The former leper colony is now a living community, that is at the same time a political collective. We facilitate a newtwork of projects in the valley, as well as the maintaining the infrastructure of the building. We do not do this alone, but we give continuity: the live-in community is at the heart of all the activities of Can Masdeu.
To continue, a few comments on our internal operating structure, in case it is useful for your own projects. As you can imagine, the organization of Can Masdeu has been a slow and laborious process, sometimes controversial and always in permanent construction. These are some of the tools that we have adopted:
Turns in the kitchen: We each cook twice a month for around 25 people, the food is usually vegetarian, and largely harvested from our vegetable garden.
Meetings: We usually have meetings every three weeks as well as one-off meetings on specific issues, we rotate the role of facilitator.
Collective Work Days: On Thursdays we we get together to work on renovation, cleaning and maintenance of the property, as well as food production.
Working Groups: We are all part of a working group. Through the working groups we cover tasks or functions that require some continuity or specialization. They are broadly related to the organisation of the community or the social dimensions of the project.
PIC: We collectively run the PIC Social Centre two out of three Sundays; other days we offer the space up to other groups to organise and raise money.
Major Events: We regularly come together with other projects of the valley to organize or participate in activities to defend the valley, parties, neighborhood events, demonstrations, etc …
“Va per Nosaltres” Group dynamics days : We organise internal group dynamics days several times throughout the year and they are essential to the cohesion of the group. They have a playful side and a strategic side to evaluate the effectiveness of the organisational systems in the community. They also include space to talk about the state of the group, emotional issues, and for resolving conflicts that may arise. They are a sort of baromometer of how things are going.
There is no formal sanction for non-compliance; in the most obvious cases a “contact” group could be assigned to the appropriate person and to invite change of attitude and / or compensate in some way. All this in a framework of good communication, based on empathy and mutual understanding, and in order to prevent and minimize interpersonal conflicts.