Welcome to our Application for Involvement Page
We love to welcome volunteers who would like to have some peaceful time and help us in the ways that fit them best. We currently have three main projects here. The first is making name signs for the native plants. We have paint, paint brushes, photos of the plants we need drawings of and all material. The second project is making earth friendly trails around the property and clearing the larger pieces of wood from the trail areas. The third project is helping in the farm. If any of these projects interest you, please contact us.
If you don’t have an apron, shovel or gloves please let us know in advance so we can make sure we can supply those things when you come.
We are open to volunteers most anytime. Please bring a sack lunch. We offer 100% freedom during these hours. Even if you come and help for a couple hours, we are grateful!
At 2 PM we have a two-hour hike in the Santa Ysabel East Preserve. It is a one-hour leisurely flat walk and with about a 45 minutes time in silence by a creek at the half way point. Many people listen to apps on their phone of a stream with bird song. There is a different energy when listening to the real thing. Bring walking shoes. We will walk for 30 minute and then be still for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes we will sound a small Tibetan bowl to let you know we will start to walk back to the parking lot. All in all the walk is about 2 hours with the small drive there and back from the retreat center.
San Diego County is in one of the top 25 most biologically diverse places in the World and most people do not know that. We need more people who care about the diversity here and somehow focusing on teaching people the names of the plants is a way to do that and is our current project. In knowing the name of anything, you build empathy. These plants need our protection and people generally protect what they love!
We are looking for artists to paint flowers and the names of the flowers on thin wood disks that we have. If you have a chainsaw and you can help make more this wood disks we can use your help. The art signs will be placed near the plant.
We Live in a beautiful piece of land at 3,500 feet elevation between Santa Ysabel, CA and the historic town of Julian, California. This is a 10.8 acre property located at the Headwaters of the San Diego River. With many large stunning rock outcroppings and Metates carved into the rock, this has been the home to many before us.
The location here is very unique because we are located in a transition zone right where low elevation coastal plants meet the high elevation mountainous plants. We also feature Riparian (located near rivers) native plants and also, rare, edible and endangered plants.
We are in a drought and we feel this education to teach the names of the plants is wise. Southern California is in a serious drought and there is a new water law suggesting we limit use to 55 gallons a day, which includes landscaping. So, what are the new rules?
In 2022, the new water standard may be 55 gallons per person, per day. by 2030, it will fall to 50 gallons.
We must start saving and conserving water immediately in some way that is sustainable. We feel this demonstration native plant garden is a must for educational purposes. Our visitors will leave with knowledge how they can create a native plant garden at their own home, replacing their water-thirsty lawns. Having a native plant garden is one way we all can save water. We are all learning about sustainability together. We invite you to be part of the change, but we must all be in this together or we won’t survive.
This will bring us closer to a more sustainable world when others learn about native plants, because naturally people will want to grow them in their yard instead of having a lawn thus saving the ground water and the water, we all need.
Past reviews from Volunteers:
“My visit to the retreat center with my girlfriend Val was was beyond amazing! Jennifer and Memo were so incredibly kind and generous. They gave me a lot of freedom in how i could spend my working hours. We got to plant native plants and paint signs and learned how to build irrigation to reach the plants. Jennifer gave me some great recipes and taught me how to cook some delicious vegan meals and desserts. The room we were given was very comfortable. We loved walking through the many trails in the back of the property and playing guitar and singing songs around a bonfire at night. Jennifer, Memo, created such a warm and friendly environment and I wish I could have stayed longer.”
“Woah, what an amazing experience! Jennifer and Memo’s vibes are so open and caring, and the vibe of their home is so loving, I grew so much spiritually in my time there just from being in their environment. Jennifer was so thankful for our help on the farm and is very go with the flow, and was very supportive about projects and other things that we were interested in such as trying out new recipes! And Dustin is hilarious! I learned a lot from working with him planting-wise and life-wise too, like that I don’t have to take sh*t from anyone and that I can figure out how to do things my own way and make it work. And Memo is so chill and up for deep conversations and is probably one of the calmest people I’ve ever met! Overall great experience and I’m so glad I got to spend time here and help improve the Spiritual Retreat Center!”
“A gem in the midst of southern cali mountains. Beautiful land with beautiful people. From talks about life and spirituality with Memo, jamming and singing ring of fire with Jennifer, and cooking up a storm of delicious vegan cuisine and laughing with “anon” my time here will not be forgotten. A wide variety of tasks and a fun time to be had, I highly recommend!”
