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Complete Cob ChillSpace/Lounge for Youth (15-22) at the Quinta da Vida Beleza on São Miguel Island, Azores (Portugal)

July 16, 2023 ∞ 8:00 am - August 20, 2023 ∞ 5:00 pm





With my best friend!


Claudine Désirée will be the host of this workshop, as well as the Leader/Instructor with an Assistant.  In 2020, Claudine began creating the Quinta da Vida Beleza (Beautiful Life Farm) Ecovillage on the island of São Miguel in the Azores, officially part of Portugal.  Her vision was and is a nature-dominant space to return to our roots of walking barefoot, being deeply connected to the elements, the climate, the plants, the animals and as much as possible living in harmony with and from the fruits of the land with minimal impact.

Claudine grew up in NYC and lived for 20 years in Santa Cruz, California, raising her three sons now 26, 29, 31.  Her son Viva Hansen is also in the natural building world and just launched his new artistic cob building business “Mudbloodbuilds”. She has always been nomadic at Heart and even spent long periods of time traveling and homeschooling her sons through Polynesia, Mexico and Cuba, some of their best memories.  She developed various businesses in California, one of them being CruzinCob, which then evolved into CruzinCobGlobal, on a 5-year Global CobTrotter tour.  She also taught and practiced Thai Yoga Massage for 5 years, taught languages and was a substitute teacher in every field in every school in Santa Cruz.  Her passion for everything green, natural, organic, simple, beautiful, healthy, real, and homemade has led her to create the perfect ecological lifestyle in the Azores.


Guardian at the Gate


In 2020, the Azores was calling Claudine to be still for a while after 5 years of pedaling an old French touring bike through Europe, Africa, South America and the US teaching cob workshops everywhere.  She yearned for a home base to do some deep internal spiritual introspection for a while, which aligned with the beginning of the pandemic years and with the entry into her double Saturn return years.  Thus in the sweetness of the Azores she has been preparing for the next phase of her life, in which she would like to create a homestead community with her sons and friends, in the US or real close (Puerto Rico?), similar to what was born in the Azores but with a multi-racial and cultural base .  She is yearning for the cultural entourage that she grew up with, an African and Afro-Latin music and dance-based lifestyle partnered with the ecological base of clean living with the Earth, with others and with ourselves.  Her people.  Her families.


Women’s sensuality retreat, 2022


Along with moving closer to her “Heart Home”, Claudine is feeling the strong call to support women and youth to learn a new way of being with themselves, honoring their bodies and souls, respecting themselves, listening to and being guided by the messages from within, learning how to express their needs clearly, truthfully and fearlessly, enjoying their own company, empowering themselves by learning how to use their hands to build a home, self-care, healthy sensuality and affection, and all in all having tools for being at peace with themselves as often as possible.  What Claudine will share with her students is what she herself has been learning throughout her 58 years.  A little healthy sustainable wisdom for the new generations.





São Miguel Island, part of the Azores which belongs to Portugal




Entering the Ecovillage Farm….


Quinta da Vida Beleza Cob Ecovillage is located in the the warmest and driest microclimate on São Miguel, and a short 5-minute walk to the natural ocean swimming pools of Lagoa, close to an earthquake and volcano museum, black sand beaches, the town of Lagoa, produce markets, cafes and restaurants and a 25-minute bike ride to the capital, Ponta Delgada.


The banana forest which supplies us with bananas and also eggs!


Students will have time to explore on the weekends. During the week after class there will also be ample time to hit the ocean and beaches close by before dinner.  The Azores are getting more and more popular and summer is the high season. The island is full of magic with hikes, surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, hot springs and even just staying on the land in a hammock and daydreaming.


Xica relaxin’ on the cool cob in hot summer!



With an always-evolving flock of 40-50 free-ranging chickens and 3 working cats, Xica, Joia and Viva, the farm is an abundant, lush and wild paradise as well as a peaceful yogic refuge.  Bounded by indigenous forest and agricultural land, it is quiet and remote in feeling, and within walking distance to everything of interest.  You won’t want to leave!


