We have around 330 acres of land, with many buildings, gardens, roads, a children’s school and an education campus. Maintaining our facilities in such a multifocal and complex project with limited resources needs imagination and creativity. It’s a research area of its own – manifesting great visions into a beautiful material reality.
We’re applying for a change of land use classification, through the PIER process, as we have future plans for more buildings and facilities to accommodate several hundred residents. This means that we will have a comprehensive infrastructure for a new culture, so that we can host more conferences, meetings and educational seminars on global peacework.
Our Aula is the largest straw bale building on the Iberian Peninsula and the focal point for community gatherings and our Sunday matinees.
Built in 2008, it has a wooden frame 8 meters high, stacked with straw bales and plastered from the inside and the outside with clay. The outer wall is made of clay mixed with lime to protect the wall from rain. The roof is green – grass and herbs grow and make the roof as green as the landscape – which provides excellent insulation. The roof was watered in the first year, but now the plants turn yellow in the summer season and, with the first rain, turn green again.
Constructing with earth is a traditional way of building in Portugal. We use local materials as part of our ecological and political approach, and our move towards regional autonomy. Combining traditional design with new building techniques and solar architecture makes it possible to construct modern architecture, futuristic design, domes and arches, and to provide the comfort of a modern life.
Our multi-zone architectural plan allows the community and visitors to choose what level of contact they want with nature and the elements, depending on their needs and wishes. It includes the use of spacious membrane-like rainproof roofs that provide shade in gathering places, and the house for handicrafts – Casa Sandra. The outside flows harmoniously into the surrounding landscape with terraces, and inside the temperature can be passively regulated independent of the weather.
Campus and Guest Center
Our Campus is our guest and education center for all visitors and includes:
- The Tent Hall – 4 seminar rooms and dormitories for sleeping
- Guest welcome center
- Campus kitchen
- Guest House
- Pilgrim huts
- Swimming lake.
We believe that our future depends on decentralized renewable energy sources, in cooperation with nature. In 2011, we developed our “grid-connected island system” with the help of loans and a donation from our network.
Our existing 20kW photovoltaic plant directly supplies Tamera with power, and the surplus is harvested and stored. From 2012, we conservatively estimate that we’ve been able to supply 60% of our electricity needs through solar energy in summer and 40% in the winter. The rest comes from the public grid, as we’d need a very large and expensive energy storage for complete self-sufficiency, because of the seasonal sun fluctuations.
50% of our water for washing and bathing is provided by solar thermal energy systems, and the other 50% comes from gas heaters.
Our aim to be able to provide 100% of our energy needs using renewable energy sources by 2020.
Contribute to community-powered energy autonomy!
Your donation will allow us to demonstrate a component system for carbon-neutral villages in sun-rich regions.
We believe that the right to water, and having your own water supply, is the key to autonomous communities. All the water we use for drinking and washing comes from our own springs and wells, and is filtered and pumped into our water pipes, mostly by solar energy.
Our Water Retention Landscape ensures the hydrology of our land is enriched. Wastewater is purified in wetlands and is released into beds and meadows. Because we use mostly compost toilets (with only a few exceptions), water consumption is much lower than in normal households.
In the Posto de Saúde, our health clinic, doctors and health practitioners work together, using the healing thoughts that we’ve developed over 40 years of community research. Our experience shows that diseases are mostly caused by blocked life energies. Healing work for us means helping to create living conditions in which these energies can flow again. As well as using various practical skills and methods, our healing concepts include:
- trust among people
- faith in a divine world and in guidance
- connection with nature and our fellow creatures
- joy, vitality, spirit and perspective for life.
Our team includes:
- body therapists
For the future, we envision a larger “Centro de Saúde,” in which far more healers from various specialization fields will practice across disciplines using the healing thoughts of Tamera. People from the region would be able to access holistic health services as well.
Our Herbal House in the Aldeia da Luz provides all of Tamera with herbal (and also medicinal) teas and plants from cultivated and wild herbs. We research and compile traditional herbal knowledge with new healing knowledge.
Image: Lee von der Bussche, homeopath and Amélie Weimar, MD, coordinating doctor in the Posto de Saúde.
Administration and Finances
Our team looks after:
- managing income from donations, subsidies and seminars of the two associations and their expenses
- managing income and expenses (including food and lodging) of ILOS Lda., the holder of the property, buildings and infrastructure from seminars
- human resources management and administration, including legal work for all community members
- supplying legal and financial data and reports for public or foundation money applications
- insurance contracts
- the conception and development of an economy of gifting, based on the principles of community instead of competition
- building trust within the community through transparency, information and education.