How this project came to be.
The story of SerVivo, which can be translated as “being alive” or “living being”, begins in 2001 in the Azores Islands. Carlos Fairfield and Margarida Batista, a sales representative and an engineer at the time, decided to bring their ideas and visions to the world. Street performances were the start to share their vision of deepening the connection between human beings and nature.
After returning to continental Portugal, they developed artistic shows and workshops for and with children. In schools, nature and in the streets, to bring joy, consciousness and love for humans and their home – the earth. This dynamic and interactive work continued until 2016.
In 2016 Carlos and Margarida rented the space now known as SerVivo, planting a seed to fulfill another dream: creating a place for exchange and community.
Countless hours of work and small and big miracles were needed to transform a former and worn down mountain bike rental into a space where people could explore human development through dance, arts, community labbing, contact with nature, therapies, and celebration. An association as a legal container was founded in the same year.
In the beginning the space was mainly used for holiday camps for kids and youth, creating a safe spaces where they could be themselves, through arts, nature, meditation, and sharing circles.
The next milestone was set in 2018 when the first Arrábida Dance Gathering took place, a festival for dance and performing arts. Up to now almost 20 editions of the Gathering have taken place, making Contact Improvisation, theater, improvisation and performances vital aspects of SerVivo. Soon after, therapeutic dance events like Ecstatic Dance and 5Rhythms found their way to SerVivo and are still being regularly offered. Besides this a wide range of events found their way to SerVivo: clowning, ice bathing, Yoga, sound healing, contemporary dance, nature retreats, conscious connection, Gaga, just to name a few.
Over the years, SerVivo grew and grew and managed not just to stay in good relation with the local authorities but being trusted, appreciated and supported by a huge local and international community.
More big changes came in 2021 when half of the property was bought by the newly founded Cooperative of SerVivo. This created a foundation to more safely invest in bigger improvements, like the renovation of the dance studio, irrigation systems, more toilets, better insulation, a solar warm water system and many more changes that help to make SerVivo more environmentally friendly, sustainable and welcoming.
In January 2021 SerVivo started to use Sociocracy as a tool to organize and communicate within their structure. After a phase of countless meetings and decisions as well as some turnovers in the staff, a core team of five people now directs SerVivo, constantly working to invite humans to experience the vision of SerVivo. And to enjoy a community experience as visitors or volunteers, or to take part in the countless classes, events and retreats.