Transition meeting in Zarzalejo

The transition town movement in Spain received a boost recently with the first national Transition Town meeting held in April on the outskirts of Madrid. The event brought together nearly 150 people from transition groups all over Spain as well as others working on green projects and sustainable development. Ana Blanco, from Coín en Transición, a local transition group, recounts some of her experiences of the weekend.

Starting things off on Friday was a round of introductions from each visiting transition group and each one presented a poster they had made representing their vision of transition in their area. The poster for Coín received lots of attention for the work we had done on the local currency and the local farmers’ market. Jerez, Bilbao, Zarzalejo (where the gathering was held), Valencia and Santiago also did presentations. There were opportunities to take part in role plays and discussions about the meaning of transition and the day ended with a screening of Transition 2.0, presented by Emilio Mula, one of the film makers who will be visiting Coín in May

Saturday and Sunday were full of different workshops to choose from, so the day was spent moving from one interesting activity to another. There were plenty to choose from including talks on peak oil, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), how Transition Towns function and wakening consciousness, as well as practical workshops on sustainability and organizing networks. Coín in Transition’s Rocio Madreselva gave a concert on Saturday evening, but otherwise there was not much chance to relax with the busy schedule they had organized.

On balance the feedback was very positive and there was interest to do it again. There is a need to develop communication between transition groups so that each one doesn’t have to ‘invent the wheel’ each time. It was apparent that development of a particular group depended totally on the availability and commitment of the members of that group, and that this could be improved in all the groups that took part. On the whole there was a great personal richness and human quality among the participants and a lot of emotional contact in the talks, debates and rest time. From an organizational point of view, with our resources and facilities, and with the interest in Coin’s initiative, it could be quite possible to organize a similar gathering in Coin next year.


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