Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions you'll probably find your answer here. If not simply drop us a line and we will get back to you.

One reason many volunteers decide to take this experience, aside from what they may learn on our actual programmes, is to have the opportunity to experience a different culture and a different way of life. 

Here we also aim to live as sustainably as possible, both as a family and as a project. Please be prepared for the fact that there will probably be differences from your life at home and be willing to embrace this. 

We have included some frequently asked questions below, but you can also get in touch via email if you have any other specific questions.

Our closest Airport is Málaga and we can arrange transfers to and from the airport. Although public transport is infrequent, it is also very easy to use and reliable. Normally pre-booking public transport is not necessary, but please check out time tables before booking flights as transport does not run late. More information on how to get to the sanctuary can be found here.

Each volunteer will donate an amount of funding associated with each programme, and these can be found here. Volunteers are then responsible for their flight and transfer costs.

Volunteers spend an average of 25 hours per week caring for their environment and working on the current daily tasks. This is often five days on the project site, and two days off, but we are flexible to split your time however fits best with other interests and the horses’ needs. In summer because of the heat work is early and late, with a long break in the middle.

Accommodation is included in all of our programmes in the form of a shared village house or the hostel which are both a 15 minute walk from the project site. You can find more detail on the volunteer programme pages. 

Healthy vegetarian/vegan groceries for three meals per day are provided for volunteers to prepare their own meals if they are registered on our Equine or Sustainability Programme. Cooking can be done in the accommodation or in the on-site outdoor kitchen.

There is no shop in the village so we do a weekly supermarket shop from an extensive, but predetermined list which is given to the volunteers each week to complete, depending on what you need. If you would like items that aren’t listed, we can get them for you but at your own expense as we operate on a limited budget. Bear in mind that items you eat often at home might be unavailable or more expensive here. 

We try to be as sustainable and as ethical as possible so the list includes seasonally available fruit and vegetables. It does not include items containing palm oil, meat or fish, and we avoid processed food. Meals including these things are available in the local bars so you can buy them there if you wish. We won’t buy meat, even at your own expense, because some volunteers wouldn’t appreciate it being cooked in the shared kitchen and we have to respect this.  

We keep a recipe folder which contains some of our favourite meals which can be made from the listed items if you are in need of inspiration. We provide coffee and teas, but soft drinks and juices are extra (although we are happy to buy oranges for juicing yourself).

There are also bars where you can eat at your own expense.

If you are registered on our Group Experience Programme then you provide your own food.

The tap water in the accommodation is drinkable, and there is also the option to bottle your own water from a natural source in the village. We do not provide bottled water but you can buy this yourself in the weekly shop.

On the project site you must take your own water bottle which can be refilled from the natural source we have there. The main area of work is a little further down the land, so you may have to walk back up to the source to refill (especially in summer). Bear in mind this is not far, but it is a steep hill.

You can also refill plastic bottles which we can provide to take down to refill, but someone will need to be responsible to change this each day.

There is WiFi available in the main volunteer shared house. There is free WiFi available in the bar/cafe just a minute’s walk away from the accommodation, which is also where the overflow accommodation is situated. There is also a free internet building in the village, but the opening times are a bit unpredictable. If you want to use your own phone/internet service, then I suggest checking with your provider before you leave so it can be set for use here. If you arrange unlimited data and set to roaming then you should be able to pick up a good signal. You can then use your phone as a hotspot if you bring a laptop. Vodafone has a good signal but we cannot vouch for the availability of service/coverage/signal of other companies in the village. Some visitors have been unable to get a signal in the accommodation but others have, so if it is vital to you, prepare before you come.

Smoking is strictly forbidden on the project site as it represents a fire risk. In the accommodation, we ask you to please smoke outside.

There are no shops in the village, but there are three bars/restaurants which also sell fresh bread, eggs, takeaway meals and drinks; a doctors surgery on specific days; a pharmacy during the surgery hours; a public swimming pool during July and August; and an internet building. Opening hours are listed in the information folder, which we leave in the accommodation for volunteers. 

There is a local bus service which runs once a day on weekdays to and from Ronda. The bus leaves from right outside El Meson de la Sierra anytime from 8:00-8:45 and returns from the bus station at 16:30.

There is no ATM in the village, but often volunteers get a bus to Ronda on their days off and there are ATMs there. Sometimes volunteers can also get a lift to Ronda with us when we do the shopping, if there is space.

You can usually stop in Ronda on your way to Atajate from the airport if you need something.

The volunteer programmes offer support and training. They are organised and structured programmes which include groceries for three meals a day and accommodation, allowing much-needed people to come and help with the daily needs of the horses. A proportion of every donation goes to maintain and improve the horses and their conditions, and the running and development of the project.

We are only a small organisation and completely rely on people like yourself to enable us to continue the project. 

We go once a week in our car to shop for all the volunteers and deliver it to the accommodation as the majority of our volunteers are not local we find this support is usually necessary, as is accommodation.

