Comun Tierra

Uma Exploração de Comunidades Sustentáveis na América Latina.

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Reflections after the Común Tierra Tour in Europe

Posted on November, 25 2014
anterior proxima
Cortijo los Baños, Spain Cortijo los Baños, Spain
Goodbye Europe! Goodbye Europe!
Zegg Ecovillage, Germany Zegg Ecovillage, Germany
CT featured at the Damanhur newspaper CT featured at the Damanhur newspaper
Damanhur, Italy Damanhur, Italy
One of many urban gardens in Berlin, Germany One of many urban gardens in Berlin, Germany
Group of GEN delegates in Findhorn, Scotland Group of GEN delegates in Findhorn, Scotland
Our house during the trip :) ! Our house during the trip :) !
Leti harvesting in the garden of our friends Joe and Sally in Leeds, England Leti harvesting in the garden of our friends Joe and Sally in Leeds, England
Ryan working (playing) with straw bales! Ryan working (playing) with straw bales!
Común Tierra Film Screening, Tamera, Portugal Común Tierra Film Screening, Tamera, Portugal
EcoVillage Incubator, Spain EcoVillage Incubator, Spain
Our group in the EDE course, Italy Our group in the EDE course, Italy
Interview and playing music on the Radio in Spain Interview and playing music on the Radio in Spain
Dragon Dreaming, Sieben Linden, Germany Dragon Dreaming, Sieben Linden, Germany

Friends and Family of the world!

We have landed and are getting (re)settled in Latin America, after nearly four months on tour visiting projects and sustainable communities in Europe. It was an amazing experience in which we shared a lot, and now we are happy to be back in our mobile home Minhoca working in our Abya Yala, en route to southern Argentina.

They were many highlights of the Común Tierra Europe Tour, including participation in the 2014 GEN Conference, a Dragon Dreaming intensive workshop, participation in the Ecovillage Design Course in Damanhur (Italy), the annual gathering of the Iberian Ecovillage Network and the EcoVillage Incubator workshop, plus the New Story Summit in Findhorn (Scotland). 

Other great moments include the Común Tierra Film Screenings, which we hosted in Sieben Linden EcoVillage in Germany, in the city of London, England, Damanhur EcoVillage, Italy, during the Iberian Ecovillage Gathering, Spain, in the city of Barcelona, and in the Tamera EcoVillage, Portugal. Each time we shared stories and experiences of our trip in Latin America, bringing examples and practices from what is lived and experienced here. We found there was always a lot of interest and curiosity about this region of the world! 

Común Tierra Film Screening in Barcelona 


In all of these instances, we found ourselves in the role of Chasquis, messengers, delivering and collecting information, coordinating contacts and projects to continue pollinating the EcoVillage networks and initiatives walking towards a dignified, healthy and sustainable lifelihood. In all the places we visited, people greeted us warmly and with care. Our links and work with the Global Ecovillage Network and the CASA network have been key to the whole process. We can truly say that this is a global family and we are walkng parallel paths! 



In our experience, the EcoVillage movement in Europe has several characteristics that are quite different than the EcoVillage movement in Latin America, while some others are very similar. In Europe, there are several EcoVillages who have 40-50 years of experience or more. Having more ancient roots, plus more resource availability and institutional support, there are examples of very established EcoVillages that are quite developed in complexity, and also on a larger scale than what we find in Latin America. 

Findhorn, Scotland

These projects have experimented a lot in the social area, and in how to coexist, bearing fruit in various techniques for the social harmonization of the community, conflict resolution, and governance structures, which are valid for sharing. During our visits, we were able to receive (and sometimes offer) training in practices such as Dragon Dreaming, Sociocracy, The Forum, Group Decision Processes, Facilitation and Constellations. 

Strawbale Sieben Linden, Germany

In the economic area, we also learned various techniques of designing communities from an economic perspective, especially during our month in Damanhur, Italy: We deepened our knowledge of building Local Economies, designing Community Banks and Alternative Currency, the Blue Economy, Trade Economy, and Gift Economy. We learned from the Damanhur example of 40 years of experiments and implementation.

Crédito, the local currency of Damanhur, Italy

All these experiences in the social, economic and worldview aspects of community living that are present in the European network are very valuable, and it is important to bring to the table here in Latin America to complement our experiences.

On the other hand, we see that Latin America has several very positive features to teach the EcoVillage movements around the world. Permaculture and low-impact  ecological techniques are very well developed in Latin America. There are old and well mounted projects and more and more information and support circles online for sharing experiences, multiplying good examples and practives quickly. Seeing the examples in Europe helped us to see these strengths clearly. 


El Manzano permaculture school, Chile 

Another difference is the wealth of Indigenous people and ancient knowledge still present in the culture and easy to learn and know. This ranges from spiritual practices, to natural cultivation techniques, care of seeds to the knowledge and use of medicinal plants. What a blessing to have these cultures present and alive! And it's extremely important to keep learning, supporting and cooperating with our ancestral people. A positive relationship between projects and traditional peoples always generates a significant healing on many levels.

Latin America also stands out in the diversity, creativity and the ability to invent and create using whatever you have on hand! Using recycled materials or the local materials you have available to build projects, living with efficiency, quality and lower carbon footprints. Creating beautiful things with very little! 

Seed Exchange with Común Tierra and Tacotal 

All in all, we see that in Latin America, there are many projects in which the people still know how to live with less, a simpler life, but essential and fulfiling. Quality of life can be very high without greatly increasing your ecological footprint, something that the more 'developed' world (including Europe) still needs to learn.

In the end we see that yes, we can study and learn the techniques, tools, and methods elsewhere. But in the end the most rewarding part of the sharing is the weaving of relationships that results when we recognize in the other a brother, a parallel way, and walk together. 

Our Introduction Week group, Tamera Ecovillage 


So thank you to the many projects and friends of the 'old continent' that greeted us with open hearts. And the fundamental support of: Findhorn Foundation, Damanhur Community, GEN Europe, Dragon Dreaming, Sieben Linden and CASA.

We're back on the road, heading south, south and more south. Adelante!

Ryan and Leti 


More details of the Común Tierra Europe Tour, click here.
More photos from our trip and projects, click here.


  • Micki, dia Posted on December, 14 2014

    This is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes! I love how you summarize the strengths of each continent- Visionaries! And when I looked up Chasquis on Wikipedia I got a cute picture of a runner blowing a conch shell what a lovely image! Much love to you both!!

  • Peter Cordenonsi, dia Posted on November, 28 2014

    Gracias por compartir todas estas informaciones- Lindo mirar sobre dos realidades-

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