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Volunteer Stories

Why I came to Sunseed:

I arrived in Sunseed to do an internship. Last October I got my degree in business economics and I wanted to acquire practical skills and make experiences.

I was scrolling down in the list of possible partnership and suddenly the name “sunseed desert technology” fashinated me.

When I first had a look at the web site I said: that’s my place!

The vegetarian diet, the goals of the project and the ethic beyond it really suited with my vision of life.

I didn’t like to study economics, I found it outdated boarding and greed, and sunseed looked like an alternative place where people were trying to create something different, sustainable and beautiful. So I came to experience all of it.

Expectations:

I doesn’t like to create expectation so I tried to do it the less.

But I was sure sunseed was gonna be a challenge.

Just the simple fact that I couldn’t use my hairdryer or my hair straightener for 5 months was something that was gonna push me outside my comfort zone.

As I was already on the path for a more sustainable, conscious lifestyle, I expected that sunseed would speed this process and would open me new perspectives and gave inspiration.

Expectation VS reality. What I learnt:

After 5 months I can say that my expectations are more than satisfied.

I feel that this experience nourished me completely under different levels: practical, social, comunitarian and personal.

I was mostly involved in sustainable living department and here I learnt:

  • First of all the art of bread making. I just love to make bread and explore this world with all its secret and tricks.

I consider it an art as it embodies my mind, my body and my soul. The sensation of using my hands to work the loaf, the exploration of different techniques and tastes, the satisfaction of creating something for the benefit of all the community was priceless.

  • I learnt how to make natural cosmetics and I introduced this new consciousness in my life. As before I wasn’t very keen with the kind of products I was using. Here I realized that the skin is our most extensive organ and as we take of our stomach by selecting an organic food, the same work has to be done with cosmetics because it has a big impact on us and on the environment.
  • I have deepened my knowledge in the production of ferments and I tried to motivate people to introduce them in their diet.
  • I immersed myself in the wide world of medicinal plants. I studied their properties and use, I took care of them in the medicinal garden and I admired the miracolo us effect of water and love on plants.

Then I did something more releted with my course of study and so I worked in the office and here I learnt how to register purchase and sale invoices, how to calculate stipends and how to relate a report for the Trustees.

On the social level I learnt how to work in team, collaborate in harmony and to appreciate the value of sharing; knowledge, informations and emotions.

A crucial role of my experience was held by the people I met.

People from all over the world, with different age and background.

Incredible, unique, inspiring (and bit crazy ) human being.

Every single one has a place in my heart. I am grateful about your teaching, your support, your example.

The community life teach me that we all are one.

We all are in the middle of a continuous flow and we have to learn how to move on the wave.

You may need balance while you’re keeping the focus. But things could g   wrong when you live with other 20 people (at least).

A good amount of patient helped me in this case. Release the control, let things go. Everything is gonna be fine.

In stressful moments I used the power of yoga to reestablish the balance, or a walk, or simply sitting by my own listening the nature was useful.

I feel sunseed will teach me a lot more, that’s why I will come back in October.

I would like to develop a research about alimentation and experiment new things.

And also, of course, come back to my second family ❤️

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Organic Gardening, Volunteer Stories

I had been here for little under a month when I was granted the great pleasure of having a small part of Paradise under my care. Diego III, is a small 12sqm vegetable plot in Sunseed; managed by the Organic Gardens team. It currently comprises of beds fruiting aubergines, potatoes, and buckwheat as well as the odd pumpkin, now glumly dying off for the winter.

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Once upon a time, a young Belgian girl left her country in search of adventures in an eco-village in Spain. Sunseed Desert Technology was now her new shelter.

This little girl’s dream was to learn about sewing. It started to become true when she met an Ecuadorian woman with whom she restored life to damaged cloth transforming them into new things such as sweet handkerchiefs or tablecloths.

The story has been spread and a new project was suggested to her: to continue and finish the encouraging work that previous sunseeders had started of building a new dome. The girl knew the importance of seizing challenges and opportunities when they appear to her. So she soared and jumped deeply into this wonderful new adventure.

A couple who build yurts helped her to bring her project to fruition. Their combined knowledge and sense of humour made this experience unforgettable.