“These are some of the most loving, intelligent, spiritual, and fun people I have met. Each have so much to teach. Jennifer taught me about the Chakras, Human Design, THSP, and how to always be kind and positive. Memo taught me about kucions, singularity, AI, and spirituality in general. Elizabeth taught me about cooking and baking (vegan and vegetarian!), how to properly organize a kitchen, to always check my facts, and how to rock out to fun bands. The retreat center is beautiful with many amenities. There is a jacuzzi, laundry, WiFi, INCREDIBLE vegan and vegetarian food, and much more.”
“I had such a magnificent experience at the Retreat Center. This was my first time volunteering and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I learned a plethora of information and life skills, gained an abundance of knowledge from the most amazing souls, and grew so much as an individual. The property itself is stunning, near a quaint little town, yet perfectly secluded enough. Partook in yoga, meditation, and spiritual discussions whilst being here. Assisted in setting up, working, and taking down weddings.. that was exciting and fun! We also had retreats, where I and a few other volunteers would prepare the guesthouse for them, cook AMAZING vegan meals, and talk about life. I was fortunate to sleep inside and share a room with awesome roommates during the transition from Cali’s fall-winter. Everyday was a fresh and new beginning, so much laughter, vegan cuisines, music, and adventures shared with the kind hosts, Jen and Memo, as well as fellow volunteers. We worked about 5 hours a day and had a day or two off each week, going to the beach, hiking, or simply doing our own thing. I couldn’t have asked for a better overall volunteer experience, highly recommend!”
“it was such a beautiful experience! it was my first woofing experience and i am so thankful it was here, i wouldn’t have had it any other way. jen and memo are full of so much unconditional love and it was amazing learning to coexist with such beautiful souls. they are both so knowledgeable and it was so fun learning and growing with them! this place is more focused around the retreats, and it is so fulfilling to create such a loving space for people to come to heal. jen and memo made sure that every volunteer was helping in a way that was using our best abilities and special unique talents so i was able to use my natural creative expression and painted the sign! i also designed the logo for the website. it was so much fun and i really enjoyed dancing and singing with all the wonderful volunteers and enjoying the healthiest and yummiest food in the world!!”
“This place is great! The owners Jen and Memo treat their volunteers very well. No one is forced to do any particular work. Rather, each person decides for themselves what fits their skills and talents best. I got to be in the kitchen every day and cook delicious meals with the wonderful, organic food that was always in great supply. We would go for walks in the mountains many times a week, and the owners were very generous with everything: food, their car, the hot tub. Expect to work hard, but know that everyone is working as part of a team here. It’s a family-like environment where all are welcomed. I would highly recommend this experience!”
“I stayed with Jennifer and Memo for almost 2 months from January to March. From the moment I met them, I could tell that they truly care for people, and will go out of their way to make sure you have a great time. Most of the work centered around creating health-conscious vegetarian dishes for the retreats that are held here. The food is out of this world. We often made nourishing salads, healing soups, kombucha, and sprouts! I also helped chain saw and split fire wood. I learned a lot while staying here, and would gladly come back if I return to Southern California. For fun, there are good hiking trails nearby. We even had a few camp fires, and sang songs at the local open mic night in a nearby town. Thank you to Jennifer, Memo, the other volunteers, and everyone else I met during my stay. I would recommend staying here. Your stomach will thank you, and your spirit will be nourished.”
“I had a really special experience at the San Diego Spiritual Retreat Center and Farm. I ended up being there for a whole month, which is the longest I had WWOOFed anywhere! Jennifer and Memo are wonderful people. Jennifer opens up her home to people and is very welcoming. Our main duties were welcoming and preparing for the guests that would come for the retreats. These tasks would include cleaning the guest house, preparing meals and cleaning up after the meals. There is a lot of land on the property, so lots of potential for expansion from the farming aspect. We had begun to till some soil in a designated place before I left, where seeds were soon to be planted. During the time I was there we had a total of 9 volunteers, in addition to Jennifer and Memo. This made for a fun, cohesive group. Even when there weren’t retreats going on we would usually cook some wonderful meals together and share in the clean-up. I learned some fabulous vegetarian recipes from Jennifer and others in the group. It was a lovely opportunity to share amazing food and company that I will always cherish.”