When we were at University in 1966 and ‘67, I dreamt that my best friends and I would one day live together in a commune. We had read about some examples in the US, Israel, Europe and Cuba, but we had no clue of how we could materialize that dream. Then the year 1968 came. Suddenly, our vision became the quest of many thousands of us, baby boomers, and we started to hear that people our age were dropping out from “the System”, and moving from the cities to rural places everywhere. Therefore, a small bonded group of us felt that this was the signal to start our own quest, and we began living as an intentional community.
Creating a community sounded much easier that it really was. This became clear once we began to take decisions together, finding a way to sustain it, regulate chores, adjust to different rhythms, times, beliefs. And at that moment in our lives, deciding if we wanted to be an extended family, a tribe, an open or a close community, to be a monogamous or a polyamory one.
From 1968 to 1982, we defined ourselves as a nomadic tribe of artists. We lived in buses, crossed borders, spent time with many different kinds of communities, traditional, crash pads, city occupations, some of them very politically oriented, others, more like the living theatre, which definitely was one of our models for many years. We also lived in some anthroposophic agricultural and socialist farms, ashrams in India, a Situationist Bauhaus in Scandinavia, all activities houses, Christiania in Denmark….you name it, learning the different ways a community can work.
In that process, our bonded group became a mixture of all those experiences. New people joined our venture here and there; babies were born in different countries, couples formed, and then separated several times, but the children learnt to grow within this new kind of extended family-tribe-nomadic community.
We decided that performing was a great way to continue traveling, meeting all kinds of people and cultures, educating ourselves and the little ones, forming a circle where decisions were taken unanimously, passing the stick to take turns to express our ideas and proposals.
This period of our life went for more than 13 years, and then, we found out that we needed a more permanent base. A piece of land where we could build our houses, have some sort of schooling for the kids, mature more our individual projects. We thought we could continue being an “integral community” while creating our village.
This part of our story became even more difficult than being a nomadic tribe of artists. From Illuminated Elephants, we became the Old, Old Coyotes in the place in the middle of the mountains of Mexico, where we settled down on 6th of March, 1982.
Huehuecoyotl was its name. An Aztec god from music, poetry, dance and theatre, so we were adopted by this new entity or “nagual” and just last week we celebrated our 35th Anniversary with a fantastic multicultural Fiesta.
When we originated Huehuecoyotl, most of us in our mid-30s and early 40s. Now, our children have reached that age and we have all become grandparents.
In the early years, we continued taking decisions passing the stick. We had the same vision, we were young, passionate, and in a few years, we were able, each one of us, to build his or her home, a road, a rain collecting water system, a communal Theatre, a piece of land for agriculture, many things that made our lives more and more comfortable.
The children grew up, finished schools, each one deciding their profession or not, left, married and live now in the four corners of the world with their families. Only a few of them followed our path, and a couple of them are now creating their own Ecovillages.
In the 1990s, we adopted “consensus” as our method of decision-making, inspired by the Bioregional movement from the north, and we used it until 2012. At that time, we also found out that in Findhorn the Global Ecovillage Network had been created, and as we were already calling ourselves “Una Aldea Ecológica”, it was obvious that “our” idea had been adopted by many other intentional communities everywhere. Therefore, Huehuecoyotl became also part of ENA (the Ecovillage Network of the Americas) in 1996.
That same year, at fifty, I left the village with a crew of artivists, leading the Rainbow Peace Caravan, an outreach of the Bioregional and the Ecovillage movements. For me it was also a way to recover the spirit of community, nomadism, adventure and networking that I felt had been someway lost in Huehuecoyotl with the aging of my peers.
For the next 13 years, we travelled through 17 different countries, seeding ideas, visions, tools for change, forming young people, groups, networks, a movement that in 2012 became the basis for the creation of C.A.S.A. – the ecovillage network of Latin America.
In the meantime, Huehuecoyotl continued its maturing process. Each one of its founders now leads projects and programs, not only in Mexico, but also in different parts of the world. In addition, this year, we decided to celebrate our 35th Anniversary, as a way to further the ideals that inspired us in the 1960s, and to pass the baton to the next generations.
More than 600 people attended the two days of Fiesta, and we held, as always, ceremonies, games, food, music, dance, poetry, theatre, and an audio-visual showing the whole cycle of our story, a story that is not only ours, but also from all of the dreamers that dared to wake up, live their dreams, and turn their stories into legends.
Thank you GEN for becoming this colourful umbrella for all of us, and all our relations.