Each day the tiredness built up and made its way through the arithmetics and the different attempts to achieve the end result. However, the more days that passed, the more their team became a real family and the dome started to take shape. The girl could stay hours contemplating the shadow of the trees reflecting inside the spherical structure. Once the fabric was ready, other volunteers came to help. That is how on a beautiful day of the end of April, the dome was completed.

Each day the tiredness built up and made its way through the arithmetics and the different attempts to achieve the end result. However, the more days that passed, the more their team became a real family and the dome started to take shape. The girl could stay hours contemplating the shadow of the trees reflecting inside the spherical structure. Once the fabric was ready, other volunteers came to help. That is how on a beautiful day of the end of April, the dome was completed.

Right after being accomplished, the sphere became filled with a new air. An air with the softness of a loving gaze, with the perfume of laughs, with the lightness of liberty. It was the ideal timing to welcome the permaculture course on our land. The participants elaborated distinctive designs to spread the dome’s soul around its surrounding area. Their remarkable work touched the girl.

Everyone did their part towards it. Together we go further. Together we grow up. Together we build. We build a better world where we can share knowledge.

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Volunteer Stories

Hello everyone, my name is Maurizio. I’m from Italy and one of the two EVS volunteers in Sunseed Desert Technology at the moment. For those who doesn’t know what EVS (European Volunteer Service) is, it is a mobility program funded by the European Commission to give the opportunity to everyone to perform a voluntary service abroad for a maximum of 12 months to young people between 18 and 30 years old.

I arrived in Sunseed two months ago but I feel like having been here for much much longer. The nature, the peace of the desert, the super starlit sky, the super positive, energetic, welcoming and friendly people, the long weekends on the beautiful beach, all those things helped me to let me feel peace and like being at home, very soon and easily.

Apart from that, we have our working activities which are organised in a very interesting and motivating way for all those who live at Sunseed. In fact we can choose among many different activities every morning in all the different Sunseed’s Departments according to our interests. Furthermore we even have the opportunity to develop and work on our personal project which in my case is to build the new geodetic dome for Sunseed!!!

Another amazing experience during these two months was the EVS arrival training in Aguilas, a coastal place close to Murcia, where me and Bilgesu (my EVS colleague from Turkey here in Sunseed) had the oppotunity to meet all the other lovely EVS volunteers from Murcia and Madrid region and spend all together 5 interesting and funny days, learning how we can make the most of this unique experience (rights, duties, insurance, how can we be the best for our hosting organization and for our learning, who can help us in case of need etc.) and moreover so many games from which some of them were to help us know better each other and to create a very united group despite the short time available, the different personal and cultural backgrounds.

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With other EVS volunteers in our EVS arrival training.

In the end of our 5-day arrival training, me and Bilgesu, we had the honor and pleasure to be hosted for the weekend to our new friends in Murcia, to discover the nice city and its powerful nightlife. Eventually we said goodbye promising each oder to meet again all together for other crazy and intercultural adventures!!

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Aguilas.

I want to conclude this small article to say a big THANKS to those who gave me the opportunity to participate in this EVS program and to those who contribute or have contributed to make so nice and magical this little corner of the world!

Maurizio

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Volunteer Stories

I wanted to go back to Sunseed for many years now. It had been 7 years from my last visit and 8 years from when I was uprooted from the valley after having spent there the best year of my life until then as Sunseed’s Sustainable Living Coordinator. A year to surpass that is yet to come. Many times I have tried to gather the old crew together and arrange a visit but have repeatedly failed. Lucy rarely looks at her emails, Tomi is transcending, it is the wrong season for Linsday’s veg, Matteo replies with goat songs, Enrico just says how much he loves everyone etc etc. So when my pal Toni showed interest in visiting Sunseed, I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip away. The greatest coincidence of all was that the time that suited us both was Sunseed’s special 30th Anniversary week.

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I booked my tickets early on and just the thought of going back to this extraordinary, magical place filled my thoughts all through the summer with joy. The time came and I had to prepare for my pilgrimage, a trip back to my happiest memories, so unique that going back was making me nervous. After planes, trains, buses, and coffees, we arrived in Los Molinos with Toni, Hugo, one of the Sunseed Trustees and Lara.

