Born in France in 1969 and having obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnology from the University ofMontpellier, his first trip to Indonesia had a profound effect on him. He wondered how people with such a simple and low standard of living could express so much joy and happiness in comparison to the people in his country, France, which with such a high level of material wealth and social benefits, was the world's leading consumer of antidepressors (according to information he had received in 1999)! Something was amiss.
It was then that he felt a strong inner calling to find other alternatives, or at least to try1...Not really knowing where to start, but already feeling the call of Nature, he attended the 2nd Francophone Meeting of Ecovillages at Lac de Vassivières, with the presence of Pierre Rabhi, during the summer of 1997, during which he took an important decision, to live from that moment onward, close to Nature, within a community.
As for finding a convenient living structure, he decided to live in a yurt, and in 2002, after doing a course with the architect Florent Geiger, he built his first yurt, which became his home, in 2003 where he had his first community experience, as well as living without electricity, in Ecoforest, in the outskirts of the village of Coín, in the province of Malaga in Andalusia. The year spent at Ecoforest, a permaculture center and the world’s first intentional raw vegane community, was decisive not only in terms of improving his health, since he had been suffering since birth from asthma attacks, severe allergies, as well as a chronic cold, which all "miraculously" disappeared, only by changing his diet.
It was a definitive good start an on top that, it is also in this place that he fell completely in love with Veronika, who has since become his partner and mother of their four children. In other words, moving closer to Nature proved promising and rich in experiences and discoveries, confirming to him the importance and value, at a given moment in life, to leave one’s "comfort zone", in order to discover new grounds and horizons, abundant in teachings. At the moment, while dedicating himself to family life and the development of Amoraleza, he continues to build yurts.
Veronika was born and raised with an urban lifestlye in Montreal, Canada and discovered community living in 2003, while on holiday in Spain. She attended a life-changing permaculture course at a rawfood community, called Ecoforest, in the Malaga countryside. After two weeks at Ecoforest, living in a tent with just the basics, bathing in the river and eating only raw food, she experienced a huge transformation. In those two weeks, she healed herself from depression, gave up her addictions to alcohol, tobacco and other substances and felt a spiritual opening for the first time. Feeling the incredible benefits of the raw food diet and the proximity to Nature, she decided to become a member of the community to continue on her journey of healing and self-discovery.
During the year and a half she spent at Ecoforest, she experimented with a lot of cleansing and fasting and began a Naturopathy Degree at the College des Médecine Douces du Québec. She also became involved in the management of Ecoforest and took responsibility for welcoming visitors and running the shop. In 2007, she completed her Naturopathy degree.
She has worked as a Naturopath, specialising in nutritional consultations and detox, at different retreat centers. Veronika has also organised and lead juice detoxes as well as giving regular talks on the benefits of superfoods and healthy diet.
In 2005, she discovered Ayahuasca, through the Santo Daime tradition and she was catapulted onto her spiritual path. Having grown up an a theist, thanks to the experience with this ancient plant medicine, she felt a powerful spiritual connection which completely transformed her beliefs and vision of the world. She continues to deepen her relationship with Ayahuasca, as well as leading ceremonies for others.
Veronika and Lorenzo have 4 young children and at the moment, she dedicates most of her time to her family. She is passionate about all aspects of natural living, such as self-management of health, natural childbirth, attachment parenting, alternative education, raw food, wild foods, and following the natural rhythms of the Earth. She enjoys singing, gardening, and making delicious raw creations (especially raw chocolate!) and has experience working as a chef at different retreat centers.
In order to create this sacred place, where each one can experience a real expansion of the heart and the consciousness, we are fortunate to be able to count on the presence of our four children who, growing up in this natural environment, take in health.
We are very grateful to Nature, God, the Universe, Mother Earth and the Great Spirit, or however we wish to call the Source of creations to allow us to live in their enthusiastic presence. It is very rare that visitors are not surprised by how awake they are, the joy and the light which shine in their eyes and their face, as well as their energy.
It is said in the medicine of the soul that it is not the parents who raise the children, but rather the children who raise the parents! So we have the chance to have at hand, four adorable masters who help us evolve, so to quote Nietzsche, this evolution begins with the phase of the camel, then the phase of the lion, to finally awaken in the phase of the child or better said "inner child".
Because it is only the energy, the power and the innocence of the child that, after great moments of learning and unlearning, allows us to rediscover the world from the point of view of wonder, laughter, simplicity and joie de vivre. Children are a source of life, to which adults can come to quench their thirst to savour and learn the magic of life and love. It is a nice feeling to write these words, while hearing their shouts of joy and laughter, while they play under the flowering almond trees. I hope you can hear them as you read these lines.
Veronika and Lorenzo met at the Ecoforest Raw Vegan Community near Malaga, in 2003. After having lived there, in their yurt for more than a year, they felt the need for a change, and were drawn to the Alpujarras mountains, in the province of Granada, driven by their dream of finding a piece of land to create a retreat center with accommodation in yurts. As their search was unsuccessful, they decided to move to Beneficio, a "Rainbow" community near Orgiva, where they lived for 2 ½ years.
These two community experiences could only be temporary, for the first community could be summarised by: "too many rules and too many restrictions", while the other strangely enough by the exact opposite: "not enough rules and not enough restrictions"!
Despite the fact that they are no longer part of these two communities, they feel a deep sense of gratitude and respect, both for their originality, value and merit, as well as for the many enriching encounters and experiences they had there.
In this search for a community to settle down in, 2005 was a decisive year, for it was during this year in they discovered Ayahuaca, through the Santo Daime during a trip to England (to sell yurts). After this amazing discovery, through a series of synchronicities, they found their new home, in a community which later became Amoraleza.
As the founding members of this new community and after the two previous community experiences, their challenge was to find the right balance, as symbolised by the yin yang, between "not enough and too many rules or restrictions".
Indeed, any type of organism can not develop without the presence of a membrane (boundaries), not only that protects it and separates it from "chaos" or quantum soup, but which also allows for the creation of an interior space conducive to the development of life and of its different manifestations.
As such, and especially for a community, consciousness also constitutes its membranes, hence the importance of limits and a minimum of rules. With this definition, we want to be able to create an appropriate space for the residents and visitors to feel and develop the famous pearl that each one carries within him/herself.
During their 13 years on the land, learning how to create, organise and run a community has been an important process. Veronika and Lorenzo have shared with many people, each one bringing valuable gifts and teachings. Some community members have stayed for several months, others, several years. At the moment there are no permanent members, but there is a constant flow of people coming and going ; some as visitors or volunteers, and others who come back to support the project year after year. Although Amoraleza is still not defined as a definitive and established community, it gives the people who come here an experience of community and a feeling of what it is like to live in harmony with others, including all the gifts and the challenges.