Below is a Gallery of pix of the Ecovillage and the area.







Summer 2022 Students celebrating completion of build!


Students will be building a 10-15m2 cob structure (size depends on number of students) as a chillout indoor lounge space on the land.

The cottage will be built from foundation to reciprocal green roof including floor, sculpting and plaster, as well as electrical outlets, switches and housing and plumbing connection. Students will receive an Advanced Cobber Certification for the 5-week training workshop and will be eligible to assist in a future CCG workshop and be hired for builds as a professional cob builder.






Tania and Carter learn to make their first cob batches.


The 35-day Advanced Cob Building Workshop consists of 25 days (Monday through Friday) of  learning & construction for 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon with theoretical instruction (lectures with graphics) on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays afternoons to complement the hands-on experience.

Students arrive on Sunday between noon and 2pm and settle in. The workshop begins at 4pm with the Opening Circle followed by a Host Site Orientation and Introduction to the Project. Dinner is served at 6pm, and will be followed by an Introduction to the 5-week Workshop by Instructor Claudine Desirée.


Finishing the floor in Casais, Portugal 2022


Monday morning we begin digging the trench for our Cob Building!!!! Following Breakfast from 7:30-8:15am, the morning learning/building session begins at 8:45 am and lasts until 1pm with a 20-minute snack pause at 11am. Lunch break is from 1pm to 2:30pm, which  includes a rest time before the 3-hour afternoon session begins. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays there is a 60-minute lecture, followed by construction time. Tuesdays and Thursdays students begin building again after the rest time.  After class in the afternoon there is a 90-minute break before dinner, in which students are encouraged to stretch, do some type of relaxation/movement practice, go swimming, watch the sunset and just relax. There will also be 3-4 evenings (once a week) after dinner for showing slides, videos and having Course-related discussions. Other evenings are either scheduled or free (Schedule to be determined). Mondays are reserved for our weekly Council Circle.  Weekends students are free to explore the area, rest onsite, and even continue building, with Instructor approval.

The 35-day Course will offer practical learning by building a complete 10m2-15m2 (depending on number of students) curvilinear building from foundation to roof, as described in the “Project” section. Those who complete the 35-day Workshop will receive an Advanced Cobber Certificate of Completion for Foundation, Cob Walls (which includes Door, Windows, Shelves, Art, Electrical & Plumbing installation), Floor, Plaster & Roof.




The Advanced Cob Building Workshop begins on a Sunday at 4pm and ends on a Sunday, 5 weeks later, after the morning Closing Circle & Brunch. Students can arrive a day or two before to acclimate and settle in (please let us know) but will need to cover their own food needs unless a work trade is approved by Host.

The daily schedule (subject to slight modifications due to climate/time of year) will be:

8:00-8:45 Breakfast
9:00-1:00 Class
1:00-2:30 Lunch
2:30-5:30 Class (Lecture on MWF’s)
5:30-7:00 Rest/Yoga
7:00-8:00 Dinner
8:00-9:00 Slides/Videos/Discussion (once a week)

Students are expected to be on time and participate in all sessions and required activities as the goal of building a full construction depends on the whole group working together!




Students will learn every phase of building a cob building from foundation through the reciprocal roof in hands-on building and lectures/theory. In addition to the lectures, slideshows and videos will be shown to support and enhance their understanding of cob materials, cob building, design, geography, budgeting, business options and legal issues.

Our hands-on practice will include:

digging foundation trench
pouring gravel and inserting drainage pipe (if applicable)
building foundation stemwall
analyzing soils and materials
making test bricks
deciding on correct mixture
deciding on best location
making cob w/ partner and solo
building with cob
preparing and inserting the door
preparing and inserting fixed and opening windows
preparing and inserting shelves
inserting bottle windows, glass and other objects
inserting electrical wiring and plumbing in walls
preparing and applying earthen plasters (1 coat)
pouring an earthen floor (2 layers)
preparing walls for roof connection
building roof frame
putting on sheathing and other elements
building green roof

In addition to Cob Building practices, the Course material
also includes:

legal cob construction practices & the international cob code
cost analysis
creating a cob business (building/teaching)
assisting, interning and teaching with CruzinCobGlobal






Students will need to come prepared for demanding physical work from Day 1.

