This is what small communities in the eastern Pyrenees try to do. Uli Alto, Lakabe and several villages made this choice, not only economically, but especially for a lifestyle choice. Bio, respectful of nature, independent: the village Uli Alto has it all.
Three resourceful companions were looking for a peaceful corner of greenery, then they fell on this small village lost in the valley of Arce and abandoned since the 50s. Erwan, Valerie and Lucie, then decided to leave the system. And that’s when the adventure started …
Faced with the success of the initiative and the growing aspirations for a new way of life, others join them, permanently or temporarily, driven by the same desire to leave the consumer society to live differently.
Autonomy is their secret:
Leave the system by choosing to live without money
To leave the system and live without money it was necessary to gain independence: energetic, but also economic. The solution of this way of life: autonomy.
Because it takes to decide to no longer be dependent on EDF’s bills and running water! When they settled in the village, they started to take an interest in renewable energy and the wind turbine factory in salvage materials.
Overall, the village operates in economic self-sufficiency: the money no longer has value there, everything is based on recovery, mutual aid and coping. Toilets have been built in nature, drinking water and shower comes from the river, etc.
Animals in freedom and organic harvest
Regarding food, the village is 100% autonomous. With its goats, ewes, cows and chickens, the small community has enough to provide for meat, eggs, milk, other dairy products and a common vegetable garden.
All fruits and vegetables are grown without pesticides. Sometimes, animals in freedom trample the small garden: these are the risks of this community without fence! It is then necessary to go glean some seeds. The only money in the community is a common pot system, which is the result of selling their organic bread.
Uli Alto is not a complete exception. There are “many” these communities in the Pyrenees to want to live differently. Once a month, these villages organize meetings during participatory projects. Each one then brings his know-how: cut wood, talent of carpenter, cook, editor … One realizes larger constructions, which require more manpower, like to build an ecological house.
This is an opportunity to talk about the future for this kind of community, which can only survive at a local scale. The goal is to find ways for a sustainable and self-sufficient economy, while these small villages are victims of their success. Thus, in the village of Lakabe, they are now more than fifty to have taken the step for a different life: it gives food for thought!