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The first thing that hit me, was the smell. The Main House, still smelt the same. I went into the house looking around with awe. New roof! New stove! Office looking swish. But the same beautiful smell lingered on. It was pommegranate season, numerous trees in the valley heavy with this perfect fruit. Kostas, Sunseed’s Education Coordinator (Greek!) said they had recently found the little book I had made about them. Bound by string I did not expect that it would have survived the time. Many things in Sunseed do not.

I spent some time taking it all in. Exploring the Sunseed houses and gardens. Memories forgotten kept bubbling to the surface of my psyche. At times I felt uncomfortable, possessive. What are all these people doing in my house? They are not doing things like we did. And how is it possible that they don’t know me or any of my crew? Not long after, I came to realise that this one year that affected my life so much, happened 8 years ago, and that in that time people I will probably never meet (but would love to) also experienced Sunseed in profound and meaningful ways. Just like I did. Sunseed was not only mine, and that made it even more special.

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The 30th Anniversary Week, was full of workshops, talks, seminars and some serious fun. From cob house building, to Hugelkultur, talent show, cooking and perhaps the most emotional of all the “night with the elders”. Shirley, Graham, Hannah and Martin, shared with us amidst laughs and tears, tales from the past, Green Deserts, times with houses with no windows, and the true belief that Sunseed was there to change the world. I cannot say if Sunseed changed the world, but I know for a fact, a lot of people whose worlds were changed because of Sunseed. As Graham described “Sunseed is like an ever changing painting, that keeps being painted by the people who come to it. And it is not seem to be finished yet”.

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As the week went on I planted carob trees, collected pommegranates, foraged saltbush and forgotten onions, cooked lunch, swam in the river pools, found out about the intensive olive plantation upstream of El Rio Aguas that threatens the valley, prepared olives, had great chats and amused my self with my numerous deja vous (when the rota goes around they still tell people to put the lid on the pen while thinking of what chore they want to do :)). The current Sunseed crew, bright, genuine, welcoming, inclusive, full of energy and connection. What a joy it was to spend 9 days with them.

Sunseed still feels like my home and the whole valley like my garden. I walked around all day in bliss, feeling totally safe, with nothing but my camera on me. I needed no money, no keys, no nothing. Just like I do when I am at home. I don’t walk around with my bag on my shoulder inside my house, that would be a very odd thing to do.

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I left Sunseed with the late bus to Almeria. It was not as painful as the first time, but it was a bit sore still. I spent my last night in Hugo’s house. “Good morning Manolia” he said as he was leaving for work. “You smell like Sunseed”. With a heart full of joy I begun my journey back home.

Lizzie, Andreas, Gabbie, Etienne, Michael, Jon, Errica, Hannah, Martin, Hilda, Pauline, Eva, Tania, Morgan, Rory, Lesha, Toni, Saska, Gorgie, Carol, Luke, Vijan, Siggie, Kostas, Jef, Dave, Shirley, Graham, Barbara, Bob…how nice to be with you all.

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By Manolia Vougioukalou, Sustainable Living Coordinator at Sunseed 2008-2009 and the biggest fan ever since.

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Volunteer Stories

Pauline, 26, Lille (France)

I was following an Italian teaching formation before I decided to volunteer with Unis-Cite in France. I raised awareness on sustainable living and energy saving. 

I found out about the European Voluntary Service (EVS) program which offers funded placements in organisations across Europe. I was looking for an environmental project in Spain, and I came across Sunseed on the online database; and I’ve now signed up to be here for 6 months!

Before coming here I felt the need to explore manual work; Sunseed has enabled me to discover what I can make with my own two hands. I like that I can experiment with different departments (particularly in organic gardens, appropriate technology, eco-construction and sustainable living) and that I have coordinators to guide me. Aside from this practical aspect, Sunseed offers a variety of seminars and workshops; I’ve particularly enjoyed yoga, meditation, dancing, notebook and origami making, and drawing. I feel like my time here has given me a chance to focus on developing my social, creative and spiritual sides.

