Vegoa – a vegan off-grid community in Portugal

Vegans are being invited to come together to form a self-sufficient, off-grid community in Portugal’s beautiful Algarve

 

By Kati Anton

It all started in October last year with not much of a concept but a very clear desire: to allow vegans to live together in a community where people help each other, where creativity can thrive and where the burden of society is lifted – encouraging people to slow down and breathe again.

Fairly soon we noticed that we shared this desire with many people around the world who joined Vegoa on Facebook at such a fast pace that it was simply mind blowing! Soon the first meeting was set up in Portugal – which turned out to be a good place for such an endeavour. The good weather, unspoiled nature and fairly soft immigration policies were the reasons we chose to start building the community in this country.

After a few months of scanning the area of Western Algarve we found this incredibly beautiful land of 100 hectares very close to both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, with soft hills covered in flowers, old trees giving shade and a little stream at the bottom which allows life to grow even in the hot summer months.

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Right now seven people are living on the land which is in the process of being purchased. A few more will be joining in the coming weeks. It will have space for 43 families or households as singles can also group together in order to share costs and houses. Currently, over 60 families/singles have signed up but some of them still have to see the land to finalise their decision.

The houses have to be built from scratch as there are currently only two ruins on the land.  Also, there is no access to the water or electricity grid but the people on site have already built a lake and started powering the site with photovoltaic modules. The aim is to be 100% self-sufficient in terms of electricity and heat. Also, we want to grow our own organic food and have already started with some basic plants such as tomatoes, melons and herbs. In the future we want to be self-sustaining with regard to food as well. For now, the people living on the land purchase what they need from a little local organic store and prepare their daily food in a little self-made kitchen which also provides food for a restaurant where visitors are welcome to have a taste of Vegoa life.

Once the community starts growing to their final number we hope to have a school, daycare, animal sanctuary, places to promote culture, and room for retreats so visitors can come and share this lifestyle with us and even get inspired to build their own community next to it or on the other side of the planet.

There is still some way to go, but the enthusiasm is growing every day and there is nothing better than making a shared dream come true, right?

vegoa2If you would like to find out more about the Vegoa project you can check out their Facebook page, website or videos.

 

 

This article is part of the Creative Commons and is free to publish under a CC licence.

 

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