We offer a sliding scale, so the longer you stay, the less you pay per week. This is because the volunteers who stay of under two weeks require a lot of time and support, as they have so much to learn. By the time it gets to a few months, the financial donation is minimal as the person should know the routine and the horses very well, and can be a good help.

You are welcome to come and volunteer outside the programmes on a daily basis, but our organisation can not cover your costs.

You are welcome to come and volunteer outside the programmes on a daily basis, but our organisation can not cover your costs.

We cannot offer refunds. The programme costs are made as a donation and, because we are a registered charity, we are legally not able to refund donations from our association account. However, if a volunteer needs to cancel or leave early, we can offer them the opportunity to return at a suitable time for them, providing we have availability.

If it suits you better you are able to pay weekly in advance, or monthly for longer stays.

Atajate is the smallest of the white villages with less than 200 permanent residents. This makes for a quiet and friendly village where everyone says ‘hola’. However during the summer months many Spanish families come home to their family roots to enjoy their break. This leads to a happy family holiday atmosphere. Around the 15th of August every year is the village patron saint fiesta when everyone lets their hair down and parties for three days and nights, sleeping usually at midday. We are happy for volunteers to join in with these celebrations, and it is often a case of if you can’t beat them, join them! There will be loud music throughout the night during this time. It is quite a contrast to the winter months!

In the main volunteer accommodation 


living room – 

  • sofa and arm chair
  • book shelves with some resources in horse keeping and training, Spanish language books, cooking books, and information about the local area
  • Wi-Fi


Kitchen –

  • large dining table and chairs
  • fridge-freezer
  • hand blender
  • food processor
  • coffee percolator/moka pot
  • electric stove top
  • toaster oven
  • Bread maker
  • iron and ironing board
  • recycling bins
  • cleaning products


Bathroom –

  • towels
  • shared hand soap
  • toilet
  • bidet
  • bath and shower
  • sink and mirror
  • hair dryer


Two twin bedrooms –

  • bedding – sheets pillows and duvets
  • draws or wardrobe
  • side table and lamp in the larger room


There are electric heaters for the winter and fans for the summer in all rooms. All rooms have shutters to keep the heat off the windows in the summer,

If you stay in alternative or overflow accommodation, the facilities in the main volunteer accommodation are available to you.

The horses at Time and Space are a bit of a mixture with various backgrounds, and some have quite a long story! Some haven’t been abused in the typical sense, but their previous owner was about to give them away to abusive homes as he had with some of the herd that Clare had been taking care of (financially and physically) for more than six years already, so she took what she could when the situation could no longer continue!

The availability of a single room would be dependent upon other bookings we have at that time. In the main volunteer house there are two rooms with twin beds. So if there are less than three people you could have a single room. When there are three people, unless one of the others ask for a single room, then it could be possible for you to have one. If another volunteer also asks for a single room then we’d have to ask for a financial contribution to make it fair.  There is alternative accommodation close by which we use when the main house is full, so it is also possible that you use this if you still want a single room and it is not available in the main house, or if the main accommodation is full. 

We haven’t had many illnesses or injuries in the past, but in these cases we have taken the volunteer to the hospital. They need to take their documentation such as insurance and identification. Depending on what the injury is, and how the volunteer feels, they decide if to stay or return home. The volunteer must cover this cost themself or be adequately insured. They would be welcome to join us again in the future should their stay be cut short.

Yes, absolutely! You will be living quite independently so you must be fine with that. You would be doing all your own cleaning and cooking etc, or as a group when there are other volunteers. Everyone is different, and whilst some are not ready for this, others see it as an invaluable part of the experience. Even adults learn something new living within a different culture. We are always available via WhatsApp.

We carry out all foreseeable health and safety checks on the project site, and explain dangers and what to do in case of an accident to all volunteers. If the volunteer is a minor they would need parental permission to join our programme. The parent/guardian must be confident of the child’s maturity as there is not always someone else present, and we do not take parental responsibility. In their accommodation they need to be able to cook and take care of their needs, living independently, as well as arrive to the project site by walking alone or with other volunteers. There is usually someone on site, but not all of the time. If we know we have other commitments off site such as appointments or to carry out the volunteer grocery shopping, we will make it optional to the volunteer if they would like to work or have a day/ half day off. Sometimes we judge that it is better that they do indeed have a day off if we see they are not able to follow instructions so well, or are new and unconfident for example. But of course this is a judgement to make and not every eventuality can always be planned for. We are contactable via a phone call or WhatsApp message if we are not asleep and have coverage.
We do have public liability insurance. Our liability cover extends to cover the volunteer whilst on the placement as a third party. It is recommended that volunteers take out a travel insurance to cover them for any activity they are taking part in. 
We do not have employer’s liability insurance because volunteers are not employed.
We do not have professional indemnity liability insurance because we are not acting as professional teachers or offering certification of a course in return for a fee.