FOSTER VILLAGE, USA
Not far from downtown Portland, Oregon, lives this small intentional community. Foster Village is ‘retrosuburbia’ in action. What started as a single shared community home has now evolved into three houses—an urban community homestead with 11 people living collectively on 1/3 acre.
The villagers started in one house, then bought an adjacent home and have also constructed a straw bale house. They’ve pulled down fences and planted the streetscape. They share many meals each week, look after their permaculture gardens together, keep chickens, ducks and bees, and collectively manage their land and provide for their needs.
They’ve transformed their own lives, are very active in ecological projects in their wider community and are rippling out their good work too by sharing projects with local neighbourhood. Foster Village also offer workshops and tours of their community.
PLANET ONE WORLD, COSTA RICA
Planet One World is a sustainable education centre in Costa Rica, on the Caribbean Coast near rainforests and coral reefs. This centre was created to enable people to experience what sustainable living really means.
They offer programs for groups, schools, families and individuals to be immersed in permaculture living, learn about ethnobotanical medicine, venture into the forests, help protect wildlife, visit indigenouts villages and be exposed to indigenous ways of knowing. They also help people understand how they can create positive social change in their own communities (through voluntourism).
Planet One World’s main camp is a 36-hectare permaculture farm set within a 546-hectare wildlife sanctuary. They are also part the Guardians of the Forest, an organisation which coordinates ranger patrols into the forest and local environmental education. Planet One World accepts permaculture volunteers for both short and long-term stays.
INSTITUTE OF MESOAMERICAN PERMACULTURE (IMAP), GUATEMALA
Led by indigenous Mayans, this permaculture organization is weaving together permaculture and ancient Mayan knowledge. They do this to support the people of Meso-America, to promote food sovereignty, the preservation of biodiversity and the survival of indigenous communities.
Their centre is located on the shores of Lake Atitl.n in Guatemala. They offer locally relevant permaculture and appropriate technology education, so that families and communities can better meet their own needs and build resilience. Most families in Guatemala directly or indirectly rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, and small improvements can make a big difference. A big focus of their work is conserving the biodiversity of native seeds which helps not only to feed local people, but conserve traditional knowledge and support people’s capacity to take their future into their own hands. They also have a seed bank to maintain Mayan food heritage and work with schools to raise awareness about the importance of seed sovereignty.
IMAP organises group trips to build school and home gardens. They also accept permaculture volunteers.
SUDERBYN ECOVILLAGE, SWEDEN
Suderbyn, on Gotland Island in the Baltic Sea, is a 10-hectare permaculture ecovillage which started ten years ago. It’s a people-care cooperative and co-living space, made up of a community of people from various countries who’ve come together to create this ecovillage for up to 50 people.
Their aim is to live close to nature in a sustainable way and make a real difference in the world. They have permaculture gardens, are creating eco-buildings, are innovating with great ideas, and finding ways to connect and bring change.
Suderbyn is also home to Relearn, which is a not-for-profit organisation leading and participating in amazing projects throughout Europe. This community knows how to combine their simple natural life with experimental projects and work with educational projects locally and internationally. They welcome people to visit and volunteer.