My self-motivated project is to expand my knowledge of permaculture. Luna, the Organic Gardens Coordinator has given me a plot of land, my garden, where I can transform theory into reality! Facilitating and witnessing seedlings grow into plants and subsequently provide us with food has been a huge eye-opening experience. I’m always looking for what I can do next, how I will answer the question «what are you going to do later?», and Sunseed is shedding light on what this could be… I’m growing increasingly curious about naturopathy, and as I learn to enjoy living in the present, I will naturally follow the steps to my next adventure.

I have two favourite aspects to Sunseed – the heavenly landscape (particularly the pozas, the natural swimming-pools) and the staff and volunteers team. We know how to balance the work and have fun (parties in caves, pizza parties, festivals)!

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Volunteer Stories

Skye Lei, 28, Macau (China) and California (USA).

I’m an engineer specialised in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industry.

I’m at Sunseed for approximately 4 weeks. 

I came across this project through online research of ecological and educational communities in Europe.

My decision to volunteer with Sunseed was rooted in several objectives:

  • To creatively explore a sustainable lifestyle with lower impact that at the same time offers inspiration and stronger spiritual fulfilment.
  • To learn about technologies and methodologies for minimising external resources and maximising local energy and food production
  • To heal from personal struggles and reconnect with nature.
  • To live in a community setting with like-minded individuals from different countries and cultures, consequently creating unforgettable and life-changing memories
Volunteers with Solar Panel

I joined a project in the Appropriate Technology Department to build a Solar Energy Demonstration System, which consists of solar photovoltaic, battery storage and inverter components. With guidance from our department mentor, I collaborated with two other volunteers to design and build the system using reclaimed materials. We’ll use it for educational purposes, but it also has the capacity to be a small device charging station!

I also plan to assist with the improvement of the bicycle washing machine that is about 90% complete (there is room for improvement to further secure its mechanical stability and usability). When the machine is reliably usable, we’ll be able to enjoy a healthy exercise while dealing with laundry!

There’s way too much I love about Sunseed, but to name a handful of my favourites, they would definitely be the vegetarian diet, the permaculture way of life, the fruits and veggies from the gardens, the dedication of the volunteers, the pizza parties, the homemade/cultural dishes, the Friday reflection moments, the haybox and solar cookers, and of course, the compost toilets! It’s my absolute fortune to have met so many bright minds and beautiful souls at Sunseed. 

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Volunteer Stories

My name is Florrie and I am 12. I come from Devon, UK. I really enjoyed my stay here at Sunseed. I was worried that there wasn’t going to be very much for children to do here, but there were plenty of projects that we could get involved in.

My two sisters (5), (2) and I were given a special project while we were here which was to build a bug hotel.  We researched in the Sunseed library the habitats that different bugs liked and put together a general idea of what the bug hotel would include and what it would look like.

We created a bug hotel to attract more useful bugs to the gardens, keep the pests away and make them more colourful, productive and attractive.

The project was really fun and it took us all week to complete.It was good because it gave us something to do and gave us a target for our stay and it was great to see it through to completion.We only stayed for a week because we wanted to see how suitable it was for children, but it turned out it was really fun and interactive and I would recommend coming if you have children.

bug home

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Volunteer Stories

     Sunseed is primarily an educational project and investigation in how to promote a more sustainable way of life and more respectful connection to nature. But it is also a full human experience. So the question of the day is : How has Sunseed changed your relationship with people, and what did you learn about human relations ?Andreia

Andreia’s experience, volunteer EVS for

> So, tell a bit about yourself ?

” My name is Andreia, I’m 22 years old and I was born in Portugal. Before coming to Sunseed I was in an open studio named Armazem 17° Arte, a place conceived to share skills and develop artistic projects; frequented by a lovely variety of young and mature sculptors, painters, writers and musicians. We were around 10 people at that moment. I was there experimenting and improving my painting and sculpting skills, mostly inspired by human waste.” 

> Why did you decide to come to Sunseed ?

     I wanted the experience of living in a community, to adopt a sustainable way of life and specially learn about Eco-construction. I received an email from Casa da Horta – an EVS sending organization – sharing Sunseed’s advertisement for people to develop an educational and environmental project. I inspired myself to write my unconventional CV, I applied , and 6 months after I came to Sunseed.

