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I welcome people from all over the world, since I already lived several years in 3 continents - Africa (where I was born in 1958 at Maputo Mozambique), North America (where I took my Ph.D in 1987 at Columbia University, New York) and Europe (and 4 months in China, 2 months in Brazil, 2 months in Mexico). My life partner Catherine was born in France and she lives in Portugal since 1997. Currently we are starting to create in Al-Mansur an eco-village.
Ours is an organic farm that operates under the principles of a self sustained old farm but using modern technologies like solar panels for energy production and automatic computer controlled irrigation systems.
We receive new persons on Sundays and they should stay with us at least 3 weeks.
We are looking for long term persons that want to form a community here.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We encourage travellers to share their stories in a communitarian environment. You you will learn to live a simple live in a self sustained place - we produce our energy, our water our heat and some of our food.
A NATURAL SELF-SUSTAINED HEALING PLACE WHERE YOU CAN HARMONIOUSLY SEEK INNER WISDOM, FREEDOM AND PEACE
First, let me explain the vision for our place AL-MANSUR. Our project is like a child that just started crawling, not a 20 year old mature project.
Some years ago I try to get down its essence to a simple sentence: A NATURAL SELF-SUSTAINED HEALING PLACE.
“NATURAL” is strongly related to organic farming but aims to do more than that - consider the whole place in a harmonious way, such as including forest, animals, water, energy, etc… and PEOPLE. That's why I like the DEMETER approach very much - Rudolph Steiner´s ideas about agriculture and environment seem very obvious to me and similar to some homeopathic concepts that I cherish, believe and follow.
“SELF-SUSTAINED” does not mean totally independent - it is impossible to be completely independent from the outside world because we always need resources we cannot produce on the spot - we are all interdependent. But we can try to optimize the situation and, above all, achieve equilibrium between inputs and outputs. This will allow achieving resilience in the years ahead, where a world crisis is predictable. Anyway, I would like to produce on the spot all the indispensable resources (energy, heat, water, food ...) to minimize dependency and generate goods that allow us to barter things we still need from the outside world.
“HEALING” is perhaps the most difficult concept to understand, but to really appreciate it, you would have to come and feel the atmosphere of the place during a period of time. Many people reported they had more dreams and felt better here. And some friends that have psychic gifts told me very interesting things about this place. Healing goes beyond the body – it is a holistic concept that includes mind and soul.
During two years (2014 - 2016) I received over 150 volunteers coming from all over the World, most from Europe but some from distant places like Korea, Nepal, Afghanistan, New Zealand, Venezuela, Chile, and South Africa. I resume receiving volunteers in August 2021 and our goal is to have permanently a group of at least 10 persons - so far we are achieving this,
The cycle of building structures is almost completed.
In our 20 hectare place
- Our rooms can accommodate 4 short term volunteers, 9 long term volunteers (3 individuals and 3 couples) and 4 to 12 persons that want to become part of a permanent community.
- An irrigation system has been installed.
- Tools for agriculture and equipment maintenance are available, including two tractors.
- Thanks to our photo-voltaic system, we are off the grid.
- The heating system is based on firewood collected on the spot.
- We collect potable water from underground and irrigation water from two old wells.
And now I have 3 major goals for the future:
a) became almost self-sufficient in food,
b) start events in a more systematic way,
c) build a small community that can run the daily activities of the place without me.
The last one might seem a bit bizarre - "without me"; that doesn't mean that I won't be around, helping to define the vision, setting goals and solving problems, but I believe that if people on the spot have more freedom and initiative to develop projects, they will do a better job.
We want to go further and beyond the initial basic idea: the time has come to create a community of good people that HARMONIOUSLY SEEKS INNER WISDOM, FREEDOM AND PEACE.
Our personal search is always inner and I would like to remember what is written in the ancient Temple of Delphi, 2500 years ago in Greece:
“I warn you, whoever you are...
Oh, you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you be able to find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures.
Oh, man, KNOW THYSELF and thou shall know the Universe and the Gods!”
AL-MANSUR tries to learn from experiences of other places, but it aims to create a new way of community living where People are the center of our vision. We are not big but we want to be diverse. We don´t want to maximize profits - just achieve equilibrium.
About me, Catherine and future team,
I spent several years of my life on three continents- Africa where I was born, North America, where I got my Phd at Columbia University in New York, and Europe - and I developed a world vision that sees human beings as having everywhere essentially the same basic traits, in spite of different backgrounds of gender, race, age and culture.
But all are souls in different stages of evolution and consciousness.
To know more about my family and me – I am the father of five children, Marta, David, Madalena, Mafalda and Daniel - you can visit my facebook page.
My life partner Catherine introduces herself and explains below her vision of this project.
I was born in France, living in Portugal since 1997, and I am mother of two children, Lucia and Valentin. Literary training, but curious about everything, I worked as a teacher, executive assistant, and later, I founded and managed a small “crêperie” and a guesthouse in Portugal.
Over the years, I felt I belonged to the subjects touching on our connection to Nature,
and that I appreciated values that we can summarize by "Happy Sobriety", including permaculture.
When I discovered the house "Monte Trapalhão", located on the banks of the Al-Mansur river (hence the name of the project), I felt that the land was waiting to unfold its abundance for those who would take care, and that the big house was waiting to house its co-responsible co-inhabitants and co-decision makers.
As our community is formed, I wish to guarantee the sustainability and harmony of the group thanks to tools such as :
NonViolent Communication, Holacraty, Sociocraty, Shared Governance, etc…
I hope that the beautiful people who will come to live, blooming, cooperate and create abundance in Al-Mansur, will do so while respecting the Spirit of the place, and regenerating living systems.
Fernando, like a visionary, was able to create since 1993 the structures that will allow a collective eco-place project to start quickly.
I am grateful to be able to contribute to realizing this future which awaits us, which awaits you, here, in the respect of Nature, by the river Al-Mansur, at "Monte Trapalhão".
Now is the time to build a team that will bring together experienced people, each in a different field, which will help in the pursuit of the next phase of the project and will continue to support it in subsequent years.
We can also receive volunteers for short and long periods. They will be more than merely volunteers. We will share results and dreams and, for those that have initiative, help them to set up their own projects that fit in our vision.
Catherine and Fernando
This host offers a language exchange
I would love to know the basics of many languagges. Currently I a fluent in Portuguese, English, French and a good knowledge of Spanish
7 Rooms (1 for short visits and 6 for long term stays), 1 living room, a kitchen a dining room with a nice fireplace and 3 shared bathrooms. A good fireplace. And good meals - we hope we can exchange cooking knowledge with our guests. In Summer our irrigation tank becomes an organic swimming pool!
Location - Vendas Novas, Alto-Alentejo region.
Nearest town - Vendas Novas - 12 km. One hour to Lisbon, by car, by train or by bus. One hour to the beach by car.
You can visit south of Portugal - Lisbon and Alentejo and Ribatejo regions - starting from here.
There are 5 daily trains from Lisbon (but just 3 at weekends) and we can pick you at Vendas Novas railway station.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
Yes, but the last two km of the access road are off road and that can be a problem.
More than two
25 HOURS TO HELP ON THE PROJECTS FARM PER WEEK IN A FLEXIBLE BASIS. Cleaning the spaces you use, cooking and other community activities are not part of this time.
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