Evaluating Lakabe Youth Exchange

RIVE evaluation about Lakabe Youth Exchange

“Yes to Sustainability – FROM I TO WE”

Youth Exchange

Spain – Lakabe Ecovillage in Navarra

From the 1st to the 8th of October, another “Yes to Sustainability – FROM I TO WE” Youth Exchange took place in Spain, at the Lakabe Ecovillage in Navarra. RIVE, as partner organisation, sent 7 young people aged 18 to 30, together with other youngsters from the Netherlands and Germany.

It was a brief but intense emotion experience, as described below by some of the boys who participated.

Leandro Parente, 23 anni Lecco

Expectations: From the first moment I had the prospective that it would have been a great and central experience in my existence and so it was. I feel that many doors have opened out from what I have lived there, it has been a turning point, which has reinforced hopes, sense of life and depth.

I feel a deep enrichment: to having found myself among so many young people, everyone with his/her inner beauty, empathy, openness and positivity was a great gift. The energy that was created by all of us was magical. Everything was really perfect, also because the topics varied a lot. I really enjoyed the space given to the different activities and circles in the research of the emotional, artistic, imaginative, physical and spiritual contact spheres.
Fun has never missed and working was also immense pleasure. It was very interesting to visit the other community of Arterra as well, where we directly met the people who work for the network of GEN Europe, thanks to which this wonderful connection and synergy exists.


Enrico Ghidoni, 25 years old Torino

The exchange in Lakabe was my first experience in one ecovillage and, perhaps for the amazement of the discovery of these realities, I thought, from the first moment, that I came to a magical and incredible place; even the welcome of the community has been really warm. The place is filled with very interesting young people with very different stories and experiences. The days were full
of activities that have touched every aspect of community life, from practical work in the morning, which have been particularly appreciated by those guys used to classical sedentary office work, to chatting with the inhabitants of the village, each of whom talked to us about one different aspect of Community life, and to leisure evenings, like the “sauna night” or the “jam session”.
I appreciated very much the attention that the Youth leader group has placed on the emotional and relational aspect of each participant; this has allowed us to spend ten days in perfect harmony by creating deep ties despite the short duration of the exchange.
I came home very satisfied and with lots of friendships scattered around Europe, enriched with new knowledge and desire to do, convinced more than ever that a more sustainable and community-based society is possible.
And I will always bring with me the enthusiasm and magical atmosphere of Lakabe!


Gaia de Palma, 22 years old Bari

The reality I have experienced in these nine days has involved me, excited and given me enthisiasm much beyond what I was expecting in departure.
From the very beginning, I found in this eco-village a place where I could deeply understand the concept of community and relate openly and positively with both the other people and nature.
This exchange allowed me not only to know and interact with the network of eco-villages outside of Italy, but also to meet and to confront with people of my age with whom share discussions, comparisons, expectations and dreams.
At the same time, I was able to practice sustainability and not anymore consider it a simple abstract concept, as I had done until now.
I am happy and satisfied with this experience and I wish everyone could have the opportunity to live a Youth Exchange, because it allows us young people to know that we are not alone in believing that another world is possible.

Paolo Pani, 25 years old Bergamo, (Youth Leader)

The youth exchange that was held at Lakabe was my second Youth Exchange and the first one I got the chance to experience as a Youth Leader. This role has enriched me very much. I have been able to understand and deepen the concept of leadership, planning and facilitating the dynamics of the group.
The leaders of the other groups arrived a few days earlier in order to work together and to elaborate in detail the program and the activities; from the very beginning the collaboration and the listening have characterized our encounters. We decided to differentiate the activities between moments of working with the community, moments of knowledge exchange and moments of group dynamics.
The group was very heterogeneous and this diversity was celebrated and honored; raising it as a group value we created wonderful synergies.


Chiara Montagner, 23 years old Venice

The experience at Lakabe was unique in its kind: a trip faced with no expectation, with mental opening and, above all, with open heart. It showed me a new perspective on life bringing me to a new knowledge of myself and of the others.
I have been rediscovering the authentic bond with other people: hugging young people who I did not know before but that had the same energy and vibration. Important ties were born, the kind of bonds that make you feel good.
I especially appreciated the beautiful variety among the cultures that exist in the world and it was nice to laugh and joke on it too: our Italian group has been recognized for its goodness of heart, great contagious laughter and the ability to know how to joke by involving others.

The possibility to rediscover manual skills has been very positive. Through a small laboratory, led by one of the inhabitants of the eco-village who dedicate his life to the craftsmanship by creating
guitars, we have been led to experiment and to rediscover what it means to create with your own hands working with the wood.
I also learned to turn a fire on with materials that are commonly found in nature and some break-dance steps, during one of the many workshops proposed by the boys themselves during the open space.

Alessandro Bartolomei 23 years old Frosinone

The positive memories about Lakabe are innumerable and all of us felt honored to have participated to this opportunity. I have known so many beautiful souls, who like me are crossing the path of life in a mission of salvation towards ourselves and the whole humanity.
One thing that surprised me was to understand the production of the artisan beer produced right there by the inhabitants of the eco-village and of course to enjoy it with pleasure and curiosity.
Now that I’m home I’m realizing it’s really hard to explain what we experienced to other people that did not lived all the emotions as we did. It is difficult to explain how this experience has moved something inside myself, leaving forever an indelible sign.

This exchange was the third made by the European group coordinator “Yes to Sustainability!” who is already preparing others projects for 2018.

If you are a young person between the ages of 17 and 30 and would like to join the upcoming youth exchanges at European ecovillages, fill in the form at this address

to show your interest in RIVE projects and to receive information via email on all the forthcoming active projects.

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