Just north of Salvador, capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, there is a new naturist community under construction. It’s called Ecovila da Mata, which is like saying Eco-Town in the Jungle. Ecovila da Mata aims to be an ecologically sustainable community, less like the venerable Brazilian naturist collective Colina do Sol (founded 1995 in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul) and more like the recent Cambium naturist development in the Dominican Republic.
|Along one of the trails at Ecovila da Mata|
Its tropical location is ideal. The 80,000 sq. meter site, full of coconut palms and bromeliads, includes a stream with swimming holes, and some natural clearings where the larger buildings will be constructed. The site lies just inland from the beautiful shores of Massarandupió, one of Brazil’s official nude beaches, and about an hour from Salvador, Brazil’s first capital and one of its largest, oldest, and most dynamic cities.
|Naturism at Massarandupió Beach, Bahia, Brazil|
Ecovila da Mata, with its accompanying Ecoparque (park), is being planned and sponsored by members of the Brazilian Naturist Federation or FBRN (Federação Brasileira de Naturismo), which will have a new headquarters there. The design includes about 50 sites for “self-sustaining” bungalows or cabins, distributed among the native trees and brush already on the land. The plans call for communal gathering spaces, a comunity center, a holistic health center, and a recycling center, along with a restaurant / bar, convenience store, game-room, forest trails, a camping area, a soccer field, auditorium, a community garden, a grassy parking area, and security posts. Construction is already underway. Link through to the website or Facebook page for a map, more photos of the work-in-progress, and the latest updates; there is also a video tour of the site.
Ecovila / Ecoparque founder Waldo Andrade’s statement, toward the end of the video, highlights the project goals of environmental protection, ethical naturism, spirituality, and interaction with local culture. Since the project site occupies a slice of the endangered Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Rainforest), the organizers are aiming to preserve local flora and fauna, and using slogans like “Conscientious Naturism” and “Sustainable Ecology.” They re-use in construction any trees that they need to cut down.
I think the project is exciting for naturists not just in Brazil but around the world. We all want this kind of venture to work, and to work well from ecological, naturist, and economic points of view. Considering the FBRN’s involvement in the project, and also the legal support of the municipality of Entre Rios and the state of Bahia, Ecovila da Mata is a promising possibility that may well serve as a model–and even create further demand–for planning more such naturist communities.