It was a rainy day in the fall of 2014, but rays of sunshine slowly appeared on the horizon. With a somewhat distracted ear, I listened to the rattle of the train on the rails. I had been travelling for about twelve hours, and I was beginning the last part of my trip towards northeast Scotland. Verdant hills rolled along the horizon, where herds of sheep grazed, and trees and sharp cliffs stood tall. Upon my arrival in the town of Forest, I embarked on a bus to the small maritime village of Findhorn nested between bay and sea, right on the sandy hills.
In the summer of 2013, I discovered Whole Village thanks to a series of videos on YouTube. Later that year, some “La Cité Écologique” residents went to Ontario to visit this ecovillage located about an hour’s drive north of Toronto, as a meeting was held there for the Canadian ecovillage network. A few months later, at the beginning of 2014, a resident of Whole Village at the time, Peter, came to La Cité for a short internship. We shared a living space for a few weeks and, when he left, I told him I would one day visit him at Whole Village.
In my opinion, the biggest difference between our ecovillage and other similar places would be our financial independence. Although we are not self-sufficient in terms of food and do not live off the grid, those are goals we could meet in the long run. For now, all of us work for a company that belongs to La Cité Écologique’s residents. From the beginning, we have been working hard for companies that are now flourishing. This level of entrepreneurship is often less developed in ecovillages which focus solely on sustainable development. Yes, ecology is a priority, but we have found a balance between sustainable and economic development.
In 2013, I flew to Mexico with the intent of working on different farms and ecological sites. After spending two months on a construction project with organic materials, building an igloo-shaped house out of adobe, I decided to look for another project. This is when I came across the Huehuecoyotl ecovillage site. It was the first time I heard the word “ecovillage”, which sparked my curiosity right away. Hence, I contacted one of the members and agreed to spend the next two months there.
I am responsible for the boutique adjoining our sewing shop, the online boutique, and inventory management. In Respecterre’s early days, we decided to open our own shop in the rural areas! This allows us to receive guests on the wonderful ecovillage site while working in the shop. Increasingly, people also like to buy online, so I work on the online boutique at the same time.
Apprentice seamstress Hideliza has great inner strength and a beautiful authenticity. Born and raised in Cuba, she moved to Quebec, surprisingly in a small rural village! She quickly got accustomed to the French language and Quebec customs and is now fully Canadian, but each day, she has many stories to share from her homeland. I invite you to discover here a curious, funny, and very optimistic person!