by Mateo Sol Leave a Comment
The beauty of the modern eco village is this: it helps us to regain our attunement with the natural world which most of us have lost in the rhythms of our industrialized lives.
Our eco-system isn't just responsible for our physical sustenance and survival, in fact, in my culture I was taught to look upon it as an essential element in my spiritual journey of self-knowledge, health and wholeness.
How can you truly know yourself without understanding your interconnectedness with the earth? Our land, our surroundings and habitat have gradually shaped our entire systems of language, culture, collective memory, physical appearance and sensitivity over millennia.
But there are groups of people in the world who have chosen to re-establish a deep bond with the earth. These people have started what they call "intentional communities" of like-minded individuals who want to holistically cater to the ecological, social, economic and cultural dimensions of life in order to create a more sustainable environment that not only cares for our physical needs but nourishes the communal soul that is currently so out of touch with itself.
These eco villages are diverse and varied, and span all across the planet. From yoga exercises overlooking the mountains of Peru, to picking community-grown organic vegetables in the local neighborhood garden, to waking up in a Tree House village in the jungle, each eco village on our planet has created something beautiful that we can learn from.
The Modern Eco Village: 10 Amazing CommunitiesBe careful ... you might want to migrate!
Established in 1968 in the South of India, Auroville was founded with the spiritual objective of embodying the ideal of human unity. With this philosophy of seeing our biophysical reality as an evolutionary expression of Spirit, the Auroville eco village has become a world-class leader in its compressed-earth building methods, harvesting of rainwater, plant-based sewage treatment and solar and wind energy. Auroville Website
2. CRYSTAL WATERS
Established in 1984 in northeastern Australia, Crystal Waters was the world's first permaculture village. In a region plagued by drought, these 200 residents have created a small Oasis using intricate networks of dams, channels, and rainwater into thriving streams and lakes. It's very common to see the local wildlife of kangaroos and wallabies hop by. Residents enjoy their own bakery, community center, and a quaint monthly country market. Crystal Waters Website
Established in 1975, Damanhur may be the fastest growing high tech "fancy" eco village out there. The 600 residents are divided in 30 smaller communities which they refer to as "nucleos" that are spread across a spectacular sub-alpine valley in northern Italy. Each of the communities in the Damanhur Federation specializes in a specific field: solar energy, seed saving, organic meat production, education, healing, etc. They boast of having their own molecular biology lab that tests for genetically modified foods, smart phones for all residents and their own currency system. They highly value creativity and playfulness which has become the driving force behind some of their most beautiful and awe-inspiring temples. Damanhur Website
4. ECOVILLAGE AT ITHACA
EcoVillage at Ithaca was founded in 1991 in upstate New York, mixing cooperative living with private ownership and considerable individual independence. It was established by Liz Walker, a community organizer, who set up a nonprofit organization to purchase land to create "an attractive viable alternative lifestyle to American life," based on Green buildings, renewable energy systems, cohousing communities, an independent organic farm, open-space preservation, and social entrepreneurship. There are 160 members living on 175 acres who enjoy trails for walking and cross-country skiing, a pond for swimming and ice-skating, as well as the bounty from two ecovillage farms. The nonprofit community is run by a board of directors together with the residents. The homes are privately owned by residents, who pay monthly fees for common buildings and shared facilities. They eat several meals a week together, prepared by volunteer cooks, and share a rich social life. Ithaca Website
5. ECO TRULY PARK
Located an hour drive from Lima, Peru, Eco Truly Park is an ecological and artistic community founded on the principles of non-violence, simple living and harmony with nature. Both the architecture and the values of the community are inspired by traditional Indian teachings and lifestyles. Eco Truly Park has a goal of being fully self-sustainable, and currently boasts a large organic garden. Open to volunteers, the community offers workshops in yoga, art and Vedic philosophy. Eco Truly Park Website