People from several regions of Spain and different countries in the world met last weekend in Lakabe (Navarra) on occasion of the 2022 Spain Ecovillage Gathering, organised by the Iberian Ecovillage Network (RIE). Workshops, concerts, screenings and project presentations took place from Friday to Sunday to learn about alternative ways of living, find people with similar aspirations, raise ecological awareness and build national and international cooperation networks.
Lakabe is a little village in the valley of Arce-Artzibar, Navarra (Spain). It became uninhabited in the 60’s and was occupied in 1980 by a group of young people from the conscientious objection movement who dreamed of building an alternative and transformative community space, adapting to the rhythms of nature. Today, this project continues with this same essence: to enable and experience utopia. (1)
Lakabe is part of the Iberian Ecovillage Network (RIE), who each year organises gatherings in the ecovillages that are part of this national network. Besides, Lakabe is part of other networks as CEPAIN, Bizilur, Amnesty International, Alejab, EHKO and others. They also collaborate with GEN-Europe, the European Ecovillage Network formed of international communities, ecovillages and national ecovillage networks that work together to create a regenerative world. (2)
Lakabe’s economy is based on the bread they make and sell outside their community, in their own animals and the food they groove in their gardens. All the economy of the community is shared: when a new member joins (after two years of trial), he or she must give all his possessions and properties, which automatically become part of the community. No private properties exist in Lakabe. Their way of organisation is through horizontal decision making, they don’t have Internet connection and they keep a responsible lifestyle using dry toilets and short showers due to water scarcity.
Botanical alchemy workshop
Lakabe’s Ecovillage Gathering 2022 started on Friday morning and ended on Sunday afternoon. During the two and a half days, people from all over Spain and even from other countries (Italy, Argentina, Colombia…) met to learn about alternative ways of living, ecological practices and horizontal ways of social organisation. The encounter intends to create links between people who want to join an eco community or that have the idea to create a new one, and for people who already have a community and want to improve their practices and gain experience. Besides, this encounter is also open for people who just have curiosity about ways of living out of the system, taking care of nature and escaping from the instantaneity and speed of today’s world.
2022 Ecovillage Gathering program in Lakabe
The weekend was organised in different workshops, talks and screenings in which people had the opportunity to learn, listen and share together. Some of the workshops that were organised for the encounter were about collaborative economy, non-violent communication, sociocracy, free currency, botanical alchemy and holistic farming, basketry, food preserves and wild lemonade, world dancing and tribal contact. All of them were conducted by experienced people in the field and had a length of approximately two hours. During the first part of the workshop, the expert used to share his or her knowledge. At the end, people started asking questions and the workshop became a conversation between the participants and the expert, as well as a forum to share ways of thinking and collective concerns.
Improvised musical moment in Lakabe
The spare moments were especially good to meet, relax and make friends. People spended the free time sharing opinions and experiences, talking about themselves and their dreams. Some beautiful moments emerged during the encounter, such as spontaneous dancing or improvised musical sessions. The mealtimes were especially good, as people joined together to share some exceptional ecological cooking. The nights were full of joy, as people gathered in the main place to watch the concerts that were organised for the encounter. The Katanga Dub concert on Saturday night was one of the most funny and memorable moments of the weekend.
In sum, 2022 Ecovillage Gathering in Lakabe was a beautiful and emotional experience in which we had the opportunity to disconnect from technologies, escape from today’s society speed and have intercultural exchanges. Every person in the encounter had different ways of thinking, but we all had the same motivation: move and walk towards utopia, a new society in which people can live in harmony with the ideals of respect, tolerance, multiculturality, ecology and responsible progress.