12-Day (4 weekends+4 days) Complete Cob Sauna (Foundation to Roof) in the Azores Islands (Portugal)

Date(s) - Saturday, January 23, 2021 - Monday, February 15, 2021
8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Curso será ou em português ou em inglés ou nas duas linguas, dependendo dos estudantes inscritos.

Favor de usar Google Translate para traduzir o texto caso não enender inglés.



Amazing life creating your own homestead from scratch with a little help from Nature’s Gifts

Discover the beautiful Azores islands on São Miguel, the largest and most diverse of all the 9 islands where Claudine Désirée, director of CruzinCobGlobal and Host of the workshop/training, bought a few acres of land near the ocean and forest to create the lovely Quinta da Vida Beleza, full of bananas, guavas, chickens, vegetable gardens, outdoor bathtubs and showers, compost toilets, an outdoor kitchen & eating area all set in a relaxing and lush volcanic green stonescape.

A usual day in the Azores…sun, sprinkles & rainbows!
The Azorean island of São Miguel is a true paradise. Every time I walk, bike or drive around I am in awe of the peaceful and gentle beauty.  The island is the first and main stopping point for visitors of the Azores and, in my opinion, is the most beautiful, and interesting to explore.  It is 62km/40 miles long and 16km/10 miles wide at its widest point. It is shaped like a caterpillar with the crown chakra at the northwesternmost point and Lagoa, where I live, at the heart chakra.

Praia das Milicias…best sunset spot!

The island has a variety of microclimates and micro regions which make it seem alot bigger. The Nordeste (Northeast) seems like another world with its big forests and cliffs and intense greenscape. The middle of the island is where the “action” is  with the best and most accessible surf beaches, markets, and cultural life, centered in Ponta Delgada, the capital, as well as Lagoa, Vila Franca and Ribeira Grande.  Ponta Delgada is the capital of the island and the main hub for the whole Autonomous Region.  Its population is 50,000, about 1/2 of the whole island, and, like any other European city, has many places to eat, hear live music, shop and people watch.  However each part of the island is special in its own way.

Most recent CCG-graduates in November 2020 built this amazing beauty! So fortunate!

Farmer’ Market in Ponta Delgada full of bounty! Kyla goes right for the local produce upon arriving!

Quinta da Vida Beleza (Beauty Life Farm) is located in Atalhada, a section of Lagoa, about 8km/5miles east from the center of Ponta Delgada.  It’s an easy bike ride along the coast with a nice bike path covering alot of the way.  The Quinta or Farm is located in a “rustic” area surrounded by other farms, yet also only a 5-minute walk to the ocean and natural oceanic swimming pools.  It is also a short bike or car ride to the Natural Swimming Pools of Lagoa, Santa Cruz Beach and, my favorites, Praia das Milicias and Pópulo, 2 fine black sand beaches with great swimming and surfing only 3km away.  There is a big native forest right behind the Quinta for walking and exploring full of red and black volcanic rock, a Volcanic/S

Year-round endless bananas and chickens!

eismological Observatory close by and, on weekends, students can rent a car (for as low as 2€ or less a day!) to visit different parts of the island like the 3 different hot springs, the highest peak, caves, iridescent green and blue volcanic crater lakes, two important botanical gardens, amazing vistas, villages, beaches, hikes, and waterfalls. People who are into scuba diving, sailing, whale and dolphin excursions and even visiting Santa Maria, the closest island, will have time to do so as well.

Sweet outdoor kitchen with morning breakfast bar set up by work trade students Sara and Lorena every morning with a smile…

The Quinta is 2 acres of lightly undulating land covered with a diversity of local weeds, an area of banana forest where the chickens live, endless indigenous mini-guava trees of different species, kumquats, native orange limes and a sweeter relative of the passion fruit called “granadilha”.  It is totally enclosed with traditional lava rock walls and very private.  A central higher area with eucalyptus and criptomeria forest on gorgeous ancient moss-covered black lava stone will provide support for an ocean-view platform at some point and hammocks to chill.  The vision and design for the whole Ecovillage has been fermenting and with the unexpected down time due to the global shutdown, more time has been available to keep adding to the land . A few years ago another workshop built a sauna on the eastern part of the island, which students can visit on the weekend.



10m2 yoga/meditation room built by first Cob Workshop at Quinta da Vida Beleza in August 2020

We will be building a complete 6m2 to 7m2 sauna (depending on number of students) from foundation to roof on four weekends plus 4 weekdays, totaling 3 1/2 weeks. This workshop is designed for island locals who work during the weekdays and is also more affordable than the usual 4 to 5-week workshops we teach. However, non-islanders are also welcome to take the workshop which will leave them alot of free time during the weekdays to relax and also explore the island.

In this workshop students will learn almost all the same skills that are offered in the Advanced Training minus the electrical and plumbing and the lectures on the legality, business and budget aspects, in the interest of using the time to complete a full building in only 12 days.  It is a much more affordable and less time-intensive opportunity to get a complete cob building experience, though clearly with much less practice time than with a larger structure and longer workshop.



The 12-day (3 1/2-week) Sauna Cob Building Workshop begins on Saturday, January 23rd, 2021 at 8:30am and ends on Monday, February 15th, 2021 at 5:30pm.  A vegetarian lunch will be included each Class day unless students want to bring their own food.

International or non-island students should arrive a day or two before to acclimate and settle in before the workshop begins.


The workshop schedule will be:

January 23 & 24: Foundation, Door Frame & First Floor Layer

January 30-February 3: Cob Walls, Windows, Shelves, Niche, Roof Connection

February 6 & 7: Cob Sculpting & Plaster

February 13-15: Reciprocal Green Roof & Second Floor Layer


The daily schedule will be:
8:30 Morning Circle

8:45-1:00 Building

1:00-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:30 Lecture

2:30-5:30 Building




Students will learn every phase of building a cob building from foundation through the roof in lectures/theory. In addition to the lectures, there will be one night of slides during the workshop.