This includes bringing:

Work clothes appropriate for the country and climate we are in
Work boots or other closed-toe shoes (for foundation and roof)
Flip-flops (for cobbing/plaster days)
Rubber dishwashing gloves (for lime mortar)
Work Gloves
Tape Measure
Box Cutter
Carving Knife
Wood Hand Saw (cheap)
Rounded triangular trowel
Ear Plugs (roof week)
Wood Chisel
4”-6” Diameter Round Plastic Container Lids (for plastering)
Good Moisturizer
Safety Glasses
Water Bottle
Sample of Your Soil (Optional)




Starting on the reciprocal roof….


These workshops are designed for people that want to learn how to build a complete structure from start to finish in a professional manner and amount of time. They are very intensive and, while we make time for yoga, stretching, dancing, music, relaxing….all students are expected to be present and participating in all building/learning hours unless ill or have some other significant reason. This is because we design the size of the building and organize the structure of the workshop in accordance
with the number of students and when people are absent it impacts the whole group and the other students have to work harder. In addition Instructors try to set up building work according to students’ preferences and learning needs.


Ariella loving to sculpt the Cob Wall



That being said, the workshop intensity also changes from week 1 to week 5. The first foundation week breaks people in with the work of moving, lifting, rolling and placing rocks and is a new and demanding physical experience for most students. It also includes the first layers and coat of cob floor. The second and third weeks of cob making and building are similar to the rock foundation week in physical demand but are more flowing and active in movement and cardiovascular exercise. The
fourth week finally slows down and the body can rest as students tap into their creative source and design and sculpt the walls and around niches, shelves, windows, etc. Plastering follows sculpting and is also an enjoyable more lightweight physical experience that lends itself to talking and sharing at the wall in a meditative rhythm as the students have bonded and shared deeply through a variety of experiences for a month. In the fifth week, the roof is the beginning of a change of pace from the
earthen building work to carpentry skills, power tools, drilliing, hammering, screwing, trimming, etc. But now the workshop is in its final stretch and there is a boost of energy to wrap up the green roof and the second floor coat and closing of the wall, the grand finale on the last day.For students wanting a more mellow slow-paced cob experience along with time for personal exploration and experimentation, these workshops are not for you.  However you can find a more suitable workshop online with other organizations that are usually for a shorter period building a garden wall, a bench, a compost toilet or some other smaller-scale project.

Students are required to read “The Hand-Sculpted House” before the workshop begins and any other books they find, as well as watching our “International Cob Workshop” videos on Claudine’s YouTube channel, and the ones posted on CruzinCobGlobal’s website under Gallery, to get an idea of what is expected. Also it is a great idea to watch as many other videos on cob and reciprocal roofs as you can to come mentally prepared.  Please bring your book(s).

Students must tend to their own personal needs, drink alot of water, rest when needed and exert themselves at a steady pace. Students who cannot do the strenuous physical work should let us know when registering so we can make sure the workshop is a good fit.  If approved before the workshop begins, we can adjust appropriately. It is totally OK to come for the lecture/theory part, and then help the building part in less physically demanding ways, ie cutting straw, sifting for plaster, hammering nails into frames or shelves, sculpting, plastering, cutting bottles. There is alot to do besides making and building with cob!!!!


Always a masterpiece!

Finally, please bring a watch or use your phone to be prompt and ready for each part of the Course
including meals. Please share your dietary restrictions/allergies with CCG as soon as you register.  Note that very demanding dietary needs will not be able to be met (vegan & non-gluten ok) and those students may be recommended not to participate unless they are willing to meet their special needs on their own, which may not include kitchen access on weekdays. Please discuss with Claudine at time of desire to register.  Also please bring your essential snacks and foods, pillow and whatever you NEED to be comfortable and happy. Feel free to also bring slides, videos, movies and books to share, as well as a sample of your soil to test.

