Creating and Eco-Timeout Project

Peace, Healing, Nurturing

Patrizia and Maxim have moved to Óbidos in Portugal having fallen in love with the country for it’s hospitality, nature, weather and waves.

After several summer surf trips, the couple found a beautiful property last October, where they are building their Eco-Timeout Project to give the opportunity of an off-grid recovery time for young teenagers and students that need time away from their problematic family and school situations. The couple hopes to give youngster days of nurturing and counselling that will help them improve their situation and also offer solutions to their problems.

Having found out Patrizia was pregnant, the couple decide to invest all they had in land to build their project in Portugal, even though neither of them speaks well in Portuguese yet. They believe an eco-lifestyle is ideal to raise a family.

With 10 years of working as a psychiatrist nurse for adults and children in Swiss clinics and also giving home care, Patrizia is experienced in treating various mental illnesses. She is sensitive about the stigma that can follow a child through youth to adulthood when medically diagnosed with a specific condition. Patrizia prefers giving treatment within the structure of a time out, where the youths are not given “labels” and are allowed to heal in nature and achieve their balance.

Patrizia has contacted a Swiss organisation that is willing to help place Swiss teenagers in Portugal, a time-out is a concept that is already in practice by both public and private organisations. They believe the project can grow to welcome Swiss, Belgium, German and Portuguese teenagers, 2-4 youths at a time, for 4 to 8 weeks.

The couple has no direct support just yet, but they have requested collaboration and donations from institutions in order to be able to grow their project.

They envision: a large eco-community with many people working with them to support not only mentally challenged children and troubled teenagers, but also overworked adults that need a break from their stressful lives.

The concept is:

 “very nature based, living with the rhythm of the sun, eating healthy and listening to the body”.

Activities will include surfing, yoga and simply having fun. Patrizia uses sound as therapy and Maxim is a wonderful musician! Gratitude for life is very much at the centre of their concept as well as finding what speaks to each person’s mind, soul and heart.


With some skills in building, gardening, woodcarving, painting and electronics, the couple is happy to be able to develop their know-how and put in place their plan to have caravans and yurts as rooms, large earthship style bathroom and also geodome greenhouse, as well as a vegetable garden to grown their own food. They hope to have most of the building in place in time for their opening next year!

Follow the Eco-Time Out Project: ecotimeoutproject