Occitanie – France

Welcoming structures :

You will step in the life of villages gathered under the community of municipalities of Lalbenque Limogne. You will work on renovating old historical buildings and also maintain nature paths. You will also take part into the cultural and artistic life of the villages.
Meal: Your accommodation offers a kitchen space where you can prepare your meals. From Monday to Friday, you can enjoy the school cafeteria for 4€ the meal. The accommodation is free of charge, in the heart of Lalbenque, in the old public revenue office of the town.

 

The Missions :

Where : Community of municipalities of Lalbenque, Lot department, Occitanie region.
When : the missions happen in July and into the first week of August
The maximum number of volunteers : 12
The minimum number of volunteers : 6
Minimum period of time in between registration and start of the mission : 1
Minimum length of time for the mission : 2 weeks
Maximum length of time for the mission : 4 weeks
Activities : Involvement in the cultural environmental, artistic life of the villages, in the renovation projects going on in the area and happening on small “heritage buildings”. Maintaining paths by clearing back the vegetation. (Those paths are famous : ancient pilgrimage route, Camino de Santiago known in English as the way of Saint James, routes de Santiago de Compostela or in French: “Chemin de Compostelle”). Maintaining/building small fields’ walls made of dry limestone stones and many other small heritage buildings projects. Involvement in the preparation and organization of village gatherings, music festivals, concerts, outdoors meals in the village, etc…

Specific information :

  • Speaking French is needed to communicate with certain members of the staff and people in the village. At least one volunteer in the group must speak French.
  • The program of the mission can be modified according to the wishes and capacities of the volunteers
  • This mission is open to all people of 18 and up, or to scouts under the supervision of an adult.

 

The Area :

The community of municipalities of Lalbenque Limogne includes 23 villages and slightly more than 8000 inhabitants. This territory is rural. A road goes through it: the GR65, well known under the latin name “Via Piodensis” or in French “voie du Puy”. This road is one of the 4 paths in France part of the Compostelle pilgrimage, or the way of Saint James. This path allows people to discover the typical village on this territory: Limogne en Quercy, Varaire (very unique village with an ancient place to wash the laundry in the open), Vaylats (featuring the nunnery of the daughters of Jesus), Bach  (featuring the phosphorites caves of Cloup d’Aural), Laburgade (with the path of the numerous wales) and Flaujac-Poujols renowned for its vineyards, Lalbenque.

Lalbenque lies south of the Lot, the regional natural park of Causses of Quercy. It is perhaps most famously known for its truffle harvests. Quercy’s own black gold”.
Several dolmens  (single chamber tombs from as early as 4000 BC) indicate that the country was inhabited since the ancient times. The road from Lyon to Bordeaux across the country (GR65, chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostela) goes through Lalbenque and has been built since the Roman time.
The “Gariottes “are also many on this land: ancient, dry stone shepherd huts. The “Causses” de Quercy is a limestone plateau and due to the scarcity of water, historically, people gathered to share this precious resources at places such as wash houses, with their angled-stone “papillons”, wells and animal watering holes, pigeon houses, water mills remains which are found all over the area.
Lalbenque is officially recognized as a Site Remarquable du Goût, a distinction awarded to places of outstanding food heritage. An important part of the country is occupied by the black truffle, tubermelanosporum, produced on this landscape with a chalky soil lying under the dwarf oaks of the region. This product is a delicatessen re-known by the best chefs in the world. Other food specialties are the Quercy lamb, Pastis cake, fat duck and local wine of Cahors and Côteaux du Quercy, etc…

 

Location :

Inbetween Montauban and Cahors, one hour drive away from Toulouse. The nearest airports are Toulouse Blagnac (105km) and Brive Vallée de la Dordogne(90km). From Toulouse or Brive, you can take a train(5 trains/day) and must plan on an hour journey.