature. If you want to know something new about emotions and our early development as babies, I am your person. Coming here to Etyek was a great experience for me. It allowed me to follow my own rhythm and live at a slower pace of life for a while. Rising early, feeling the cool grass on my feet, having my hands in the soil, watching our garden grow and taking care of our ducks and chickens, as well as building various things have all opened new ways of learning and living for me. I love the community spirit here. Our neighbours are friendly and we often exchange food and homemade gifts, it is the best! So I would say to anyone who is interested to come to Etyek if they would like to slow down for a while, practice some self care by living and eating well, meet nice people and be closer to nature.

Marina Horvat

My name is Aks. I am an artist & a filmmaker born in a small southern village of Russia. I’ve always been a rolling stone, moving from one busy place to another. As much as I adore cities, I felt like I needed a breather. The questions of sustainability and human impact on the mother nature have been worrying me for a long time, and then the application for the volunteering position from Etyek fell into my lap & I took it as a sign. “Green Seeds” is the kinda project, where you receive as much as you put into it. It gave me space for inner contemplation and provided me with the most valuable skills of growing my own vegetables and herbs and taking care of domestic birds. It allowed me to experience very different ways of living to the one I, as many modern men, was used to in the comfort of our urban environments. I believe, if we collectively started focusing our energy and attention on what truly matters, we can achieve great things together & protect what remains of the beautiful Earth.

Aks Huckleberry

Jánó Lóránd

I’m Jánó Loránd 18 years old. I have 4 brothers who I really like and of course my parents. I like to watch movies and do my own things. There are things I pay attention to, such as being able to live properly, etc. I like making friends and waking up late in the morning.