Sacred Suenos

Near Villcabamba, Loja, loja, Ecuador

  • Last updated: January 19, 2018 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: March 8, 2005

Mission Statement

Enironmental + Social Ethics

Community Description

Sacred Sueños is an intentional community on 90 hectares of beautiful but degraded land, located on a mountainside about a two hour hike from Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Our vision is to create possibilities for humanity to live within a functioning ecosystem.

Currently, there are two projects on the land. The founding site is now called the Seed Camp, a small homestead, pioneered in June of 2004, on land so degraded by decades of unsustainable agricultural practices that nearly nothing could grow in the soil. Much has changed, with the dedicated help of volunteers and residents. Though it’s still a few years from full recovery, the land has now improved to the point of providing several nutritious gardens within an agroforest, as well as a recently planted orchard. Infrastructure has been constructed on this site to house eight to fifteen residents, generally visitors, volunteers, interns, and prospective members of the Sacred Sueños community.

Welcome to Sacred Sueños

Sacred Sueños is an intentional community on 90 hectares of beautiful but degraded land, located on a mountainside about a two hour hike from Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Our vision is to create possibilities for humanity to live within a functioning ecosystem.

In the past, the mountains between what is now Podocarpus National Park, and the town of Vilcabamba, in Southern Ecuador, were home to many people who grew their own food from the steep hillsides. Decades ago, however, the residents left their homes for the valley. The last few generations practiced unsustainable agricultural such as burning for cattle grazing.

Constant burning of the plants left the top soil more susceptible to erosion. Any soil that may have been left over lack in nutrients as there was no plants to decompose. Due to the lack of productivity, the steepness, and the two hour hike from Vilcabamba, no Ecuadorians wanted to live and work there. For these same reasons we decided to take the degraded mountainside and call it home, Sacred Sueños, in hopes to show that we could make it into a productive site, both for humans to live sustainably as well as to promote biodiversity and create a healthy, growing ecosystem. To achieve this we focus on permaculture and analog forestry practices while experimenting with and demonstrating means of: restoring soil fertility while enhancing resource production; building affordable natural housing; and developing appropriate technologies.

Currently, there are two projects on the land. The founding site is now called the Seed Camp, a small homestead, pioneered in June of 2004, on land so degraded by decades of unsustainable agricultural practices that nearly nothing could grow in the soil. Much has changed, with the dedicated help of volunteers and residents. Though it’s still a few years from full recovery, the land has now improved to the point of providing several nutritious gardens within an agroforest, as well as a recently planted orchard. Infrastructure has been constructed on this site to house eight to fifteen residents, generally visitors, volunteers, interns, and prospective members of the Sacred Sueños community. If you’re interested in a unique experience volunteering in Ecuador, this is where you would be living.

Another site, Wild Blossoms Farm, is located at the entrance to Sacred Sueños. It’s a demonstrative regenerative homestead, using a variety of animals (horses, goats, chickens, ducks, quail, and rabbits) and analog forestry techniques to create fertile garden beds within an edible forest. The aim is to create an example of a productive system that can sustain much of the needs of a small family, with high value surpluses, and an easy, comfortable, infrastructure.

Beyond these two projects, there are many other beautiful plots of land where people can manifest their own sacred dreams within the community’s vision. We look forward to growing into the future!

About

  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability)
  • Programs & Activities: Transition Town (post-petroleum and off-grid communities), Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Ethical Business, Investment Group, or Alternative Currency, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 90 hectares
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Natural built structues, Lots to build on, Communal kitchen, dormitory, & bedroom cabins
  • Current Number of Residences: 6
  • Planned number of residences: 1
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Natural built structues
  • Housing Provided: Work-exchange, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: Multiple stakeholders
  • Additional Comments:

    Most of this land is dedicated to reforestation. Only a total of about 8 hectares are available for housing and intensive agriculture. There are currently several bedroom cabins available.

    One member is in the process of building an earthbag home.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 5
  • Child Members: 1
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Please email us if you would like to visit. We always accept visitors, especially if they want to stay and help. We are always accepting volunteers.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Come as a volunteer for at least a month, after which you can state your intentions. Usually it will take another few months of partial membership before full membership is consented by the existing community.

  • Additional Comments:

    We have one community member who is 4 months old. We are currently seeking more families with children to join our community!

Government

  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    We hold circles at least once a week, practicing non-violent communication.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $150
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    We sell goats cheese and other value added products, as well as receive a small income from our volunteer program, to help support agreed on community projects.

    The community does not accept responsibility for individual debts.

    Those living at the Seed Camp are expected to contribute some hours every day to its’ maintenace and development.

    Those wishing to use the services of shared animals participate in “animal loving,” i.e. moving fence lines (we use a rotating pasture system), trimming hooves, bringing food/water, washing & caring for wounds, etc.

    Though there are no set fees, those who are able will often contribute some of their personal funds to help support projects that cost more than our current revenue.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are totally off grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Biomass, Our bodies
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Fire pit, yoga deck, horses, forest
  • Internet Available: No
  • Internet Fast?: There is no internet access at our community.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Raw or Mostly Raw, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, though the community kitchen is vegetarian, members can eat meat in their own house
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    The Seed Camp has a communal kitchen. Yves and Kristine, living at the Wild Blossoms site, join the Seed Camp for lunch or host lunches when there is a crew working there.

    We try to consume as consciously as possible regarding the environmental and social consequences of our decisions.

  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual
  • Additional Comments:

    There are currently not many children in the community(just one babe!), however we are seeking more families with children to join us! We hope to have established a community school by the time the little one is school aged.

Additional Comments

Very rural, not road accessible. Its about a 2 hour hike uphill.

Photo Gallery

Keywords

Permaculture, natural building, farm, homestead, mountain, eco-village, off-grid, mountain