    My personal project; was initially designed for me to learn specific techniques of bio/ecoconstruction, but unfortunately, at the moment we don’t have a coordinator for this department… This fact created a new challenge in my learning process, by making me adapt to the non existence of a guide.

      Also because of that, my project had several changes, I had to redesign the physical structure many times in my mind, before bringing it to reality, and thanks to this beautiful creative flow I find in people, its possible for me to observe through them what I need to know to develop it, in a balance between the original idea and the resources/tools I actually have.

     In fact, I’ve found the perfect challenge by not having an E.C.Coordinator, because as a free student, I believe in the end of institution school as it is, and this experience represents the learning model I do believe, support and aim to develop all my life.

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     I am surrounded by creative, curious and practical people, making my experience so interesting and exciting. Sunseed’s energy is about making projects becoming reality and once you are evolved you are part of this nourishing contribution of increasing sustainable happiness, satisfaction and freedom.

     I am pleased to use Sunseed’s diversity of skills to improve all the different dimensions of my project; this fusion between Art and Nature, a cultural place, for seminars, workshops, exhibitions, and experiments. Just when I arrived, thinking about Sunseed needs, I realized that I already had the draft of Anima, what means that my project is actually an expansion of a previous one, and also my contribution to Sunseed’s mechanism of sharing and improving, a facilitator for the human experience and all the learning related to it.

> What do you think about this way of life, I mean to live in a community and about Sunseed’s philosophy ?

     Sunseed is living the future. It’s really beautiful to live for sharing and learning how to live in respect with the nature, as part of it, in opposition to what happens in the modern societies, where people live separated and disconnected from nature. Sunseed offers the experience of communal living in the Ecovillage of Los Molinos, so, in my opinion it works like a fusion between the concepts Home and School, another thing that in the cities are lost and disconnected.

     In the first moment you arrive at Sunseed, you feel at home because everyone is welcoming, open to know your real-self, and its interesting how fast they get focused in the development of your projects, and always aware of your well being.

     Living in a “city” you feel like everybody is an island, but in Sunseed, in our relations we build bridges between each person, because we want to absorb each other. Sunseed is a fertile soil, receptive to let new things grow. In the city, most of the time, we don’t have this bridges.

     In my opinion, the most interesting and constructive thing we are learn in “Sunseed de Los Molinos” it’s that a revolution is made of daily actions, small choices, boycott. Boycott is maybe the most important job of my generation, its a direct, practical and functional expression of love and respect for coexistence.

     I also want to add that it might seem hard to make change happen, but here, and in places like this we can improve the change. Thats why I have faith in the ecovillages to fix the humanity’s mess, by joining technology with sustainability, empowering people through an endless learning journey.

     This is a small village, we are so close to each other, with different projects going on, focused on environmental issues, which doors are open to share the amazing world of sustainability with the people living in the predominant social system.

> Of your time in Sunseed, what are the experiences that you will share with your friends back home ?

    Compost toilet! Im building one with my father in our garden when I come back home, because it makes no sense to throw drinking water in the toilet, and then tell our children to save and care about the water.

     Be open to work with different types of economic systems, improving the exchange of skills, resources,food etc.I think that if we use many, we it will be ok if one or more for some reason collapse, like what happens with money.

     Boycott the polluting corporations which are morally and ethically corrupt by exploiting nature, making and teaching how to make our own chemical free toiletries and washing products, fertilizers etc

     Use technology to be disconnected of electricity and water, just because we can. It does not make sense anymore to pay for that. If you are using a money economics, imagine what you can grow, feed, learn or travel with your water and electricity bills.”Andreia2

Sunseed es principalmente un proyecto educacional y de investigación sobre cómo promover un modo de vida más sostenible y una conexión más respetuosa con la naturaleza. Pero también es una experiencia humana completa. Así que la pregunta del día es: ¿Cómo ha cambiado Sunseed tu relación con las personas y qué has aprendido sobre relaciones humanas? Andreia

Experiencia de Andreia, voluntaria EVS

> Bueno, ¿puedes hablar un poco de ti?

