How I opened a rural coliving and coworking space in Spain

The beginning of a rural coliving in Spain

I think the story about the opening of Anceu Coliving is worth telling. Not because I came up with the idea, but because of what people have told me so far.

Almost two years ago, a lot of news talking about the fact that a lot of Galician villages were getting abandoned and empty came into my hands. So I started to think about opening a rural coliving and coworking space in my region, Galicia, as an economic engine to rebuild and reconstruct a village.

After months of searching, I ended up just finding two places that were kind of what I was looking for. The first one is an amazing 9000 square meters oak forest with 6 old buildings to be restored. The second one, a 3000 square meters rebuilt village. I did my numbers, and even the restored buildings one was more expensive, on the oak forest one everything had to be rebuilt and it’d take me ages to actually open (plus the fact of the hustle of rebuilding).

So, after talking about it with my family and friends, I did make the decision to pick the restored one. I offered to the owner what I thought it’d work out for both parties, and she agreed, so, I kind of started what today is Anceu Colivinga rural coliving and coworking space in Galicia.

Anceu coliving aerial view

Negotiations and opening preparation

The negotiations took part in November, and we signed by the end of January. So, I could start with the project by the beginning of February. I signed everything needed at the beginning of February, and one month after… COVID happened.

In the beginning, I gotta say that I was pretty down because of the situation, because my idea was to open on May 1st, and everything got delayed. But being as optimistic as I usually am, I just got the positive part. More and more people will work remotely in the following years. I’ll have more time now to prepare the space for the opening.

After a couple of months of COVID, I set a soft launch date ( July 1st ), imitating Cloud Citadel idea. With a contest where people had to send a one-minute video telling why they had to be one of the first colivers in Anceu. I ended up inviting over 40 people from all around the globe. Thanks to them we’d get all the needed feedback and fix the last time things.

Meeting Arroelo community

In the meantime, I got a visit from Arroelo people, which had contacted me through Instagram. We thought of inviting #ArroeloFamily to Anceu before the soft launch, where I had the chance to fix several things that people saw.

The experience of the soft launch was amazing, and actually reinforced the idea that I just had. It was possible for people to enjoy Galicia’s nature while working remotely. I understood that community is so important for this kind of space. After several fixes in the space, daily operations, and logistics, Anceu coliving was ready to open.

On August 1st I officially opened, with bigger success than expected. Several bookings in August (mostly from my own network), and expecting people until the end of September.

Now, weeks after the official opening I’ve learned a lot of things about being a house manager in a coliving space. I’ll explain them in another post in the future, with the evolution of the management of the space.

I hope you enjoyed the article and follow me for future posts.

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