Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

WWOOFing our way to Nirvana

Working on organic farms in Argentina (WWOOFing) has been inspiring, and like most experiences, all the people in the mix determine how tasty the cake is. When the first farm we worked at for a month, and loved, mentioned they we’re creating a week long music festival in January, we knew we had to return to Cordoba. We wanted in on the baking and we knew it wasn’t going to be any ordinary kind of cake.

Talk about the wwoofing gig of the year! We’ve just rejoined the lovely people and animals of Shamballa Permaculture for a couple of weeks. We’re helping with the festival set up and building the space for a global crew of earthy people to come together. But what’s it all about?

The Nirvana Festival will be a beautiful blend of permaculture, psytrance music, artists, and dreamers. A festival of life, low impact living and dancing. Camping will be by the river – cool water that bursts through the low mountains of San Marcos Sierras every scorching Summer. A much needed water source for the dry heat of central Argentina.

Nirvana in it’s truest sense is not just a place of complete bliss and peace. Hindus and Buddhist’s believe it to be the happy place that transcends the cycle of reincarnation. The place where there is a complete extinction of desire and suffering, most of all the extinction of  individual consciousness.
The Nirvana Festival, and the people that are starting the event, are all about the creation of group consciousness, people living together in community environments and sharing joy through respect for the Earth. Sound hippy? Well it is, and it’s beautiful for so many reasons.

This is the first international festival of it’s kind in Argentina so we wanted to raise awareness of what the project was about, stimulate some people to think about making the journey to the event, or start something similar in their local community.

We asked Andrea Leia and Nate Yoshi about their Nirvana Festival concept. Andrea is Argentinian but very much a women of the world. After years of travelling, dj-ing and creating heavenly veg food for the masses, she has chosen a patch of rural Cordoba with Nate to build a mud brick home, permaculture garden and ongoing wwoofing space for workers.

Nate is from California and shares the same gypsy spirit, global consciousness and an overwhelming desire to create one big beautiful party in nature! Together this earthy couple are stimulating change in people around them and offering ideas, by way of example, of another way to live. Simultaneously, they’re giving birth to Shamballa Permaculture and global music events.

You have both been a huge part of the Global PsyTrance music scene for years. What is it about the music that resonates so much with people interested in nature? Psychedelic Trance has a tribal base line that encourages people to dance, more so than other music genres. The music also incorporates a culture for people who are seeking to see beyond their reality. Being in nature amplifies that experience and enables, through a beautiful environment, to look more deeply into ourselves and each other.

What does permaculture in action mean to you, especially in creating such a community event? Permaculture is a way of thinking where you can integrate several systems in to one system. You can apply the principles in the same way to a garden, an event or a business. The Nirvana Festival is the perfect opportunity to create permaculture on a greater scale, to affect and incorporate a larger group of people.

How are you constructing the site to be as respectful to the Earth as possible and will we be able to create a low impact festival? We are collaborating with Cecilia and Anala from Mundo Bicicleta to eliminate all non recyclable products. Compost toilets have been constructed by the wwoofers with the environment in mind, and the main consideration was in choosing the site. We found a space that didn’t need any land clearing and a natural dance area beside the river. All construction is recycled from reused material found on the land, such as bones, old cart wheels, fallen branches and river rocks. We found rubbish such as sheet metal and wire which has been put to use in building stages and chill out spaces – in effect cleaning up the public space. Strict guidelines will be provided to all festival goers on how to live on the land during the week, and a no plastic bottles policy will be enforced. Therefore, we are confident of making a very low impact on the environment.

What is the main experience you are hoping to share with the international tribe of people participating? We would love people to transcend their ordinary reality and share an experience from the heart with people from many cultures and countries.

What else can people expect to experience besides the music and environment at Nirvana?
Love and unity. There will also be a sharing of knowledge through workshops like An introduction to Permaculture; as well as healing areas including yoga, massage, alternative energies and pure vegetarian food.

How has living in central Argentina, choosing a specific piece of ground to connect to, impacted your wandering spirits? Being in one place and offering a wwoofing project to international travellers means that the world now comes to us. At any one time we are living with people from several countries, learning as much from them as we are hoping to share.

For the complete Nirvana programme visit or log on to Facebook.
If you need convincing that working on an organic farm is for you, read this.
For ongoing opportunities to work as a registered wwoofer at Shamballa visit their website or drop in to WWOOF International online.

We’ll be looking forward to sharing the cake!

Photos by Joanna Vicente

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