Stella, Julio, Angustias, Ville, Heloisa, Jose, Miosotis, Lidia, Pat, Cecile & Celi.
is an experienced community eco-innovator who was running
award-winning early Transition Initiatives in London in the mid-90s.
- see Green Adventure pages for examples of past work -
Born 1966, Italian, a community activist since her teens (starting with anti-poverty work, then feminism & environmental work), Coordinator of this project & currently recruiting the development team, as well as being the main tutor on the first ever online-supported range of Integral Permaculture action-learning programmes, which includes the creation of an ambitious e-Book.
You can see her design portfolio here,
her profesional profile compiling her extensive experience here
(and here is an older biog as a permaculture designer with references)
& there is a video of her talking about the project in the Why page (Interview with a Founder Member).
Jose Lorenzo Zamora
was born in Cuba in 1992 (he's 8thLife's youngest member), moved to Tenerife in 1998, and to the 8thLife Ecovillage Project in La Palma in August 2012.
Born in Cuba in 1992, he lived there long enough to be deeply influenced by the rural extended family environment, before being taken at age 6 to live in the middle of a typical big city in Tenerife, as his family returned to their Canarian origins. There he assiduously studied all he could about natural systems in order "to try to keep sane", apart from learning about many other things, like speaking Japanese.
Jose was 18 when he started studying integral permaculture with the Integral Permaculture Academy, whilst finishing his degree in Computer Systems Engineering - which he achieved with suma cum laude + cash prizes in each year for being one of the top students in the Canary Islands, despite realizing early on he could never do the kind of dehumanizing work this line of study usually resulted in.
So at 19 he became the youngest investor & founder member of the 8thLife Ecovillage project where he is now the 'resident health guru' (having had to action-learn a lot about health whilst curing himself from some typical 'chronic diseases of civilization') & also great experimental cook (you can see one of his delicious gluten-free pizzas in the picture). Did we mention he's an artist too?
In the eco-village he is mainly in charge of designing & maintaining the animal systems because he is passionate about regenerating the soil & landscape (and producing abundance for all forms of Life) through integrating all kinds of animals (sheep, chickens, guineapigs, fish, bees...) into the ecosystem.
Is a founder member, advisor & Angel Investor in the project (not resident, but a share-holder) is a recognized & much appreciated EcoEconomist in a crucial pioneering field. A biologist & professor of sociology in Argentina, and anything but a theorist. She is the creator of the Red de Trueque Solidario, where lots of argentinians changed crisis into abundance. In 1996 she had to stay in bed due to an operation & this permitted her to observe a series of popular movements (like the silent marches of María Soledad & of the Carrasco case) which demonstrated a will for change.
"And as sociologists we always study things when they're already dead, I proposed to do the opposite: I wanted to connect with the people and act".
She got her chance in '97, when she connected with the organizers of the Exchange Club (Club de Trueque - equivalent to LETS scheme in english) of Bernal, then starting to organize exchange markets. & she offered to add to the exchange of products also the exchange of knowledge & training.
In this way she contributed to the expansion of a network which now flowers over more than 14 provinces in Argentina, Brasil, Chili, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador & El Salvador.
See her page here > HeloisaPrimavera.com.ar & what she wrote about why she's investing in this project, below.
María José Rodríguez Jiménez
Pepa has an agricultural engineering degree and is currently a diploma student with the Integral Permaculture Academy.
external facilitator & friend and supporter of the project
She has been instrumental in birthing the many creative projects of the Academy since she joined us in 2010 and is a very valued member of the team because of her creativity, deep wisdom, great integrity, passion for design & social justice, not to mention her irreverent sense of humor and very contagious laughter.
Pepa also works as a lab technician & shop steward, & is the mother of two teenage daughters with whom she says "I try to practice creating a new social paradigm, on a daily basis".
At local level she is involved in various permaculture activities: setting up gardening projects in schools, participating in the complementary currency project in her area and she is a founder member of El Jannat, a community farm & permaculture teaching project which is also part of this network.
She is working on designs to increase inclusion & collective intelligence in the permacuture as well as the complementary currencies networks in Spain, with a special interest in figuring out ways of collaborating more effectively across many similar groups & movements.
Esther Cuenca Guerrero
external facilitator & friend and supporter of the project
Esther has been actively involved with the Integral Permaculture Academy since 2008 after graduating in Environmental Sciences (she discovered that permaculture was a lot more interesting & useful when she did her first PDC with us).
This opened for her "a magical window which got me closer to my own way of seeing the world", and she helped out on two more PDC courses with the Academy as an apprentice teacher.
In 2010 she participated in the Action-Learning program in Finca Luna (the current site of the 8thLife EcoVillage) in La Palma which meant a quantum leap in her awakening & evolution.
She decided to start her Permaculture Diploma process, and has been working
at an established eco-project in Almería since 2010, the Cortijo Los Baños Al-Haman, living in a community of 15-20 people.
The Cortijo is an educational farm, where courses & meetings are held, & large groups are catered for, and she has been volunteer coordinator there for several years, and is now in charge of food-growing.
She has facilitated some EcoEscucha (eco-counseling) courses in her community with the help of the Academy in the past, and is now looking forward to finally being able to bring the full iPDC to her colleagues and volunteer workers, whilst she keeps practicing how to faciltate groups better, another of her passions.
From Heloisa, on becoming an investor in 8thLife
Today what we most need is knowledge. To express ourselves, to know who needs the much that we can produce, to take the much & varied that we need from others ... Including to use the little money we need to live well.
These days a bigger crisis is passing in front of us - global, integrated, deep, ready to disintegrate us as a species. I correct here the current accepted view that "the planet" is in danger: the planet if fine, thanks! It demonstrates it all the time with its adjustments, as we have been witnessing these last years, against which we can do little or nothing, if we haven't predicted it since 30-50years. It is us as a species that believes ourselves the dominant one who is doing very badly ..
For that reason, those savings we had reserved for the future (as our grandparents wanted) is very good that we start using them NOW, with some strategic sense: to ensure that there will be livable space for our children & grandchildren. & their children & grandchildren
I don't know how many we will be, but some of us believe that even so we have things to do.
For that reason I decided, without hesitation, to make an investment in this present future that is the EcoVillage Project of Gaia Tasiri, where we are building new relationships in many dimensions: between each of us and their family, with our neighbours near & further on, with Mother Earth, our Pachamama who is tired of being irrationally exploited. We want to be able to take on healing & caring for our little & infinite blue planet, for ourselves & future generations.
My specialty is the construction of sustainable money systems. They look at me and see "social currencies": those which are designed, produced, distributed & controlled by their users, for the satisfaction of their mutual needs, by those who believe they have not only the right but also the duty to un-mask that great misunderstanding that was transforming money into a commodity.
But a sustainable money system needs a sustainable territory in order to make sense!
For this reason the re-localization of my savings makes sense.
I was looking for it for a while. I didn't find it because I know too well the traditional banking system. I remembered Stella Strega (never better named) & we got back in touch in order to see how we were doing & I didn't doubt one instant. I know that we will have very concrete results to show for it very soon.
Welcome to the little canarian ship that is already sailing in the future of our young ones.
Video: Heloisa, Proyecto EcoAldea
Video: Heloisa, Silvio Gesell
Video: Heloisa, Proyecto Colibrí