The Eco Valley Foundation organized the 16th Winter Meeting of the Hungarian Ecovillages, which was an enriching experience filled with personal connections and practical wisdom on community sustainability. During the organized and spontaneous discussions new dimensions opened up and the participants enriched each other with precious experience and ideas.
Presumably you would be able to hear as many views about our experiences and impulses, as many people were present. There were about a hundred and twenty participants who attended from all over the country. There were some classic eco-dwellers, who have lived in a community for ten or twenty years now (for example, from Visnyeszéplak or Ópusztaszer). There were some participants who are in the phase of establishing their ecovillage (for instance, the Családi Birtok Település organized on the basis of Anastasia’s teachings), or communities that are settled next to the village of Nyim, and others who have organized an alliance of garden community within their own settlement (for example, Velence). It was a great pleasure to learn about the basic characteristics, operating principles and features of the highly successful Kisberény community. Agostyán, another early ecovillage initiative, has also grown with residents enthusiastically attracted to natural lifestyle. It is a fact that we had a lot to say to each other…
For example, we concluded that it would be important besides the new ecovillage initiatives to re-populate the desolating villages of Hungary. Even though we do not have the means to persuade young people to move to villages, but by propagating positive patterns and experiences, we can help a lot of people who are open to rural life. We must be able to show that the simple lifestyle of rural people is a positive alternative to deep poverty of urbanization. Moreover, intellectuals capable of performing telework can even experience a very high quality life in a rural setting.
Issues describing typical conflict situations have absolutely made it clear that we are all aware that either an ecovillage or a “normal” village or even a farm-based situation stands or falls on human relationships and the willingness to cooperate. These are the indicators that clearly show whether our initiatives can strike root, or our idyllic dreams of the countryside will come true.
We are absolutely thankful for the sparkling spiritual companionship of the meeting and looking forward to meet again in summer!