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Ecovillage Experiences

Experiences & Offerings

Ecovillage Experiences
2022

Arterra Bizimodu

We have spent the last eight months living in Arterra Bizimodu located in Navarre, Spain 30 minutes outside of Pamplona. Participating as ESC’s (European Solidarity Corps) our experience was funded by the EU and included basic needs; accommodation, food, health insurance and pocket money. 

Arterra Bizimodu is the headquarters of GEN Europe, the European regional office of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). For eight months, I worked with GEN Europe planning the 2022 Ecovillage Gathering in Denmark and working with Fran Whitlock on communications design and with Manja Vrenko on the development of a storytelling project for the GEN Europe Forum called Living Library. 

A year of deep integration into the ecovillage network was my goal, maintaining my part-time work as marketing strategist with GEN International. Anyone who has worked for a non-profit has probably already recognized my mistake. Between balancing two demanding jobs, participating in shared community responsibilities, community events, and maintaining a healthy relationship I had little energy left to take care of myself and my goals that did not fit into the above categories. Stress and isolation were prevalent, as I did not invest time into language acquisition at a community that spoke little english, and rather spent up to 10 hours a day on the computer connecting with a global community. 

Ananda Gaorii

The Ecovillage Gathering was hosted by ashram, organic farm and learning center Ananda Gaorii in Denmark, where we spent half of June and July 2022. The energy shift was palpable, going from the hyper-activity of Arterra to the deep calmness embodied by the Dadas, residents and volunteers of Ananda Gaorii. What could have been a highly stressful process, creating a gathering for 300 people on a short timeline was somehow wrapped in the peace of the place. This was the most demanding work months of the year and yet I felt supported and loved by everyone I came into contact with throughout the day. The uplifting relationships created between the team of volunteers both from Ananda Goarii and the 2022 Gathering Dream Team made up of volunteers from GEN Ukraine was instantaneous and so enriching. It was a month of inspiration, expanding world views, mutual support and care and delicious vegan baked goods. 

Changes in Arterra

Relief came to my Arterra experience when I was able to write a proposal to trade two work days a week with my dear friend Allegra, who was volunteering in the garden. We volunteered at Arterra alongside a group of six to eight other volunteers; Mili, Sergio, Allegra, Franziska, Giacomo, Sara, and later Ezma and Alejandra. This mini community saved me. The love and connection we reached by the time Julian and I left Arterra brings me to heartfelt tears as I write this. 

Over the eight month experience I watched both Julian and my own facilitation skills flourish. We initiated a regular heart circle (sharing circle) amongst the volunteers to increase connection and understanding. We gained group dynamic tools and games from Arterra’s facilitated workshops. We gained examples of practices we would like to implement; working with other regenerative organizations and communities in Navarre and the local the valley to create resilience through connection. We were inspired by Lakabe, one of the oldest ecovillages in Spain from whom Arterra was born. We also gained, from the lack of its presence, the invaluable realization of what we need in community; more ritual, connection and movement. 

SerVivo

Following our eight months at Arterra, we participated in a natural building course hosted by a small community in southern Portugal. SerVivo is first and foremost a dance community and enjoys regular morning dances, sharing circles, a moment of gratitude before food, and a rich offering of events and workshops that encourage profound human development. 

Reflection

The importance of connection to earth, connection to emotions, connection to self, connection to spirit, connection to others. 

The strength of a supporting community.  

The importance ritual and movement. 

Eva Goldfarb

Artist, activist, serial multi-tasker

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Connection between two open hearts is possible anywhere, across all divides.  

Eva

Thank you so much for your stories, your presence, and especially for listening.

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