Tojeiro is a small hippie village in the mountains of the West Algarve. Rudolf and Katharina started their project in 2009 on idealistic ideas inspired by books like "Wu wei":
Rudolf explained to me that human kind has been living in small groups of up to 30 individuals for hundreds of thousands of years.This way of social living is still in our genes. Men and woman and children as a group, everybody takes care and does what he or she is best at.
He considers the traditional family an artificial invention from the church. Bringing people back to the original way of living in a group can be a therapy for psychological illnesses that are caused by our industrial system. Each morning the tours are given out: digging the land, gardening, animal caring, preparing food. Rudolfs filosofy is not to plan ahead and organise too much. Let things happen and give freedom. And it works ! I have seen it. The group organises itself can achieve great things. Rudolf and Katharina are mostly out of sight.
In the early years the money ran out very quickly. Something had to change. The hippies decided to give a big pizza party on a Friday evening where outsiders would be welcome and spend their money and camp outside under the stars. This was a big success and the 'Friday Happiness' party has been held every Friday since then. Also once a week 'cowboys' come to eat pizza. (horse riding group of tourists which are called 'the cowboys'). The place is cleaned and tables are set resulting in a nice hippie atmosphere.
For the future Rudolf would like to see more permanent residents settle down. He invests the raised money in buying surrounding land and would like to see people building permanent houses and raising families to have a healthy mix of different ages in the village.
I saw an anology while digging a terras on the mountain and discussing this work with one of the residents. He looked like a clever guy so I listened to him very well. He said when only using small sand and pebbles for the terras it would wash away on the first rainy day. You need some heavy rocks as well to keep it all in place. So we did find heavy rocks. For me personally Tojero was a great learning experience !
Would you also like to visit Tojeiro ? Visit their website : http://www.fridayhappiness.org