Me llamo Andreia, tengo 22 años y nací en Portugal. Antes de venir a Sunseed estuve en un estudio abierto llamado Armazem 17° Arte, un lugar concebido para compartir habilidades y desarrollar proyectos artísticos; frecuentado por una variedad muy bonita de artistas jóvenes y mayores, como escultores, pintores, escritores y músicos. Éramos alrededor de 10 personas en aquel momento: Yo estuve allí experimentando y mejorando mis habilidades en la pintura y la escultura, inspirada sobre todo por los residuos humanos.

> ¿Por qué decidiste venir a Sunseed?

Quería la experiencia de vivir en una comunidad, adoptar un modo de vida sostenible y especialmente aprender sobre ecoconstrucción. Recibí un email de Casa da Horta –una organización que envía voluntarios EVS– compartiendo un anuncio de Sunseed destinado a personas interesadas en desarrollar proyectos educacionales y medioambientales. Me sentí inspirada para escribir mi CV no convencional, solicité una plaza, y 6 meses después vine a Sunseed.

Mi proyecto personal era inicialmente aprender técticas de bio/ecoconstrucción, pero por desgracia ahora mismo no tenemos un coordinador en ese departamento… Este hecho creó un nuevo reto en mi proceso de aprendizaje, haciendo que me adaptase a no tener una guía.

También por eso, hubo muchos cambios en mi proyecto. Tuve que rediseñar la estructura física muchas veces en mi mente, antes de llevarla a la realidad, y gracias al maravilloso flujo creativo que encuentro en la gente, me es posible absorber a través de ellos lo que necesito para desarrollar el proyecto, buscando un equilibrio entre el proyecto original y los recursos/herramientas de los que dispongo.

De hecho, he encontrado el reto perfecto al no tener un coordinador de E.C., porque como estudiante libre, creo en el final de la institución escolar tal y como es ahora, y esta experiencia representa el modelo de aprendizaje en el que creo, al que apoyo y el que espero desarrollar toda mi vida.

Estoy rodeada de gente creativa, curiosa y práctica, lo cual hace mi experiencia muy interesante y excitante.

La energía de Sunseed es sobre hacer que los proyectos se hagan realidad, y según van evolucionando, se convierten en parte de esta contribución a aumentar la felicidad, satisfacción y libertad.

Estoy encantada de usar la variedad de habilidades que hay en Sunseed para mejorar todas las dimensiones diferentes de mi proyecto; esta fusión de Arte y Naturaleza, un lugar cultural, con seminarios, talleres, exhibiciones, y experimentos. Nada más llegar, pensando en las necesidades de Sunseed, me di cuenta de que ya tenía el boceto de Anima, lo que significa que mi proyecto es realmente una expansión de otro anterior, y también mi contribución al mecanismo de compartir y mejorar en Sunseed, un facilitador para las experiencias humanas y todo el aprendizaje intimamente ligado a ellas.

> ¿Qué piensas de este modo de vida? Me refiero a la vida en comunidad y la filosofía de Sunseed.

Sunseed es vivir el futuro. Es verdaderamente bonito vivir para compartir y aprender cómo vivir respetando la naturaleza, como parte de ella, al contrario de lo que pasa en las sociedades modernas, donde la gente vive separada y desconectada de la naturaleza. Sunseed ofrece la experiencia de la vida en comunidad en la ecoaldea de Los Molinos, así que, en mi opinión, funciona como una fusión entre los conceptos Hogar y Escuela, que en las ciudades también están desconectados.

Desde que llegas a Sunseed, te sientes en casa porque todo el mundo está abierto a conocer tu verdadero yo, y es interesante lo rápido que se centran en el desarrollo de tus proyectos, siempre atentos a tu bienestar.

Viviendo en una ciudad sientes que cada persona es una isla, pero en Sunseed, en nuestras relaciones construimos puentes entre cada persona, porque queremos absorbernos unos a otros. Sunseed es un suelo fértil, receptivo a dejar cosas nuevas crecer. En la ciudad, la mayor parte del tiempo, no tenemos estos puentes.

