Lakabe, meaning land of the forest, is a small village located in the Arce-Artizbar valley of Navarra. It was abandoned during the 60s and squatted in during the 1980’s by a group of young people within the consciousness objection movement. They dreamt to build a communitarian, alternative, and transformative space to adapt to the rhythm of nature. Today, this project continues with the same essence: enable and experiment the utopia.

This village life reminds those of the old times, stories of our grandparents, and past dreams of our parents. For the past 40 years, its inhabitants continue in act to re-build, giving life once again to this little village in the mountain. There are around 30 adults and many kids living there representing a great intergenerational family.

Everybody works inside the village, each having one role. The roles include taking care of animals or gardens, gathering from the wild plants, cutting wood for supplies, cleaning compost, public toilets, and common spaces, as well as making cheese, meat, beer, and bread.

Picture Credit : Le Journal Terre Native

70% of their income comes from the bakery and production of bread, with 100% of the organic flour distributed from another ecovillage close by to Lakabe. Three times a week they make bread in crews, selling their bread to villages close in range, specifically to the closest big city, Pamplona.

Their flour is made in the bakery, and cooked in their old traditional oven. 30% of the incomes flow from what they sell in the shop, including beers, soaps, creams, oils, and books. Some income is also provided from workshops completed in Spain, including dance, women circles, singing, bakery, and group facilitation.

The incomes of the village are minuscule as they only earn what they need to survive, and they create most of all they need! The money earned is typically used to buy basic products, to travel, study, activities, and for gas.

Picture Credit : Le Journal Terre Native

Lakabe is 100% self-sufficient on the energetic level. Their water comes from mountains where rainwater is kept, and electricity is derived from solar panels located on every roof, along with the utilization of one single windmill, a small water turbine located in the river nearby. Feces and urine are excavated outside, or in the “Kakaleku”, where luxury compost toilets are located throughout the village.

Picture Credit : Le Journal Terre Native

The meals are located in the common, where all of the inhabitants rotate tasks in the kitchen to prepare various meals. Each eats alone with their families in the evening.

Children attend school in the village until middle school, where they after attend higher grades in the city. Each family lives in their own house, where others share houses with one another.

Picture Credit : Le Journal Terre Native

To enter the community, you must pass various steps. These include:

  • Visiting to spend time (minimum one week to months)

  • Seeing if this type of eco-living is appropriate for you

  • Seeing if you are a good fit with the rest of the community

Picture Credit : Le Journal Terre Native

When a decision is made that a newcomer is an appropriate fit, it is treated like a wedding, where each member of the community engages with one another to contribute to a celebration. To make a decision a community meeting is utilized, where tasks and responsibilities are assigned.

Lakabe is a simple and ecological commune that enables us to remember how living simply and completely from the earth is possible, and is represented by many members of the world today.

Sources for this article: Journal Terre-Native & Lakabe Official Website

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