The first ECHN Workshop was an intense and fulfilling 5 day success!

Hosted by our members at Anceu Coliving, somewhere between fresh air and trees, the very first ECHN Workshop took place for the first time from the 24 to the 29th March, and the topic was ‘Rural Hacking’ – or how to create change and set up a Creative Coliving in a rural area. 

The experience and expertise of Agustín and África were topped with some great inputs of the participants, who all brought some learnings to the group during dedicated times for individual contributions. The first learning moment was called “Discover Anceu coliving: how to create a space of freedom and local impact” where África and Agustín shared their learnings from these 3 years of setting up in a small rural village in Galicia, how their personal views came to light in this space, what were the key factors to make it successful and how to integrate your project with the local community and how they can benefit from it. They shared many examples of the projects they are developing, some of which bring professionals to voluntarily create local impact projects that stay in the community in the long run. 

Throughout the 5 day event, many discussions and brainstorming sessions were around different topics such as the importance of the community, the variety of perceptions and points of view, new life models, how to build local and international Alliances, key factors to become an (amazing) Rural Coliving Manager (care, care, care), and also the creation of frameworks that encompass all of these learnings. 

As participants, we also got to participate in a local community project marathon: the ‘Pegadas do Recordo’ – where we were split in groups and would interview the local villagers to tell us about some of the treks and the memories they brought them, creating a series of short videos that will be used for trekkers in the area to learn more about the local community. 

In one of the evenings, a magical moment brought together all the 20+ participants, the villagers from Anceu and neighbouring villages in a shared dinner and concert, in an incredible celebration of connections and exchange! Traditional food from all corners of the world was ‘exchanged’ for traditional Galician music and even a performance of the new local Jazz band! 

These were some really inspiring 5 days, and we can’t appreciate enough all the care and love put into it that has created such a special outcome, with learnings that we’ll hope to bring together soon to the wider community and some memories that will last a lifetime for all of us who were lucky enough to experience it. 

Thank you especially to all the Anceu team (África, Agustín, Andreea, Sé, Rosa) and to all the participants that helped make this a memorable experience: 

Carla Patrícia Cardoso Labandeiro, Quinta Quinhas, Portugal

Jon Hormaetxe, Sun and Co, Spain

Morgane Oleron, Life at Selgars, England (who shared some inspiring words after the event)

Ben Kolp, The Living Room, Spain 

Joana Carvalho, Dinamo 10, Portugal

Katia Dimova, Chateau Coliving, France

Ana Isabel Gómez Abascal, Wellbeing Economy Alliance, Spain

Arthur Bergeret & Hugo Pillegand, Vine 21, Romania 

Francesco Boldrini, Tertulia Farm, Italy 

Nikola Dobrijević, Sonta Coliving, Serbia

Katya Dimitrova & Anton Penchev, Burgas coliving, Bulgaria 

Bianca Gostin, France (future co-living in the Pyrenees) 

Thomas Macpherson-Pope, Making Rooms, Scotland

Marina Batinić, Culture Hub Croatia, Croatia

Lotte Van Ermengem, Buinho, Portugal

Juan Barbed Isusi, Rooral, Spain (whose reflections on this event you can see here)

Benoit Luisier & Fabienne Luisier, Alpiness, Switzerland (you can read their feedback on this post)

Rita Cortes, ECHN, Portugal