Tamera, Portugal
Founded in 1995
Residents: 160

The German project founded by Dieter Duhm, Sabine Lichtenfels and Rainer Ehrenpreis in 1974 took a new shape as Tamera in Alentejo, a Portuguese region deeply affected by desertification and land abandonment. While turning the dusty landscape into a sublime oasis, Tamera became a leading international site for the development of sustainable models to be applied in crisis areas as a way to empower local communities.

Tamera aims to become an "acupuncture point of peace". From the start the focus wasn't on creating houses and other infrastructures, but rather on building a solid social structure. Members have no religious or ideological obligations, but there is a common purpose that unites them in collective activities, which can go from a morning meditation to a peace pilgrimage in the Middle East or in South America.

The community serves as headquarters for a number of independent projects including several educational programs, a publishing house, a network that promotes and supports peace initiatives around the world, and a test field for the development of solar technologies. Research work is also being carried out in the areas of water retention, regeneration of damaged landscape and permaculture.

Education: The Children's Place is an area reserved for the community's offsprings, where they can play, learn and grow in an atmosphere of mutual support and trust. It's a home, a school and a playground. The children's natural curiosity and creativity is the motor for daily life and learning. A few adults are present onsite, providing guidance but not in an obstructive way. After primary education they attend the Youth School, which has different facilities and where some of the students choose to live. Tamera's youth are active participants in the peace work and research done by the community.

Economy: Adult members work within the community without remuneration. Personal expenses are of individual concern. Some have seasonal work outside the community for one or two months every year, while others work as freelancers in different areas.

Energy and Water: "From the illusion of scarcity to the reality of abundance". The land is slowly being rehabilitated by the creation of several rain water retention ponds and lakes, surrounded by a thriving permaculture garden. This knowledge, together with research on decentralized energy systems being developed in the Solar Village test field, aims to create a prototype model that will guarantee a self-sufficient supply of water, food and energy.

Visitors: Tamera's educational programs on community living and sustainable technologies mobilize many students and volunteers every year. Guests are welcome upon appointment, and asked to pay a daily fee during their stay.

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