The intrepid, spirited bunch who make up TribeWanted, a group of eco-pioneers dedicated to building sustainable communities in remote regions, has started their second year, and you can join them. Through a lot of hard work (and, one suspects, a lot of equally hard celebrating and relaxing) the group moves into an area where there is no infrastructure, and begins creating a community that benefits locals and the visiting “tribe” equally. Solar energy systems, earth-pack dwellings, bucket showers, compost toilets, kitchen facilities, and permaculture gardens all spring up from formerly empty ground. There are currently two tribal “villages” being put into place alongside, and in partnership with, local villagers in John Obey Beach in Sierra Leone and on Vorovoro Island, Fiji. It is a bit like a season of “Survivor” without Jeff Probst and tribal council voting members out. In addition to physical structures, the goal is to build partnerships with communities and share skills as well. The eco-village sets a forward-thinking and sustainable example that can be replicated throughout the area, and the visiting “tribe” also has a reverberating effect on the region (for instance, in Sierra Leone, with their partner, Shine On Sierra Leone, they have sponsored six local schools and computer centers as well as provided micro-finance loans to over 7,000 women across that country).
Have you got what it takes to join the tribe? If my life commitments were simpler, allowing me to go and spend a chunk of time away from my family and home, I would find it a fascinating experience and challenge. Visiting tribe members make a commitment for a minimum of a week (maximum can be many months–the project runs 8 months out of the year with downtime during the rainy season), and pay a fee for their stay ($450-$60 per week) that covers accommodation in the huts or earth domes, all meals, and a contribution to the local community project. You’ll also be working a good deal while there, making a contribution that way as well. Ready to kickstart a new village in a gorgeous setting and welcoming community? There’s room for you—find your tribe.