by Stefanie Spring co-founder of Taíba Surf & Yoga

Sometimes it’s good to tackle things with an open mind, otherwise you might never attempt to tackle them at all…

“Let’s build a house in Brazil” – sounds simple, right? But building a house in South America threw up a whole load of challenges that would never be an issue in Switzerland.

Let’s build a house in Brazil


There are some things you would expect – cultural differences, language barriers or the mentality when making decisions. A good example of this would be when we had to purchase wood for the doors. Not just a drive to the DIY store to buy the wood and then return home like in Europe! It was much more of a mission consisting of planning, recording dimensions and negotiating with local tradesmen. A real learning curve!

Another thing to imagine is being a in-charge of construction as a female. This is quite unusual in the north-east of Brazil. So from time to time, announcements get forgotten, or even more alarmingly, windows overlooked and border distances miscalculated! Oops!

Not wanting to sound like a ‘high-level complainer’, mistakes will happen no matter where you are and the sense of gratitude now that the shell is complete is enormous, and it really does look wonderful.

It really does look wonderful!

House Building

There are some things that I will never forget, beginning with the purchase of the land – such a different experience to one I could have ever imagined. Somehow, it worked out and last summer I became a proud land-owner in Brazil.

In October 2016, we began constructing the Surf Villa. I felt it would be really important to apologise in advance to the neighbours about the inevitable noise from the construction work, but there was no need! Here in the tiny fishing village of Taíba in north-east Brazil, they work exclusively by hand. Even the 8 meter deep waterhole was dug without the help of machines. Meaning, of course, that there is barely any noise. Just brilliant!

They work exclusively by hand

Taíba means ‘small village’ in the local indigenous language and from its inception, it was clear that with Taíba Surf & Yoga we wanted to build and create a community around our project, working with the locals thus integrating them strongly into our project.

Many things are different from how we imagined they would be at the beginning, but we are so grateful for these insanely enriching experiences.


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