Pico 🗻

ProtoB Microsolidarity Community in Pico Island

It's happening—we made a decision to stay and we planted a seed for our congregation. Now it's time to grow.

Public documentation:

We’re considering staying in Pico for some time, and (possibly) turning our stay into a microsolidarity / Game B development project.

Status

We’re in the process of scouting the island in terms of community-building and potential land acquisition. And there’s a lot to explore. There are some wonderful humans here already, but of course–it would be amazing to bring a few more.

Inspiration: Microsolidarity, Game B, BaseX Island

Where is Pico?

Pico is an island in the Azores archipelago, located in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a part of Portugal 🇵🇹 (and the European Union 🇪🇺).

Right in between Europe and the US.
The Azores includes 9 islands. Pico is right in the middle of it.

Why Pico?

Pico Island ticks a lot of boxes:

  • Stunning nature, including mountain, ocean and forest 🌳

  • Impressive sea life. Wales, dolphins, fish, orcas–it’s all here and you can spot them regularly.

  • Plenty of space.

  • Great climate, in between mediterranean and tropical, meaning you can grow everything from apples to mangoes, bananas and pineapples 🍍

  • Plenty of rainfall ensuring abundant vegetation and harvest (but not so much rain that you get depressed).

  • Cheap costs of land, property and living.

  • Low income tax (Tax regime differs from continental Portugal).

  • Stable political situation (EU).

  • Sail to anywhere (I’m a sailor so that’s important for me ⛵️). Most of the boats coming from the US to Europe stop here.

  • High elevation, so if the ice in the Arctic melts, the island won’t disappear.

  • Exisiting community and intentional-living projects. People really help each other. Things tend to happen if you put the word out.

The closest (small) city is Horta, on the Faial island, a half-an hour and €3,5 ferry ride. Although, the biggest town on Pico, Madalena, has most of the things you might need.

Potential problems:

Since it’s an island, the connection with the mainland is trickier. You can fly to Portugal directly from Pico, and to the US from Sao Miguel (the main island in the Azores). But of course–why fly if you can sail?

The archipelago experiences seismic and volcanic activity. The last eruption happened in the 1957 near Faial island. Here’s the wikipedia article listing natural disasters in the Azores. All things considered–it’s still seems to be quite a robust location for the future.

Log

27th of May

We’re visiting two wonderful places–a syntropic agriculture project, and an intentional community in a state of incubation. We’re mindblown and inspired with the possibilities, and what’s already happening here.

Banana trees are growing well.

26th of May

We’re getting to know more people in the island, especially the locals.

And the news spread fast. Everyone in the village already knows in which house we live, and everyone is very helpful and keen to interact. And each time we interact with someone, we end up recieving vegetables from their gardens.

My little victory is hearing that I was thought to be Portuguese, because of how naturally I say ’bom dia’ (‘good morning’).

Silvia came back from a walk with potatoes from our neighbour.

17th of May

After 90 days in Pico Island, we met some amazing people who are already developing ProtoB-like projects on this magical island. We couldn't help but start thinking about participating in some way.

It seems that this island ticks a lot of boxes for us:

  • Stunning nature and easy access to an ocean, mountain and forest

  • Can grow a variety of fruits (from apples to bananas and papayas)

  • Cheap living costs

  • Already existing international community

  • A lot of Sun (we loved living in Scotland but it’s just too dark for half of the year), apart from that we don’t care about the weather to be “perfect”, Scotland weather-proofed us for life.

  • Good geographical location (which is a combination of climate, remoteness, accessibility, time-zone and visa regulations)

  • Low strategic value

  • Hassle-free beaurocracy (it’s not really hassle free, but since Silvia is Portuguese and I’m an EU citizen it’s as hassle-free as it can get).

Next steps: do a proper reconaissance of the island, get to know the land and people.