8th Life Panama EcoVillage

The reasons

As human beings we weren’t designed to live disconnected from nature and each other.  As a society we’ve gone astray and as a result we’re damaging our mother earth to the point that soon she won’t be able to sustain human life.  To a large extent we’ve lost the ability to relate with one another as human beings. It’s time to transition from a destructive society to a sustainable world. We need to stop the destruction, build soil, restore ecosystems, heal our addictions, change organizational structures of the global economy, & learn to live in community.

To do that we need to start with small, local solutions.  We need to care for the earth, care for the planet, and limit growth.  Creating an Eco-village and actively promoting a diverse network of Eco-villages and intentional communities around the world will provide alternatives for people who, like us, realize that we need to reconnect with nature and with one another in order to start healing ourselves and our planet.

Creating more re-localized economies – returning to a model that worked for tens of thousands of years (if not more) – is an essential part of stopping the destruction & creating the new societies that we want & need in order to live in harmony with nature.

We are committed to using the best wisdom we have to date to co-create a sustainable & healthy Eco-village. We are using the principles and ethics of Permaculture and the Ubuntu-Contributionism model as the bases of our design. We know this is a huge & difficult adventure of learning how to live productively & in harmony with each other, with the land, with the local cultures & with all other species. We aim to form one of the thousands of important post-industrial settlements that are needed in order to transition to a truly sustainable, just & humane economy, culture & future.

Land is an exceptionally wise investment for the future, for many reasons, among which are:

  • whatever happens to the economy you and your family have access to the healthiest food, with zero transport (we are building the farm’s potential to grow organic food, moving towards perennial polyculture)
  • it includes the basic resources to support various businesses (most real wealth essentially comes from productive land – growing biomass, harvesting sunshine)
  • well-managed organic farmland is most likely to increase in real value (because of the high-quality product it can generate per sq.m) many times more than any other type of land.
  • it is also probably the most pleasant & healthiest place you can imagine living (we’re creating an organic food forest) – even if extreme poverty hits most of us, this is probably one of the best places in the world to be very poor
  • this is not just a farm however, but a small Eco-village in formation, which will in turn be part of a small existing community, and rural small town, which we would love to see shift into a ‘transition town’, with such an example of good design (thanks to the good-quality permaculture training we require) & cohesive group in its midst

Organic anything is the first step towards real sustainability.

What we’re aiming for is to design a perennial polyculture we can live in harmony with. This is basically the aim of any permaculture design – in terms of how we provide for our food.

Perennial Polycultures build soil, and soil is the most crucial resource (and our most urgent task as humans is to restore the soils our activities have destroyed) not only because it is the source of all terrestrial life and the basis of any ecology or human economy … but also because building soil (adding organic matter to the soil) is the most effective way to extract CO2 from the atmosphere (and so halt global warming). Lierre Keith says that if we restore just 75% of grass lands, in only 15 years we can take back all the excess CO2 created since the Industrial Revolution. That’s a lot of carbon.

That organic food is – by the way – also healthier for us to eat is just an added advantage, not the principal reason for us to do this work.

  • You will be surrounded by other independent entrepreneurs with whom you can cooperate to maximize the benefits of all activities. If you need to create a job for yourself, here you can do so without running the high risks usually found in terms of making this lifestyle viable (economically, socially, personally) especially if it’s new to you.
  • Organic living is wildly productive if done in a sensible way, not in isolation (as many couples or nuclear families try to make it work) and with the right set of knowledge, experience, skills, local contacts and especially with the solid on-site long-term observation and testing.
  • You can have the best of both worlds: the independence of your own piece of land & own eco-business, with the companionship & support as well as the safety-net of other entrepreneurs around you who are mostly busy with very complementary businesses of their own.
  • Great synergies are possible (but not obligatory) in this set-up.
  • In the case of you already having a transportable business of your own, here you can find a perfect place from which to operate: high speed internet connection combined with simple healthy living in a most beautiful natural place

This is not the name of the Eco-village (or the Finca) – we want the community’s name to be chosen by its founding members – but we needed a name for the project, so when a dearly departed friend suggested we share the name of the project she was developing in the Canary Islands and try to create a network of ecovillages, we agreed. That’s how we became 8th Life Panama. Here are a few of the reasons behind the name:

  1. Guna teachings – “The earth is the mother of all things, the Great Mother. She is the guardian who caringly watches over all that exists. She has burba (soul) and we live on her. The Great Mother helps us stay in equilibrium. Out father teach us that the world has eight spiritual levels, where one finds gold, silver, iron, and many other minerals that sustain Mother Earth. If we allow all of this to be exploited, the trees will die and production will dwindle. Therefore, we have to take care of them, not to abuse them.”

    Enrique Guerrero,  Cacique Kuna, 1992. From <http://abyayala.nativeweb.org/panama/problemas.html>
  2. we are the 8th generation of the industrial era (& the last that can avoid the definitive collapse of ecosystems which are critical for the global equilibrium of Gaia)
  3. we have to integrate all of the 8 levels of the spiral (of the integral model) if we want to evolve humanity
  4. it has something of the proverbial “cat’s 9 lives”, which refers to the luck (& curiosity / ability to get into mischief) that these animals have … a little like humanity. It kind of makes sense to remind ourselves we might have used up 8 of our lives already ..
  5. the 8 on its side is the symbol of infinity / sustainability / cycling
  6. the permacultural way of looking at wealth talks about the 8 forms of capital, which is what we’re working to develop with this project….      & we keep finding new ‘magic 8’ things popping up, such as …
  7. “Everything is changing, have you noticed?:
    1. No one can stand the employment model anymore
    2. The entrepreneurship model is also changing
    3. The rise of collaboration
    4. We are finally starting to understand what the internet is
    5. The fall of exaggerated consumption
    6. Healthy and organic eating
    7. The awakening of spirituality
    8. Unschooling movements” (from here)


We're looking for visionaries; people with an entrepreneurial spirit who believe, like we do, that
it's time to transition from a destructive society to a sustainable world.