We look forward to opening you to a whole new world of experience, skill, growth and transformation as you bond  with your new COB family for life!







Students will have 3 delicious, hearty vegetarian meals a day Monday through Friday.  There will also be a Welcome Dinner on the first Sunday night, a Celebration Dinner on the last Saturday night, and a Goodbye Brunch on Sunday morning after the Closing Circle.

On weekends students are on their own for food, and can travel and explore the area, go camping or stay onsite. They will have access to the kitchen and any leftovers from the week. Otherwise they will need to get their own food for the weekend and can collaborate to get rides to the food stores in town.

All students will be camping onsite for this workshop.  Students who don’t want to camp can rent one of the 3 cob bungalows available during the workshop.  Two bungalows have a queen bed and one has two double beds.  Students can also find other local accommodations like hostels or airbnb (ask Host for suggestions) but will need to be able to get to the site on time every weekday.





The arrival airport is PDL (Ponta Delgada) on the island of São Miguel, Azores, Portugal.  The airlines that fly there from the US are SATA/Azores Airlines, TAP, United and Delta.  From Europe take SATA, TAP or RyanAir.  There are no ferries to the Azores, but you are welcome to find a private boat sailing here! Just dont be late for Day 1!

Once you arrive at the airport, or will be in Ponta Delgada before the workshop starts, you can take a taxi (15-18€) to the Farm, or a bus into town and another one to the Farm.  More details will be sent in the Welcome Letter.




Thrifty Bird Rate :2350€, pay in full by February 26th, 2023

Chill Bird Rate: 2450€, pay in full by April 23rd, 2023

Super Chill Bird Rate: 2550€, pay in full by June 18th, 2023

Payment includes tuition, camping and weekday meals plus first and last dinners and last brunch.

To register, please email claudinedesiree@gmail.com or send standard text or Whatsapp text to (831) 212-7225 with your email address to receive the two registration forms.  Payment can be made by Zelle, Venmo and Paypal using claudinedesiree@gmail.com. With Paypal, please check the “Send to Family and Friends” box or add 3% for the fee. If you are using a credit card with Venmo or Paypal please add 3% for the transaction fee. Venmo ID is @claudine-desiree.

Europeans and others who want to pay in Euros can make a bank transfer to a European account or use Wise to convert into Euros.

It is preferable that you pay in full when you pay however 50% deposit is required to hold your place with the rest due by June 18th at the latest.

We always offer four work trade discounts of 250€ each for an hour of work each class day.  There are two kitchen work traders who prepare breakfast from 6:30-7:30am and two work traders that do site prep from 6:30 to 7:30am.  In this workshop we are offering two more kitchen work trade positions for dinner help. If you want a work trade, please email or text Claudine (contact info above). These are first come first serve.  Full payment or 50% deposit to hold your spot with final balance due by June 18th.  Note that the work trade discount is applied to the amount that is being paid off in full.  So if you are making your payment in full by the Thirfty Bird date, it will be deducted form that rate. If you pay in full after the Chill Bird deadline, then it will be deducted from the Super Chill Bird rate. Please see work trader cancellation policy below.




Students who cancel before April 23rd, 2023 will receive a full refund minus a 5% administration fee or a credit for another workshop within 2 years.

Students who cancel after April 23rd, 2023 and before June 28th, 2023 will receive a full refund minus 10% admin fee or a credit for another workshop within 2 years.

Students who cancel after June 18th will not receive a refund or a credit unless they have proof of  an emergency situation beyond their control, in which case they will receive a credit to be used within 2 years, minus 10% fee.

*Work traders who cancel after Apruil 23rd will receive a full refund of what they have paid minus 250€.





Quinta da Vida Beleza
Lagoa, Azores 9560-418 Portugal + Google Map


Whatsapp +1 831 212-7225
View Organizer Website