The excitement of leaving the states to begin a new life abroad is tempered some by the predominant question: what will I do to earn a living when I get there? Although the most fortunate of expats have deep pockets that make the question irrelevant, most others must answer the financial dilemma before packing their bags or even selecting a location.
One approach is to assume the role of caretaker. In these arrangements, those seeking to relocate are matched with a homeowner or business owner in the desired location, with a goal toward filling a need or gap, either long term or for a short period of time. Opportunities like these may not be easy to come by, but they are out there.
One such opportunity is now available in the golden sunshine of he Mendoza Province, Argentina.
In the breathtaking wine countryside just outside General Alvear stands a farm that needs a caretaker. The farm is a nursery that grows vines that are then sold to the area’s many thriving vineyards. The current owner, who lives elsewhere, hopes to find a mature couple to live on the 15-acre farm and tend the vines.
This is not a place, or a job, for anyone who does not like working the earth, or who is incapable of somewhat rigorous labor. This is farming done largely by hand and by back. The right candidates will be conversant in Spanish, self-motivating and love to have their hands in the dirt; they will be responsible for the cultivation of the vines, upkeep of the property and general maintenance. Little known outside this specialized part of winemaking, the nursery business is as fascinating as it is labor intensive.
The life of a grapevine begins when cuttings left over from winter pruning of mature vines are collected by the thousands, bundled, and then buried in trenches. Come spring, the cuttings, or estacas are unearthed and planted in rows. There they grow leaves above the ground and long roots below, and the next winter these barbechos are dug up, bundled, buried again, and then later sold to the vineyards.
This farm in General Alvear grows baby vines for Malbec and Syrah grapes, which become the popular red wines of the same names.
Although the process is labor intensive, it is a manageable workload, and the current owner is ready to train the caretakers in all aspects of the nursery operation.
In return for the farm work, the caretakers will live rent-free in a fully furnished, modern house.
The caretakers will be responsible for paying the house utilities of approximately US $100 per month, including high-speed internet, and the care of two lovable and loyal dogs.
A reliable vehicle will be essential, preferably a truck.
In addition to the free rent, the caretakers will receive a share of the vine sale when sold the following spring.
The farm is ideally located on the scenic outskirts of General Alvear, a progressive agricultural center of 45,000. The city offers every modern convenience, including a hospital, universities, English language institutes, shops, health clubs and excellent restaurants. Construction is underway on an airport that will take travelers to Buenos Aires, and soon a superhighway will extend west across the Andes mountains to Chile.
One-year student visas are available through the language institute, which offers classes in Spanish.
This opportunity requires a one-year commitment and lease, with possible extensions. This position will be filled within one month, and all candidates are subject to a background check.
If you have an adventurous spirit and a love of earth and sunshine, you belong on this patch of paradise. Someday the right expats will open a bottle of good Malbec and know they had a part in producing it.
For more information about this opportunity contact Patrick Bright on firstname.lastname@example.org