We loved this piece by Emmett Mullaney and Alison McEvoy, on the amazing Rhiannon community in Ecuador, which appeared in our Summer 2020 issue. Read it and be inspired!
‘Another world is possible’
Inspiration from across the globe
by Emmett Mullaney & Alison McEvoy
As you traverse the lines of latitude packed into Ecuador, you come across such natural wonders as majestic, snow-capped volcanoes, cloud forest, the Amazonian rainforest, mangroves and tropical beaches. Many people from the ‘West’ have upped-sticks and moved to the Ecuadorian countryside. They offer others a sampling of a different kind of life. This is Emmett Mullaney’s story of a taste of community life in Ecuador:
‘Rhiannon’s motto – which is written above the front entrance – is ‘another world is possible.’
Located about an hour and a half from the capital, Quito, and ringed by volcanoes, Rhiannon is a community that focuses on self-sustainability, permaculture and community living. When Helen and Nicky began they had an unfinished house and a large treeless area of desert to work with. Now, there are vegetable gardens, irrigation schemes, bushes and trees with birds, four friendly dogs, two donkeys and many types of wildlife all happily co-existing.
Scattered around the property are various trailers that have been converted into living quarters. There’s the “hobbit house” (which is a cosy little hide-away built into the side of a mound of earth), various teepees, a yurt and a ceremonial/community centre called the caracola (shell).
On my most memorable night, I remember the few stars in the sky were soon hidden by the closing of the temezcal (sweat lodge) door. Inside, twenty of us gathered while red hot volcanic stones were added to the pit in the centre of the bamboo framed tent and covered with blankets on the outside to seal in the heat. Healing songs merged with primal drums and ancient shamanic teachings, as the sweat dripped down our faces and the cleansing process began. Almost seven hours passed before we emerged into the star filled sky on this piece of land located on the mid-line of Mother Earth.