Los Portales is an intentional community that practices innovative ways of life in different areas including organic agriculture, holistic education, deep psychology, empowering and power sharing systems of governance, conflict resolution, natural medicines, art, clean energies, an economy based on sharing, and above all, the empowerment of each individual, continually advancing towards greater sustainability and self-sufficiency.
Founded in Andalucía in 1984 (although born in 1978 in Brussels), the inspiration of the founders was nurtured by Jungian psychology and dreamwork as a way to know and transform our fears and pains into power, and to access our hidden talents.
We have a firm commitment to personal and global development and harmony through respect for oneself, each other and our environment. We conceive the community not as an end in itself, but as a means of creation and a path of transformation. Our mission is constantly evolving to respond to the global need for change at this very special time in the history of humanity.
After 33 years of existence, Los Portales is a well-established, stable and broad project that has developed in many directions and integrated the main dimensions of sustainability.
Our ecological consciousness developed gradually, from the inside out, through dreamwork, by listening to our deepest needs and longings and through our connection to our natural environment.
Today we are 75% self-sufficient in food. We organically produce vegetables, seasonal fruit, grains, goat cheese, olive oil, medicinal herbs, spices, herbal teas and remedies, preserves and natural cosmetics. We also use local edible plants in our kitchen. We have taken measures not only to prevent erosion and desertification but also to regenerate the land and landscape (ongoing reforestation, water retention landscape and holistic management projects). We are totally off-grid, and water and power sovereign (we use solar panels, home-made wind turbines and a hydraulic turbine).
The community is a dynamic, diverse and multi-generational group and is organised in a sociocratic structure, which is used for decision-making.
We use dreamwork as well as Process Work, Forum tools, family and systemic constellations, among others, to practice deep democracy, transform relational difficulties and global conflicts.
Each member is responsible for their own inner work and makes a commitment to the community to work on their own conflicts.
We have developed our own culture and rituals as ways to celebrate our achievements and nourish our connection with the essence and meaning of our project. We value beauty, art, music, singing, dance, gastronomy, group meditation, as ways to give cohesion to the group.
We believe that the spiritual dimension of the human being does not develop on the basis of adherence to a school, church or belief system, but spirituality comes when our hearts are open, light and available, and when our interpersonal relationships become creative, based in trust, respect and collaboration.
Our community was founded on a gift economy system; the principle that each contributes according to their possibilities and obtains from the group according to their needs, within a collectively agreed framework. This has developed over time into mixed economy incorporating community enterprises and individual income sources.
We have achieved economic sustainability through producing a large portion of our own food, and creating income streams through our artisanal bread business, hosting workshops, visitors and giving courses.
We find inspiration from the foundations of ecology and permaculture and apply them in the social and psychological dimensions of our lives. For example, we value diversity as a way of enriching our human and natural “ecosystem”, and we observe and honour the group as a living system, where each person’s role is valued. We explore the correspondence between the inside and the outside; we try to minimize the waste produced by our activities, starting with our “emotional waste”, which is often the most difficult to recycle, and we learn to support the self-regulating aspects of the group and its collective intelligence.
Building Community In the Wider Environment
We are active in our local environment through our links to the local authorities, schools and universities and a variety of local and regional networks. We also make our knowledge, experiences and practices accessible to the wider community through free regular guided visits, workshops, trainings, visits and retreats, participation in WWOOFING, conferences, and our temporary membership scheme.
There is an urban extension of Los Portales in Madrid, Crealliance whose aim is to promote the creation of alliances between different areas of expertise and to build bridges between people from different backgrounds through sharing information, training and networking.
Membership & Visitors
- Current members: 40
- Open to new members
- Open to visitors
Before applying for membership, people are invited to come as volunteers and participate in one or more "experience weeks" to get to know us better. From there a process of integration as a temporary member can begin.