Expanding our land
Our neighbors are selling their 8.9 hectares of mainly rolling good-quality farm land that runs along the river. This creates an opportunity to further protect this sacred valley and create a small supportive community of about ten individuals or families.
The land has been neglected for the past ten years, so in tropical style it has become overgrown which is actually good. We have a clean slate to design the landscape in a beautiful way.
Even before this land became available, Susan and I were thinking of expanding our community. Carrying this project by ourselves, and thinking of our age, we know that we need to find new ways to protect this sacred land.
Already good things are happening. With the help of friends in the States, we have created a non-profit called KINSHIP Earth (https://kinshipearth.org/), which is carrying Susan’s KINS work forward. Also, we are developing our Sacred Land Farm into a learning center which will be the physical home and center of our not-for-profit.
Our mission statement is:
Finca Sagrada exemplifies a farm-based, multicultural learning center where people can reconnect to self, community and nature through heartfelt thinking.
Another positive development has been our collaboration with SEEDS which is a crypto token. Recently we were awarded an Alliance grant for 700,000 Seeds. It is expected that within two years the tokens will be worth $1 each. With this grant, we will be able to put Finca Sagrada into our KINSHIP Earth non-profit, build a small retreat center and help restore our precious watershed area.
The owners of the 8.9 hectares (20 acres) next door are asking $100,000, which is an excellent price. Similar land in our valley has been sold for between $20,00 and $30,000 per hectare.
Here are some ideas that could guide our community. I have intentionally not pinned down the conditions as we are open to input from all potential community members. However, we desire it to be a multicultural, multi-age, multi-varied economic community.
Susan has a unique track record that will serve us well. She has created 40 successful innovation networks over 40 years (KINS Innovation Networks), manifesting daunting results, including:
- making solar happen for the world
- creating the social investment industry globally
- taking villages green in the U.S. and Nigeria
- funding large women’s businesses to the next level
- manifesting a micro-enterprise industry in Nigeria
For more information, please go to: https://kinshipearth.org/
In addition, we ask our partners to consider the operating principles of her KINS Innovation Networks, proven successful over 40 years and shown below:
- Our strategy is generosity.
- A deal is a good deal when it is good for all concerned, especially Earth.
- Everyone does what we love to do and do well without charge… and little else.
- We sit at the table of unknowing and invite spirit/God to co-create with us for the highest good for all concerned.
- When someone gets upset, we go within to ask what within us is asking to be healed… and later we bring the story of that healing back to the group to enrich the field.
- Everyone gets equal time at the mike and we return each others’ calls and emails promptly.
- All information is available to all members all the time.
Most important, we intend to be as environmentally friendly as possible in every way.
Being in Ecuador, we honor the Condor and the Eagle flying as one.
On our farm, we honor a mix of biodynamic, permaculture and indigenous land practices.
Much of our inspiration comes from the work of Rudolf Steiner, including Biodynamic farming. However we are open to all positive belief systems.
Because of Ecuadorian laws, we cannot subdivide the property. However we can sell building rights for 99 years or perpetuity.
Each lot would be about one acre but could be flexible to the needs of individuals and terrain.
Four or more individuals would buy building rights on their own piece of land for $30,000 each.
We are open to other ideas such as clustered housing if this concept were to grow in scope.
Ideally we would put all the land, including Finca Sagrada, into the KINSHIP Earth trust.
This is a short list to give us a start…
- Right to build and use your land appropriately and in privacy.
- Use of common land for walks
- If appropriate and agreed upon by members, land based projects could be initiated
- Use of the House of Original Thought, an exact copy of the Kogi’s, as they requested
- Participation in community events such as festivals.
- Common meals if wished.
- Community Satir meetings to make community decisions about land use, festival planning, personal issues etc.
- Right of way for access.
- We might have community projects like a common well, etc.
There would also need to be restrictions. Below are some possibilities:
- House designs would be approved by the community.
- When selling, new buyers would be introduced to the community and be approved.
- Commercial projects would need to be approved by the community.
As we want this to be a multi-culturally diverse community, there will be some people working.
Possible work centers
- Farmers to grow food for the community and take care of the land
- Retreat center.
- Education program.
- Innovation farm center
- Private off-farm work.
In this scenario, the farmers looking after the land would be supported by the community members. At the present time. Susan and Walter spend about $2,500 per month on workers and sometimes pay more for special projects.
If we add in the new land we envision, the cost could be about $4,000 per month.
Our hope is that we can find six individuals who would like to join us and pay $500 to $1,000 per month, depending on how many community members we have. This money is needed to support the stewarding of this sacred site and includes:
- Care of the House of Original Thought
- Maintenance of the property
- food sovereignty (growing our own food)
- Road maintenance
- Infrastructure for a possible retreat and educational center.
It is hoped that eventually the community can become self-sustaining. This could be by generating income from the retreat center and education programs that we envision. Unfortunately we had to put the education program on hold because of the uncertain global situation at this time.
If more than four people buy in at $30,000 each, there would be money to spend on improvement projects like building bridges for the road and improved housing for the farm partners, etc. Or the additional money could be returned to the original buyers who pay $30,000.
Our main aim is to create a community that honors and cares for this sacred site. In doing this, Earth reciprocates by providing us with many of our needs such as healthy food and water, clean air, a safe supportive environment and good neighbors.
It is possible that the next few years may be difficult. There could be food scarcities due to environmental problems, an economic collapse and social unrest.
However, Finca Sagrada already exists as an extremely safe haven. Because of our isolation, we will be free of 5G and we already grow our own food. Life is also quite affordable. For instance, many foreigners live in Vilcabamba for about $1,000 per month or less. We just built a nice two bedroom house on our farm for about $50,000 which includes furniture and appliances. This house could be rented by potential community members who wish to see if this is the right place for them.
Most important is the positive community track record of happy living we have exemplified for almost a decade. We use the Virginia Satir method of community collaboration, with weekly community meetings following her guidelines.
Description of Satir meetings
First we start with appreciations, expressing our joy at various things community members have done for each other.
Next we turn directly to concerns and suggested solutions. We use this practice: any member can take a turn and say, “I have a concern that such and such … and my suggested solution is such and such.” There is then a group discussion insuring that everyone is comfortable with the agreed-upon result.
The third part of the meeting is simply Planning. This usually takes no more than ten minutes because all the emotional issues have already been addressed.
Last, we honor our relationship with Spirit by inviting every member who wishes to put their spiritual intention up to the universe to do so. They simply state: “I am now manifesting X.” (Whatever they intend to manifest). All members in silence put up their own intention for this too manifest also. This has proven to work excellently by numerous reports of professionals.
If you are looking for a small supportive community based on living on the land, growing your own food, and living in a healthy community surrounded by mountains and rivers, this might be the place for you.
We have just finished building a fully-furnished two-bedroom house which is available for short term rental or to buy. If interested you could visit, rent for some weeks and experience Ecuadorian community living on Finca Sagrada.