Our hands-on practice will include:

digging foundation trench
pouring gravel and inserting drainage pipe (if applicable)
building stone & lime mortar 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 frame
preparing and inserting fixed window and opening window frame
preparing and inserting shelves
inserting bottle windows and other objects
preparing and applying earthen plasters (1 coat)
pouring an earthen floor (2 layers)
preparing walls for roof connection
building reciprocal roof frame
building wooden roof decking/sheathing & green roof covering



Students will need to come to class/building site prepared.

This includes:

Work clothes

Work boots or other closed-toe shoes

Flip-flops for cobbing days

Rubber dishwashing gloves (for lime mortar)

Work Gloves

Good Moisturizer



Safety Glasses

Water Bottle


Sample of Your Soil (Optional)


Weather in January & February is still enjoyable and usually does not rain more than the usual drizzles, but can be grey & rainy for a few days. So please bring your raingear. Lowest temps at night can get to 55F/13C and daytimes are usually in the high 50’s to low 60’s/18C. Good to bring layers as the weather can change alot throughout the day.



Locals can Google “Clinica Veterinaria São Miguel” on Rua das Mercês and park on the street and walk up the dirt Canada das Mercês  a few minutes to the Quinta da Vida Beleza on the left, with a bright yellow painted gate.

Coming form Europe, you can fly with Azores Airlines, TAP or Ryan Air.  These are the main airlines flying here with Ryan Air being the cheapest, especially from Lisbon (20€/one way minimum).  If it works out, I may pick you up or else just take a taxi to your accommodations.

Coming from the North America, direct flights are only from Boston and Toronto with Azores Airlines/SATA. Check TAP too. That being said you can book with Azores Airlines or TAP from anywhere in the US to connect in Boston or buy two separate tickets.  You can also fly to Lisbon or Porto (much nicer) and then take RyanAir to Ponta Delgada.  NorwegianAir is super cheap especially off-season and flies from the US to Barcelona and Madrid from which you can take RyanAir to PDL.
For students wanting to stay on and explore other islands, SATA airlines connects all the islands year-round.

While on the island, it is recommended to have a bicycle, which you can to rent from Claudine, or share a rental car with other students for a possibly very low fee of 2€/day with Goldcar! There is a very good bus system as well.



Students will be fed a high-quality vegetarian lunch prepared by a professional chef or can choose to bring their own lunch. 

Local accommodations include the Pés Verdes Hostel owned by my friend Margarida with cute patios, a kitchen and right near three black sand beaches, a food store and three restaurants. Find it on Googlemaps. If you are interested there is a dorm option and a private room option. My students get a special rate. Those choosing to stay there will need to bike, walk , drive or bus to the land (3km). Its only a 5-10 minute flat bike ride to the Quinta. Walking will take you about half an hour, and the bus leaves every hour and stops right on my street.  If you want the hostel option you will need to let us know ASAP.

There are also two houses with two bedrooms each, oceanfront balconies, kitchens, washing machines and wifi only a 5-minute walk to the land. Please let me know if you want to rent them asap.   There is also the very sweet Hotel Arcanjo also in the same neighborhood. And two restaurants and a small food store. The big supermarket is a 10-minute walk away and the natural pools are right there. Let us know and we can help.




Claudine Desiree is the original “Cob Queen” of Santa Cruz, where she founded the original “Sunflower Cob Building” which quickly morphed into the California-based “Cruzin’ Cob”, the cob workshop and building business that evolved over a decade.  Once her three sons were “out of the house”, she went for her dream of traveling around the world on a bike teaching cob workshops everywhere every few months to continue supporting herself by offering up what she loves in the countries and languages she is passionate about.  To work internationally with no home base required a new name and a website, hence CruzinCobGlobal was born naturally and appropriately and, after 5 years on the road, Claudine has finally found a new home….for now.  On the island of São Miguel in the Azores (where are the Azores?) she is establishing an eco homestead for family and friends called “Quinta da Vida Beleza” for chillin’, playing music, dancing and communing!!!!  CruzinCobGlobal will continue to do the important work of building the best houses and best communities ever of course… with more new Teachers hitting the Cob road in 2021 as CCG-trained students begin leading workshops and builds around the world. Claudine will also keep teaching in her favorite places and spreading the Cob everywhere, with more focus on the Azores land and project now, but also very interested in working in Africa and Asia.  California, however, will always be one of those favorite places, her and her children’s home for 20 years. And the demand to learn Cob in California is always growing with the fires and earthquakes threatening conventional houses.  And the best part is we have a “legal” Cob Code to use anywhere in the world thanks to the CRI architects’ and engineers’ hard work and focus!


The fee for the 12-day Complete Sauna Build will be 840€ which includes tuition, snacks & lunch on workshop days.
There is a maximum limit of 10 students.

To register please contact claudine@cruzincobglobal.org to receive application forms and payment information. To hold your spot in this training you will need to pay the full amount or a 50% deposit that will be non-refundable after January 16th, 2021.  The balance will be due by January 16th, one week before the start date. You can also contact Claudine by Whatsapp at +18312127225 for questions and registration.

Estudantes locais das ilhas e portugueses favor de contactar claudine@cruzincobglobal.org ou 964746071 para informações de inscrição e pagamento reduzido! Estudantes com formacão podem ser oferecido trabalho pagado depois da formacão no terreno ou em outro projeto e/ou como asistente em outros cursos de CCG.





Location: Quinta da Vida Beleza