When we as many came to the conclusion that living in a capitalistic world contributing to a degrating planet does not make any sense we tried to live in communities and work in NGOs. With different community living experiences we came to the conclusion that shared ownership community living is extremely complex. We believe that the majority of communities fail because the pressure of sharing everything and deciding everything together is hardly doable. People with different backgrounds, cultures and dreams simply see and feel things differently. Another negative aspect we sensed from community living is that there are often virtual walls surrounding communities blocking out the local people living nearby.
From our experiences in NGOs we experienced that depending on donations of others is fragile. During economic crisis government and private entities cut donations first leaving NGOs empty handed.
Eco Community Market
At Eco Caminhos we try to join the best of 2 worlds. On the one side is it magic to make our planet a little bit better together with people with complementary skills. However volunteering can not be done forever. People need some money for basic needs.
So at Eco Caminhos we like to stimulate community market. We want to exchange knowledge, resources and services among the people that join Eco Caminhos and people and organization who are outside our organization. In fact even people who join us can decide to set up their own organization while still continuing to cooperate with Eco Caminhos. It all depends on what you want and in which setting you feel most comfortable. We believe this freedom is healthy because it means you can only cooperate or exchange something if you want to and not because you are forced to do so by the organizational rule book.
Generate your own income
if you are concerned about how to self-sustain yourself as a volunteer. Well our phylosphy is that volunteers have the possibility to generate their own income. This is not easy but we believe that there are plenty of possible projects that can generate a stable income in a short priod of time. We organize weekly meetings/brainstorm sessions where we dicuss potencial projects and help volunteers to set up theirs. Now the actual implementation of projects depend on the volunteers. volunteers who have the drive and capacity to set up a project will suceed at the first, second or third attempt and with the generated income will able to garantee their stay. From than on it we stimulate independant living, renting or purchaging your own property and eventualy build your own biocosntruction house. People who are not able to generate their own income will eventually leave as they will need some income to survice. This might seam harsh but we believe it is impossible to sustain everyone and the natural selection that will happen is what differenciates us from the collective communities.
What we expect to happen.
We will live as neigbours, cooperate in projects, share resources, skills and friendship while still having our privacy. We will invite toursts to generate income organize students for courses, people in depression for rehabilitation and underprivileged for free quality training. For some the community sense will be stronger than for others. It all depends on what the individual person wants. The more you contribute, share exchange the more you get out of it. The more you sit back and isolate the less you will feel you are participating in a community.
An idea of a small rural shop for the future
Another important benifit is that neighbours from the local community can join the network too. Our idea is that in the future there will be a strong exchange of products, services and knowledge where all participants benefit from each other and it will be as natural as any market with the sole difference that we will maintain our values of preserving the planet, self-sustain in food, energy and building materials and educating the underprivileged.
If you feel like joining us you can visit our volunteer pages.