En mi opinión, lo más interesante y constructivo que estamos aprendiendo en “Sunseed de Los Molinos” es que una revolución se compone de acciones diarias, pequeñas elecciones y boicot. El boicot es quizá el trabajo más importante de mi generación, es una expresión de amor y respeto por la coexistencia directa, práctica y funcional.

También quiero añadir que puede parecer difícil hacer que sucedan cambios, pero aquí, y en sitios como este, podemos mejorar el cambio. Por eso tengo fe en las ecoaldeas para arreglar el desorden de la humanidad, uniendo tecnología con sostenibilidad, fortaleciendo a la gente a través de un viaje de aprendizaje sin fin.

Esta es una aldea pequeña, estamos muy cerca unos de otros, con diferentes proyectos llevándose a cabo, centrados en asuntos ambientales, nuestras puertas están abiertas para compartir el asombroso mundo de la sostenibilidad con la gente que vive en el sistema social predominante.

> De tu tiempo en Sunseed, ¿Cuáles son las experiencias que compartirás con tus amigos al volver a casa?

¡La letrina de compost! Voy a construir una con mi padre en nuestro jardín cuando vuelva a casa, porque no tiene sentido tirar agua potable por el retrete, y luego decir a los niños que ahorren agua y se preocupen por ella.

Estar abierta a trabajar con distintos tipos de sistemas económicos, mejorando el intercambio de habilidades, recursos, comida, etc. Creo que si usamos varios, todo irá bien si uno o varios colapsa, como lo que sucede con el dinero.

Boicotear a las compañías contaminantes que son moralmente y éticamente corruptas explotando la naturaleza. Haciendo y enseñando cómo hacer nuestros probios productos de aseo y limpieza, fertilizantes, etc.

Usar la tecnología para estar desconectados de la red eléctrica y de agua, porque podemos. Ya no tiene sentido pagar por eso. Si usas una economía con dinero, imagina lo que puedes cultivar, comer, aprender o viajar con tus facturas de agua y electricidad.Andreia2

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Volunteer Stories

DSC00241Hello future sunseeders,

My name is Dimitra and I’m from Athens, Greece. My experience here has been life-changing, so I wanted to write it down to remember. And then I thought what the heck… I might as well make it public, I can get credit for inspiring a couple of people…

Having visited a community in my island of origin in Greece (who themselves gave a good feedback of this place) I was expecting to go somewhere the same. So, when I arrived in a way I was disappointed. I thought I had more extreme ideas than everyone here and therefore, arrogantly believed there wasn’t much this place could teach me, other than practicalities.

But the reality of staying for six months on location proved to be very different than my initial impressions and taught me many unexpectedly new things as well as provided me with an environment to discover many surprises about myself.

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As far as my belief system is concerned, since my environmental ethics were already as strong as it gets, it was more of a personal development gain. I got initiated into the world of female empowerment through learning how we physically function by nature and recognising socially and economically constructed false images about our bodies. This had a huge impact on me. I started seeing my body with its cycle and its needs more as a gift than a burden and became less and less affected by pressures of how I should look, dress, speak and behave. When I arrived I found having to work and live by schedule, really hard and by the time I left, I had not only gotten used to it but consider it a very valuable tool that I implement in my life now even without having to.

I interacted with the most inspirational people of diverse background that its one of them opened my mind to a new view of life. The circumstances gave me time to get to know myself better by observing what does and what doesn’t make me happy and recognise, accept and face problematic patterns within myself and my relationship with others. For example for the first time in my life I realised that being around people all the time is not the ideal for me and I rather prefer a balance between this and spending time by myself reflecting. I had also the space which allowed my creativity to flourish (I am referring to learning how to knit, of course, my latest passion as most people who met me would remember hahahhaha).

Now, concerning the actual low-impact living education… I grew up in an environment where all these kind of alternative happenings seemed as far and foreign as following the plot of your favourite tv series. (Ironically I was even watching a web series about ecovillages named Living in the future.) So, it felt like I was finally at the center of all the action and could see with my own eyes what my ideas practically entail. For sure I had my struggles with the lack of comforts (certain I found unnecessary and others made me proud of getting used to) but no matter my complaints, I believe it was a living far more luxurious than what I’m used to in a capital city. Definitely the community has many defaults and is itself a learning experiment. After all it is created by people and as part it for however long you feel your very own contribution to its shape.

