Muddy hands make the world a better place III.

Group volunteering experience 2024


Hideghegy eco-community in Pécsely, HUNGARY

1 July - 24 July 2024

Deadline of application: 31 May 2024


This project will involve 10 volunteers for a 21 days program in the Hideghegy Eco-Community, in Pécsely, Hungary. This program is part of a collaboration between Hideghegy community/Mindenegyüttmegy Association and Szatyor Association.


We believe that together we can create a natural, sustainable, happy world instead of today’s unsustainable, wasteful lifestyle.


Pécsely is a picturesque village on the northern part of the Balaton lake, with 560 inhabitants. Our community is located above the village in a 6 hectare area, with a breathtaking view on the Balaton-lake. Our community consists of 5 permanent members and around 10 local families who we cooperate with. 

PLEASE be aware, that 

- our community lives under quite simple, "nomadic" circumstances, in the nature, so there is mud when it rains, and hot, when the summer sun is shining, so the heat may challenge your endurance, involving lots of sweating;

- the work with mud, soil and stone is physically demanding;

- you have to have sturdy boots that are suitable for this work;


Eco-architectural focus: constructing stone retaining wall, work with adobe (building a cane wall and covering it with mud), fence weaving, and building wood structures.

You can get acquainted with working with wood, stone, clay, which can be useful almost anywhere in the world. 

Permacultural approach: Our permaculture farm will undertake the rehabilitation of an abandoned vineyard (picking up an old support system, collecting wires, placing cut-out bushes along the contour line) and collecting and processing herbs and fruits. 

Getting acquainted with the tasks related to the crop, weeding, watering, harvesting.

Cooking: Taking part in the kitchen tasks, cooking, baking the bread ourselves and preparing the lunch from the fresh ingredients we picked from the vegetable garden.

Community: Practicing application of community cooperation methodologies (project and task planning, local roles, division of tasks, scheduling, taking responsibility, risk and conflict management)


Young people (18-30) from all over Europe.

We will host 8 participants from abroad and 2 Hungarian participants, a total of 10 volunteers.



In your own tent.


Provided by the community, prepared together. Healthy, organic, mostly vegetarian and vegan options. 

Water, bathroom, toilet:

We bring drink water from a nearby well. 

We use outdoor showers using harvested rainwater. 

We exclusively use outdoor compost-toilets that we have built ourselves. 


The GPS coordinates for our community are: 46.9625, 17.755

137 kms from Budapest, 25 kms from Veszprém and 12 kms from the Balaton Lake. 


You have to arrange it yourself after discussing your options with your host. Costs will be reimbursed.

We strongly encourage to choose green travel options such as train or bus. You will get detailed instructions about how to get to the site from the organisers.

Travel reimbursement:

Your travel will be reimbursed by the European Solidarity Corps program up to 275 Euros (up to 2000 kms). 


volunteers are insured through the ESC’s Henner insurance scheme. Please make sure to have your valid, blue EU Health Insurance card with you. Hungarian volunteers should have their own TB insurance. 

Pocket money:

you will be granted 5 Euros/day pocket money. 

Passport and visa in Hungary:

Hungary is part of the Schengen area, easy to enter for EU citizesnd with a passport or an ID. In case you need visa to enter to Hungary, we discuss the details and arrange it individually. For information about visas, please visit this site: 

COVID Situation:

Currently there are no restrictions introduced by the Hungarian government, so it does not affect your travel to Hungary.

Currency and banking: 

The currency is Forint (HUF). 1 Euro about 380 Forint. (1l milk = 300 Forint, 1beer = 350 Forint, 1kg bread = 700 Forint) There are possibilities to change money in bigger cities, but you can pay with credit/debit cards in most shops. You have to have a European Bank account or else, we recommend that you open a Wise/Revolut account before your departure where we can transfer you the travel reimbursement and the pocket money.


Hungarian electric system operates on 230 Volts, 50 Hz, with round prong European style pugs. 

We are off-grid: In the community we use solar power: we only have sufficient electricity in case the sun is shining, otherways only enough to charge the phones!


The Summer is also dry but hot, between +28-32, but evenings in the forest can be chilly.

What (not) to bring? 


- comfortable, clothes/shoes that you do not mind if they get dirty (in the garden, while working with mud or doing some other work. Best to bring a sturdy boots that are safe to work on a construction.

- hat, suncream, your own water bottle, working gloves, rain jacket

- mosquito and tick repellents

- tent, sleeping bad, sleeping mat (and perhaps a pillow)

- towels, toiletries

- headlamps

- your own mug, plate, cutlery, knife, water bottle

- EU Blue social security card, masks 

- special medication, documents, if you might need them 


- jewelry, electronics

- pets, animals 

Basic phrases in Hungarian :

Yes - Igen 

No - Nem 

Hello - Szia 

Goodbye - Viszlát 

Please - Kérem 

Thank you - Köszönöm 

My name is… - Az én nevem... 

Could you help me? - Tud nekem segíteni?

I don’t understand - Nem értem. 

How much does it cost? - Mennyibe kerül? 


All about ESC - What is the European Solidarity Corps program? 

All the details you find on this link:  

What to expect from being involved as a volunteer in this program? Here you go. -

All about about Henner insurance you can find on this link: Henner

Yes, you will get a Youth Pass certificate after your voluntary service, here you can get more information about what Youth Pass is and how you can note your learnings. 

Local contact numbers: 

- Regina Csatlós, host: +36-20-474-7372

- Balázs Tőgyi, organiser, ecological workshops: +36-30-618-1750


See you in Hideghegy soon :)

The program is funded by the Counsil of Europe's European Solidarity Corps Programme.