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Institute of Permaculture EcoVida São Miguel

managed by M. Mattos

About us

Instituto de Permacultura EcoVida São Miguel
EcoVida in India:
Megh Pyne Abhiyan

* EcoVida = EcoLife *
Vida in portuguese means life. More than looking for ways to leave an ecological life, we understand these two words as interdependent. Thus, to preserve and enhance life, we must adopt ecological habits throughout our life.

The brazilian Institute of Permaculture EcoVida São Miguel works since 2002 to disseminate Permaculture, by developing collaborative projects, providing courses, researching and implementing ecological and alternative technologies in rural and urban spaces. Permaculture is a design system which combine ancestral knowledge with technological innovations, looking for minimizing the impacts, optimizing the use of resources and maximizing the positive results. It states that from observing the nature patterns, its perfect balance and cycles, we will find the ways for a more ecologic and balanced life in all aspects.

Our mission is to spread permaculture, so that it becomes increasingly well known and to collaborate with the adoption of more sustainable environmental habits. Therefore we created the institute to research, practice and disseminate Green ways to live. Therefor, "environment" not only means the preservation of the external habitat, but also the cultivation of positive social relationships, the respect for all forms of life and the search for spirituality and inner peace.

Currently, we have developed ecological experiences in the city and in the countryside, creating and implementing alternative techniques in the areas of green building; ecological sanitation; waste treatment, management and recycle; green roofs; rain water harvesting; agroecology; organic composts; water filters; herbal and homeopathic medicine; social art; solidarity economy; collaborative work; among others. Furthermore, we value and disclose the importance and biodiversity of the biome Cerrado (Brazilian Savana), which is so vast, rich and little known.

This expertise is shared through permaculture courses and practical activities developed in different parts of Brazil and in EcoVida's three reference centers in Minas Gerais district. It has being done by a group of co-workers and friends with common aspirations and different backgrounds - permaculture, environmentalists, engineers, farmers, educators, artists, designers, geologists, doctors, musicians, photographers, lawyers, students, and people without formal education but a lot of practical knowledge. It is precisely this diversity and the decentralized management of EcoVida that enriches and strengthens our work, allowing us to act on several fronts with serious and tangible results.

Since 2012, EcoVida is also sharing its learnings and experiences in Asia.


The project EcoVida in India started with the purpose to share the experience of the Institute EcoVida in Brazil and to support the work of the network Megh Pyne Abhiyan (MPA), which works to address the issues of water and sanitation in the flood prone areas, in regions of extreme poverty at north Bihar, India.

In 2012, Mariana was invited to presented the practices of EcoVida of collective work for implementing ecological systems withing the liders of the five organizations and withing the villagers of Rupwaliya, in Bihar. This had significant results and was the seed for what was about to become a project.

In 2013, it was more than 6.000km travelled to visit around 20 rural communities in five districts of Bihar, during one month of work and many learnings to all involved.

It started with a training on Collective Intelligence and Action for implementing Ecological Sanitation technologies and building capacity on tools for participatory ways of actions and community mobilization. And then we went on an expedition through villages assisted by the network to give Practical Workshops on Eco-solutions for water and sanitation, such as Natural Systems for Water Treatment, Organic Compost Systems, Dry Toilets, etc.

After this, EcoVida in India was invited to became a official partner organization of the network MPA, being the only foreigner organization to be part of it.


In 2013, 3 documentaries were done by the television serie Meu Planeta, with Igor Cerri, showing the ecological practices of EcoVida's reference center of Permaculture located in Lapinha da Serra, in Minas Gerais. Link:


Objectives of the organisation:

I - promotion and performance in the following areas: environment, education, socio-cultural, solidarity economy, livelihood, social assistance, natural health and human development;

II - Implementation and development a center of reference in Permaculture, through studies, experiences and ecological practices of permaculture;

III – Create and develop centers of reference for social, cultural, educational and environmental practices, to assist and inspire the local communities of urban and rural areas;

IV - Research, create, disseminate, perform, assist and coordinate the implementation of sustainable solutions, promoting the preservation and restoration of the environment and the natural resources, conserving the biodiversity in urban and rural areas.

V - To encourage and support the full exercise of citizenship through education in its broadest sense, to improve the quality of life of the supported population;

*Permaculture is a design system which combine ancestral knowledge with technological innovations, looking for minimizing the impacts, optimizing the use of resources and maximizing the positive results. It states that from observing the nature patterns, its perfect balance and cycles, we will find the ways for a more ecologic and balanced life in all aspects.*

Permaculture Ethics:

Caring for Earth
Caring for People
Equitable sharing of resources and surpluses

Latest project news

Construction of Dry Toilet at Barefoot College, India

  M. Mattos  23 September 2013 at 03:19 PM

In the beginning of september we visited this amazing project on the Eco-solution Expedition. Barefoot College is located in Rajasthan, India, in a semi-desert area. The communities of this region live with the problem of water scarcity and open defecation.

During our visit we made a presentation on “Eco-sanitation systems and solutions” to members of Barefoot College and from the community.

After this workshop and some meetings, together we decided about the implementation of a Dry Toilet system, which has being used in other parts of India and incorporates the cultural need of a compartment for washing after use, since toilet paper is not used. This will help the acceptance of this new model of toilet, since the Dry Toilet brings a new concept on its use.

The Dry Toilet system is a very interesting solution, specially for a place with scarcity of water like Rajasthan.

Now we are working on a material about the construction, use and maintenance of the Dry Toilet System in Rajasthan-India.

We wish this eco-solution keep spreading around that place as a way to save safe drinking-water!!

To support new constructions of the Dry Toilet in Rajasthan, contribute to the project The Eco-Solution Expedition!

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Toa, s/n
Lapinha da Serra

M. Mattos

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