In 2000, the project was founded by Achim. With the involvement of many travelling craftsmen, artists and interested helpers, the place was created over more than a decade, always in the spirit of communal creativity and learning in action. The experiences of many years inspired a shift in the original focus of the project: from "Living creativity in sensual contact with nature" towards "Providing inspiration and knowledge for setting up creative communal and sustainable projects" and now to "Eco village laboratory for the communal development and mediation of sustainable living concepts.".
14 years of creative wanderings
before the initiation
Previously, Achim lived for 14 years as a travelling artist, while he occasionally collaborated in various community projects and Eco-villages. Many years ago a special connection to the village of Yator occurred. Every year, Achim used to spend time in the village square. There, he produced his musical instruments and art around his circus caravan, while being observed by the mostly elderly villagers. Again and again, the natives tried to motivate him to stay in the village: "We need creative people," but he never felt like ending his life as a traveller.
Until .... one day he accidentally ran into this paradise valley. Right away, he felt like the place was calling him. A week later he had bought it and moved his caravan into the shade of olive and orange trees next to the small stream winding through the valley. Achim and Sandra Morillas were apparently the first people to inhabit this maiden valley.
Creativity in and with nature
During the first months, Achim used to visit the various places and corners of the valley, asking for visions of what wanted to be created here. The images of small artistic spaces embedded in nature turned up. Together with an original educational infrastructure. He also saw people exploring how to "live creativity in sensual contact with nature" .
Achim, then, studied the appropriate techniques in order to create to all this, ordered books, contacted experts, took samples and experiments: earth building, permaculture, composting toilets, living buildings, and much more.
Many former travelling friends of Achim came, partly converted their trucks into workshops, and supported the first phase of the project construction.
Learning in Action
In 2003, the infrastructure of the place had reached a standard that allowed to accommodate groups of guests during all seasons. The Valle de Sensaciones opened its doors. More and more interested guests visited the place and learned earth building, the construction of tree houses, and much more while they supported the construction of the place.
From 2005, a clearer format was given to the educative activity, offering workshops where learning in action was combined with facilitating the communal life, music and creative expression.
Inspiration and training for Transition
concentration on the essentials
It became increasingly clear that most of the participants, next to living out their creativity in the midst of nature, were interested in concrete knowledge and inspiration for transforming their lives. Many of them living in cities, frustrated by human culture, aiming to start a new fulfilling life. Lacking clear visions, skills and contacts to implement their dreams into practice.
This motivated us to transform Valle de Sensaciones from a pleasurable place for travellers, towards a training centre for creative, collaborative, sustainable living.
Now more and more people found the needed impulses and tools to implement real steps of change into their lives.
The artist and craftsman Peter Storck and Rahma Benimmas stepped into the project and completed the team.
Work beyond the valley
It became increasingly clear that the number of participants must remain moderate in order to ensure a familiar atmosphere with open hearts. As Achim had the desire to reach even more people and contribute effectively to the global change, he decided to use the Internet as a platform o radiate inspiration and knowledge. After creating an intricate website for Valle de Sensaciones, which should also serve as a platform for artists dedicated to sustainability, he then joined first the Iberian and then the global Ecovillage Network in order to realize this laborious development work in a supportive team context. The platforms GEN sites and Solution Library arose subsequently.
Although it was satisfactory and credible to write in clay houses and hardware stores sitting the code which sent the inspiration about sustainability in the world. But this work soon became so complicated that the project Valle de Sensaciones greatly suffered. Guests did not always understand to be found intensive computer work in the highly anticipated paradise. And Achim had less and less spare capacity for the organization of events for the project.
The idea of the ecovillage laboratory was born
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Key moments in the history of the project
- 2000 November: The valley is purchased
- 2001, February: Inauguration of Valle de Sensacion
- 2001: Achim Burkard got the award for research on renewable energy of the Caja España with the project design 'Valle de Sensaciones'.
- 2001, April: The waterwheel to generate electricity got created
- 2003, March: Work Camp of SCI
- 2005: Peter Storck joins the project
- 2006: Rahma Benimmas joins the project
- 2006: Valle de Sensaciones joins the RIE
- 2010: Achim Burkard starts his collaboration with GEN