How To Join
So, if you have read everything up to this point and it all sounds good, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I get involved?” Here’s our application process, which pretty much needs to be done in this order:
(Note: if you’re still not sure if this is for you, you can always come stay at Casa Ubuntu while you keep doing your remote work or to just kick-back and relax – and this way you’ll get to know us – and if you want you can start participating little by little.)
Study the Project
Take the time to study this entire website well and also read the following resources.
6 Ingredients for Forming Communities There are well-studied criteria for ensuring Eco-village projects succeed. Here is an example of some of the good work that has been done in this area. We are following these recommendations because unfortunately, as with start-up companies, most Eco-village projects never make it.
Evolutionary Relationships Most people focus on physical structures (land, houses, etc.) when they think of an Eco-village, but in fact the most basic ‘soil’ of any project are the relationships. We are all well-trained in consumerism & that means we often know how to use people, animal, land … rather than relate. So there is much to learn & much to change inside as well as outside of us, as we work for a saner humanity.
Socially Responsible Investing This article, by Hal Brill author of Investing with your Values, is quite detailed, from a trailblazing integral permaculture colleague & describes the crucial gap we are aiming to address with this initiative. It merits much reflection, and begs the question — does it go far enough? We’d love to talk more about this!
Fill out our Application Form
If after studying these pages you find that you are seriously interested in being considered as a founding member of this initiative (a project still in very early stages of formation), we’d appreciate if you could send us the application form filled out in as much detail as possible.
We appreciate this is a very long & detailed application form and we feel that it is appropriate to what we’re looking for: being a founder member of a quite unique Co-working Co-living Eco-entrepreneurial Eco-village is something that is worth thinking through in some detail. This is why we ask so many questions as it’s part of the two-way evaluation and mutual agreement process.
We prefer if you fill out the form above – as it consolidates the information into an applicant database – but if you have a problem with the form, as a last resort you can copy & paste the questions from this page, adding your answers, into an email to hola@8thLifePanama.org. You can also copy & paste these questions into a text document so that you can prepare your answers and then simply copy & paste them into the application form. This would actually give you time to think about your replies.
Introductory Video Call
Once we receive your application, we’ll reach out to schedule a time to talk by Skype, Zoom, What’s App or some other VOIP / internet calling system. This will give us a chance to get to know one another just a bit and answer any initial questions. After this, if we both think it’s a good idea for you to proceed, we will remain in contact with you over a period of months while you’re planning your transition and studying permaculture (which we hope you’ll do here here with us).
This training is a basic requirement for all resident members. It will be useful no matter what you end up doing, if you are seriously interested in living a more sustainable life, anywhere. And it also will be useful for us – because we are setting up a very ambitious project and it’s important for everyone to be on the same page.
So, for people who are seriously interested in joining us as pioneering Eco-business and Eco-Village builders the next step after reading this site, filling out the application and contacting us in Panama is to enroll in a Permaculture Design Course as soon as you can. We offer courses here in Panama and this will allow us to get to know each other as you become acquainted with existing members & with the designs we’re working on. At the same time you will deepen you knowledge in the science of designing for sustainability, (a basic requirement for all members of this Eco-village).
While you’re studying you have the opportunity to design and implement projects that are highly relevant to your transition – since you’ll become familiar with everything here. Another benefit to doing the PDC here is that, through the course and getting to know us and where we are, you might discover that there are better options for you elsewhere. It’s best to discover that early, don’t you think?
So, while it’s possible to take an online Permaculture course, or to take one elsewhere, we highly encourage people to take it here. This substitutes for a formal visit program, which we’ve found isn’t the best route for us at this point. In any event, if you are serious about sustainability, learning Permaculture is highly recommended for all people who are aiming to create a more sustainable life for themselves, their families & their communities, wherever and however that might be: it’s about learning profound design principles, & for most of us, the biggest & most important design we do is that of our own lives.
Your enrollment in the Permaculture course is the first sign of commitment on your part which motivates us to take you seriously as a prospective member & also make some good use of answering all your questions & supporting your transition – wherever it might lead. It shows you have some basic understanding of symmetry as a basic requirement of sustainability, & also that you’re interested (& possibly as excited as we are) about the approach we’re taking. The length of the course varies, plan for an absolute minimum of 3 weeks – but we encourage you to take it more slowly, giving yourself a couple of months to absorb and apply the information after the formal course ends. Plus, we’ll get to know each other much better this way!
Become a Resident
Once you’ve planned your transition (at least to some extent), you become a resident at the project (this can be the same period of time that you are taking your PDC). The first 6 months of residence is part of our mutual evaluation period. Following this time, you apply to become a member. Acceptance is based on following the community agreements and being an active, productive and positive participant in the daily goings-on of the community. Your share ($20,000) is paid at this point.
In addition to your share, there are monthly living costs which are shared among all residents, as in any household, and ‘rent’. Rent applies to everyone during the early stages before members build their houses on the property, to mini-share holders, and at any point in time to people staying at Casa Ubuntu (unless a work-trade has been negotiated under special circumstances). As of 2020, monthly rent is $200/person, including all utilities.