Community life project, Amalurra

The Amalurra seed It was conceived in the 90s, within the first women’s circles that Irene Goikolea organized in Bilbao with the intention of “awakening the deep feminine or the sentient body to reconnect with everything that conforms us both internally and externally as well as with what contains us, the Earth.” This seed gave its fruit and the community of Amalurra in the Basque Country (Artzentales, Bizkaia) was born as a project based on coexistence and unity; as a dream, a “madness”, an experiment that culminated as a community project at the beginning of 2020.

Returning to the land and recovering the feeling of community, of group, of people, emerged as a natural process and with the same proportion of enthusiasm as of vertigo, we decided to buy a piece of land in the countryside.

Located in the middle of nature, special attention was paid to repopulating a 10-hectare estate with more than 5,000 native trees. At the same time, the old derelict buildings were renovated and the waters were channeled so as to drain them and create gardens, orchards and new forests. 

In this sense, the objective was recover the balance of the natural environment. To this end, the land was regenerated while respecting its genuine nature, taking care of and keeping the native species . All this was the reflection and the materialization of the transformation processes of personal and collective consciousness.

Thus, a space was created for the encounter with oneself through the other, with the intention of recovering one’s own empowerment, understood as the individual and collective identity included in something larger such as the community, the people, the culture, the Earth.

From the beginning of 2020, and after a process of redefinition, the Amalurra community started to cease its activity in the terms in which it had been created. To this day, its residents coexist, share and take care of the spaces.

The hotel resort, the Amalurra Ecohotel & Retreat Center is still active while its new itinerary is being designed.

The Amalurra Community in the words of its founder, Irene Goikolea

”The impulse that encouraged me to found a community emerged from beyond my will. Actually, it was the result of listening to the soul of my people and the wish to cover the distance that separates us from one another. At one point, we, just a handful of people, felt the desire to create something together: a space on which we could project our deepest images; a space for coexistence and for the development of values that are part of the collective soul of the Basque people, such as fraternity, solidarity or hospitality; a space where we could look at ourselves in the mirror of the other and learn to take the reflection back; a space, in short, in which completely recover the dignity of being who we are.

As a result, the first community was created in my homeland, Euskal Herria (Basque Country). Later, the second community was born in Granada, Andalusia, and the last, in Catalonia.

Together with all the people who shared the community life project with me, I have been able to confirm that one of the group tendencies that showed up over the years was to remain “loyal” to the dynamics of their culture . However, this kind of fidelity is distorted by the traumatic experiences that got embedded in the collective psyche or soul of those people; that is, their cultural complexes. Although they latter have nothing to do with each people’s cultural identity or their national character, they tend to be easily confused.

My research on these complexes has shown me that when a group has been oppressed for a long period of time, be it politically, socially or economically, it tends to build their new identity based on traditions long buried in their psyche. In addition, I have observed that the search for a new identity is often confused with powerful cultural complexes that lie in the collective unconscious, waiting to be awakened by a new trauma.

The bonds that make us belong to a family and a people mark the communal nature of our earthly existence. I do not intend to extrapolate our experience, or generalize beyond the experiences that have allowed us to gain awareness in this sense, but to share what we have learned as human groups that have reflected, in some way, our peoples of origin.

Living in community has provided us with great opportunities because it has been a shared life, a broad glance that has included more than ourselves.

This opportunity has helped us become more open to the contents that were hidden within us. It has also been very enriching because of all we have been able to give and receive. I have accompanied in this journey everyone who has believed in it and has committed to it, because I understand life in community as something natural.

Along this path, as children do, we have been able to experience the meaning of belonging to something bigger than oneself and of feeling united. But also, as teenagers do, we became distanced from that unity. As a result of this experience, we have learned that the distance that separates us from that state of unity is the way back that we still have to walk as adults. And this implies taking responsibility for our actions and balancing them so that we can access something new.

In short, this distance, promoted by human, systemic or transgenerational conditionings, has given us the opportunity to become aware of those aspects that continually challenge us when it comes to expressing values ​​such as unity, solidarity, a sense of belonging, well-being or joy.

For this reason, I am hopeful that, in a not too distant future, community values ​​such as unity, which are as new as they are ancestral, will expand, germinate, flourish and multiply. Currently, the place that hosted the community project emanates the vibration of the intention that germinated there. Furthermore, this experience has become engraved in our hearts for future generations. ”.

As we connect with nature, we recover our true identity. Irene Goikolea