Our One Year Mark
As of this month, July 2019, we are officially one year into building Alegría Village! Technically the process began a year and a half ago, when we brought our partnership team together - but we closed on our 70-hectare property last July and thus began the adventure of transforming our vision into reality!
We are so excited to share what we’ve been up to this year and kick off the Alegría blog, where we’ll post about our progress, events, values, behind-the-scenes stories, and general musings about what goes into designing an ecovillage community like Alegría.
Our intention is to share as much as possible about the development process - our thinking, our decisions, the ups-and-downs, exciting updates, site & architectural plans, and community building activities.
Whether you are considering a life at Alegría Village or are starting a similar community of your own, we hope this can be an insightful and helpful first-hand look into the ins-and-outs of ecovillage design.
If you have specific questions or topics you’d love us to cover, please send us a note!
Thank you for joining us on this journey! Pura Vida!
The Alegría Team
A Year in Review
An overview of our progress and major milestones from year one:
1Q2018 - 2Q2018:
Jan-Mar 2018: Assembled our rockstar partnership team, clarified the mission and vision, established legal entity, bank accounts, and professional team (attorneys, accountants, tax advisors both in the US and Costa Rica)
April 2018: Held a week-long design charrette to align goals, budget, project structure, and create our initial masterplan
April - June 2018: Raised funds from values-aligned investors to purchase the land and begin development
Exploring the land - April 2018:
Our Design Charrette - April 2018:
July 2018: Closed on the land purchase of our 70-hectare (170 acres) property, finalized our masterplan and the design for our regenerative farm
August 2018: Built our massive mandala garden on our farm and began planting our community orchard, obtained permits to begin milling fallen trees from land for use in construction
September 2018: Began transforming the land, planting trees, clearing low brush in lots in Los Altos neighborhood, planted all of the garden beds in new farm
Building Our Farm - August 2018:
Farm Progress - Thriving Organic Gardens!
October 2018: Submitted permits for development and use of land, completed architectural designs for yoga shala
November 2018: Began construction of our 20 meter dome on the farm
December 2018: Installed drip-irrigation to the entire property from a spring at the top of the land, finalized draft of our HOA bylaws
Constructing Our Geodesic Dome - November 2018:
January 2019: Began hosting events and tours of Alegría; began our Cenas en la Finca dinner series, finalized draft of our Architecture Design Guidelines
February 2019: Completed our dome! Hosted overnight gathering for early investors and lot buyers, marked lot lines and numbers in Los Altos, submitted permits for water concessions from creeks and well drilling
March 2019: Continued hosting dinners on the land, began reparations of our roads
Giving Tours of the Land - JANUARY 2019-PRESENT:
Farm to Table Dinners - January 2019-PRESENT:
April 2019: Completed architectural designs for community center “The Hive”, began construction on yoga shala!
May 2019: Built raised garden beds in the interior of our dome
June 2019: Planted raised garden beds, built custom wood tables for dining inside the dome, completed road repairs on public road to ensure smooth easy access to Alegría
BUILDING Our Yoga Shala - April 2019-PRESENT:
Designs for Our Common Building - The Hive:
What to expect in the year ahead:
July 2019: Drill our first well and test capacity
July-December 2019: Pre-selling lots at discounted pre-permits pricing
Aug/Sept 2019: Complete yoga shala
December 2019: Expected timeframe for receiving final permits and registering each individual lot to allow us to transfer titles to lot buyers *at which point lot prices will go up
Jan-April 2020: Construction of community center building and pool
Jan-April 2020: High season in Costa Rica! Lots of events, dinners, tours and overnights on the land. A great time to come visit the project!
Jan 2020 - Dec 2022: Building community! Selling lots, building our homes, and gathering as neighbors to establish trust, communication, and shared agreements that will ensure a loving, supportive, fun environment for all :)
Key Project Metrics (Year 1):
We’re excited to share some key metrics we’ve been tracking that are important to us as a partnership team. Alegría Village is a “triple-bottom-line” project - which means we are committed to having a positive impact on people and planet, in addition to being a profitable endeavor for our investors who made the project possible.
As we formed our partnership team, the first thing we did together was outline the ways we would deliver on this triple-bottom-line promise. We made commitments that our project would include:
Regenerative community development
Reforestation, land & river protection
Organic agriculture education & skills training
Small business & entrepreneurial empowerment
Economic growth & job creation
Reinvestment into neighboring communities
However, impact in these areas is often a hard thing to measure… how do you quantify positive benefits to people and planet? There is much debate on this topic and every project tracks social and environmental impact differently.
Measuring our “regenerative impact” as a project will be an ongoing priority for our team, and we’re excited to share our first attempt at year-one impact metrics:
Designing and building a neighborhood the size of Alegría is no easy feat! It has been full-on all year, packed with break-throughs, set-backs, accomplishments and challenges. But I must say, we’re rocking it! And every time we meet someone with the same dream, imagining the same kind of world, we are re-inspired and reinvigorated.
Thank you for your support and for coming along for the ride! :)