8th Life Panama

The Project

A collaborative work-life initiative forming an intentional community, in rural Panama, based on permaculture, ethics, respect, peace & living on “on-purpose” life.


It’s time to transition from a destructive society to a sustainable world. We believe that the most important and urgent jobs to be done now are: stopping the destruction, working to build soil, restoring ecosystems, healing our addictions, changing organizational structures of the global economy, & learning to live in community starting locally …

We need to move all the resources we can as quickly as possible towards the most effective solutions if we are to halt & reverse the current destructive trends, and create a new, saner economy.

Why a Farm?

Land is an exceptionally wise investment for the future, for many reasons, among which are:

  • whatever happens to the economy you and your family have access to the healthiest food, with zero transport (we will build up the farm’s potential to grow organic food, moving towards perennial polyculture)
  • it includes the basic resources to support for various businesses (most real wealth essentially comes from productive land – growing biomass, harvesting sunshine)
  • well-managed organic farm-land is most likely to increase in real value (because of the high quality product it can generate per sq.m) many times more than any other type of land. As the founder of 8th Life La Palma says “post-cheap-petrol, town investments versus rural land will very likely experience an inversion: if it is still possible to sell your one bedroom apartment in the middle of a big city, do so quick – you can buy a whole farm for the same price”
  • it is also probably the most pleasant & healthiest place you can imagine living (we’ll be creating a large organic forest garden) – even if extreme poverty hits most of us, this is probably one of the best places in the world to be very poor in
  • This is not just a farm however, but a small eco-community in formation, which will in turn be part of a small existing community, and rural small town, which we would love to see shift into a ‘transition town’, with such an example of good design (thanks to the good-quality permaculture training we require) & cohesive group in its midst.

Why Organic?

Organic anything is the first step towards a really sustainable option.

What we’re aiming for is to design a perennial polyculture we can live in harmony with. This is basically the aim of any permaculture design – in terms of how we provide for our food.

Perennial Polycultures build soil, and soil is the most crucial resource (and our most urgent task as humans is to restore the soils our activities have destroyed) not only because it is the source of all terrestrial life, base of any ecology or human economy … but also because building soil (adding organic matter to the soil) is the most effective way to extract CO2 from the atmosphere (and so halt global warming). Lierre Keith says that if we restore just 75% of grass lands, in only 15 years we can take back all the excess CO2 created since the Industrial Revolution. That’s a lot of carbon.

That organic food is – by the way – also healthier for us to eat is just an added advantage, not the principal reason for us to do this work.

Why Shares? & why with us?

  • One of the most important jobs we need to do to change paradigms is to ‘liberate’ land. The idea of humans ‘owning’ land is incomprehensible to native peoples and one of the roots of our collective psychosis in the west. With this shares structure (shares correspond to living rights / stewardship duties but not ‘ownership’ of land) what we are doing is putting the land in trust with a Foundation (or other legal structure to be determined) which ensures it will be safeguarded by permaculture ethics, principles & objectives in perpetuity. We think this change of mind regarding ownership is essential to bring a saner understanding & practice in our relationship to the land for the future, so we are busy designing for that as well.
  • This is a way of enjoying a whole farm for a fraction of the price it would cost you to buy one on your own, while multiplying many times its quality & fertility. You can cash-in your investment when you wish to move on, always provided you have contributed positively to the project. This would increase simply with time under industrial conditions, but should increase a lot more (in real value if not cash value) as an increasingly productive rural land with our work on it, and particularly as a unit of a wider synergistic whole (the EcoCommunity).
  • You will be surrounded by other independent entrepreneurs which you can cooperate with to maximize the benefits of all activities. In the case you need to create a job, here you can do so without running the high risks usually found in terms of making this lifestyle viable (economically, socially, personally) especially if it is new to you.
  • Organic living is wildly productive if done in a sensible way, not in isolation (as many couples or nuclear families try to make it work) and with the right set of knowledge, experience, skills, local contacts and especially with the solid on-site long-term observation and testing. We can supply all of those, on site, as well as the tangible resources that are needed to start, already in place.
  • You can have the best of both worlds: the independence of your own piece of land & own eco-business, with the companionship & support as well as the safety-net of other entrepreneurs around you who are mostly busy with very complimentary businesses of their own
  • Great synergies are possible (but not obligatory) in this set-up.
  • In the case of you already having a transportable own business, here you can find a perfect home to run it from: high speed internet connection combined with simple healthy living in a most beautiful natural place

Why this type of investment?

We need to move all our resources as quickly as possible towards the most effective solutions if we are to halt & reverse the current destructive trends, and create the new economy.

This article from an expert in green investing argues why the type of investment we are offering with this initiative is of the most important, but also least used.

Why 8thLife (the name)?

This is not the name of the Eco Community (or the Finca) – we’d like for the name to be chosen by the communities founding members — the pioneer group (we still don’t have an eco-community, this is a project to create it) – but we needed a name for the project, so we chose 8thLife because:

  1. it is the name of our mentor-project in La Palma, Canary Islands
  2. we are the 8th generation of the industrial era (& the last that can avoid the definitive collapse of ecosystems which are critical for the global equilibrium of Gaia)
  3. we have to integrate all of the 8 levels of the spiral (of the integral model) if we want to evolve humanity
  4. it has something of the proverbial “cat’s 9 lives”, which refers to the luck (& curiosity / ability to get into mischief) that these animals have … a little like humanity. It kind of makes sense to remind ourselves we might have used up 8 of our lives already ..
  5. the 8 on its side is the symbol of infinity / sustainability / cycling
  6. the permacultural way of looking at wealth talks about the 8 forms of capital, which is what we’re working to develop with this project…. & we keep finding new ‘magic 8’ things popping up …
  7. “Everything is changing, have you noticed? : 1. No one can stand the employment model anymore 2. The entrepreneurship model is also changing 3. The rise of collaboration 4. We are finally starting to understand what the internet is 5. The fall of exaggerated consumption 6. Healthy and organic eating 7. The awakening of spirituality 8. Unschooling movements” > from lwi
  8. The 8thFire Prophecy