What I most importantly left from there with is the confirmation to myself that this way of life is what makes me happy and the confidence that it can be my reality in the near future. I’m highly motivated now not to let this remain a distant fantasy and to pursue it in similar places all over the world (and possibly Sunseed itself again someday…<3)

DSC00346Dimitra did her internship at Sunseed with the Erasmus placement grant for 6 months between October 2013 and April 2014.

DSC00241Hola futuros residentes de Sunseed,

Me llamo Dimitra y soy de Atenas, Grecia. Mi experiencia aqui me ha cambiado la vida, por lo que quiero escribirla para recordarla. I luego llegué a la conclusion de que podría hacerla publica y a lo mejor inspirar a unas cuantas personas.

Habiendo visitado una comunidad en mi isla de origen en Grecia (que habló bien de este sitio) me esperaba ir a un sitio parecido. Por lo que al llegar estaba un poco decepcionada. Pensé que mis ideas eran mas radicales que las de la gente aquí, por lo que de forma arrogante pensaba que no había mucho que este sitio pudiese enseñarme, aparte de algunos aspectos prácticos.

Pero tras seis meses aquí me di cuenta de era muy diferente de las impresiones iniciales y me enseño muchas cosas nuevas e inesperadas, ademas de darme un sitio en el que me di cuenta de muchas cosas de mi misma que me sorprendieron.

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Mi ética medioambiental ya era lo más radical posible, por lo que fue más una experiencia de enriquecimiento personal. Me metí en el mundo del poder femenino a través de aprender sobre como funcionamos físicamente por natura y reconociendo falsas imágenes sociales y económicas del cuerpo. Esto me impactó mucho. Empece a ver los ciclos y necesidades de mi cuerpo mas como un regalo que como un tarea y me empezó a afectarme menos la presión de como debería vestir, hablar y actuar. Al llegar me pareció que trabajar y vivir siguiendo un horario muy difícil, y al irme no solo me había acostumbrado a ello, sino que lo consideraba una herramienta muy útil que me utilizaba ahora en mi día a día aunque no fuese necesario.

Me relacioné con muchas personas increíblemente interesantes y diversas, y una de ellas me abrió los ojos a una nueva forma de ver la vida. Las circunstancias me dieron tiempo para conocerme mejor a mí misma a través de observar que y que no me hace feliz, y reconocer y aceptar formas de actuar problemáticas dentro de mí y en mi relación con otras personas. Por ejemplo por primera vez en mi vida me he di cuenta que estar siempre con otras personas no es lo ideal para mí y prefiero un equilibrio entre pasar tiempo con otra gente y tener algo de tiempo para reflexionar yo sola. Tuve tiempo para ver florecer a mi imaginación (me estoy refiriendo, evidentemente, a hacer punto, mi pasión mas reciente y por lo que la mayoría de la gente que me conoció me recordará).

Relacionado con la educación y forma de vida de bajo impacto, crecí en un sitio en el que todo este tipo de cosas alternativas eran muy comunes. Por lo que me sentí como si estuviese en el centro de la acción y podía ver con mis propios ojos la implicaciones de mis ideas. Aun así tuve problemas con la falta de comodidades, pero independientemente de mis quejas, lo consideraba mas lujoso que la forma de vida a la que estaba acostumbra en la ciudad. La comunidad tiene fallos y es un proyecto en desarrollo. Después de todo es creado por personas e independientemente del tiempo que pases en la comunidad te sientes como que contribuyes a hacerlo lo que es.

Después de la experiencia, me fui con la conclusión de que esta es la forma de vida que me hace feliz y con la sensación de que es una realidad posible en el futuro cercano. Me voy con la motivación de no dejar esto como una fantasía sino como una realidad y en busca de sitios simulares a lo largo del mundo (y posiblemente Sunseed de nuevo en el futuro <3).

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Dimitria hizo sus practicas en Sunseed con el programa de Erasmus durante seis meses, desde Octubre de 2013 hasta Abril de 2014

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