Rural coworking in Ponte Caldelas, Pontevedra.

Coworking rural en Ponte Caldelas, Pontevedra como dinamizador de áreas rurales.​

Characteristics of a rural coworking

As with most things in life, there is no exact definition of coworking requirements. Some people will tell you only about events; others will emphasize a specific type of community. Some will even say that a good chair and a table are enough.

After my years of travelling, I removed working and having the opportunity to visit numerous coworking spaces. So, I was very aware of what I was looking for.

The things I valued the most were a reasonable internet speed and the community. First, the reasons, although they may seem obvious, were that to do my work as a programmer, I depend on the internet speed of the place. Secondly, the coworking spaces where I have felt more comfortable have been the ones with a solid and welcoming community.

Community events with Erasmus participants
Community events with Erasmus participants

Rural coworking in Ponte Caldelas. Áurea Telecom​

Even though the initial idea of Anceu was not to open a rural coworking, it has finally ended up being that as well as the rural coliving that it is.

To achieve what I just mentioned, some issues depended directly on the location chosen and issues that did not.

Regarding the internet speed, the location is super important. Unfortunately, there are not many rural places in Galicia with broadband internet. This aspect greatly limited the background because I either installed internet via 4G or satellite, or the sites with broadband internet in rural areas were minimal. This will not be a problem in the future, thanks to projects like StarLink. But as long as these projects are not generalized, the fact of having broadband or not is critical for these types of projects.

Thanks to Áurea Telecom, I decided to start this project in Ponte Caldelas, as this company has installed fibre optics in every village in the town.

Finding a place in this village solved one of coworking spaces’ significant issues: internet speed. In Anceu, I had this, so all that was left was to make my installation of repeaters on the property. With that, the colivers and coworkers could have access anywhere in the space. So I did, and with this, plus adding tables and comfortable chairs, I wrapped up one of the parts that were important, from my point of view, for the opening. 

Comunidad en un espacio de coworking rural​

From my point of view, the community is another of the most critical issues in a coworking space. I didn’t think about this part too much, as I believed, and still believe, that although there is hard work in the person managing the community, that person has to be more of a facilitator than a creator. 

In addition, there is the fact that Anceu, besides being a rural coworking in Ponte Caldelas, is also a rural coliving. Therefore part of the people residing in the space already makes a community; there is no total dependence on coworking. However, this also means that the work of the community creation or facilitation team is reduced.

Local community iteration​

Although the opening of Anceu Coliving was less than a year ago, and I am not originally from this area, thanks to the local hospitality, we have already had the opportunity to generate ties with different groups of people.

Perhaps the strongest and most personal bond has been with the young community in this area. It mainly encompasses the municipalities of A Lama, Ponte Caldelas, and Fornelos de Montes. This young community is very active from my point of view. For example, they have allowed us access to a group of ecological consumption and different tasks of deseucalyptization, or Anceu has been the space that has hosted activities of various k ends such as “stroke and movement”.

Anceu Village
Anceu Village

Relations between rural and urban coworking spaces​

As it could not be otherwise, I could not but comment on something that, from my point of view, is super important. The relationship between rural and urban coworking spaces. It may seem that having high-speed internet, comfortable workspaces, and community is enough, but it is not.

The fact that there are links between urban and rural communities further enriches each of the spaces and their communities. For this reason, Anceu Coliving has a collaboration agreement with Espacio Arroelo so that coworkers from both areas can work either in Anceu or Arroelo.

Anceu and Arroelo communities working together
Anceu and Arroelo communities working together

Conclusions of opening a rural coworking​

Opening a coworking space in rural areas involves several decisions before and after the opening. It is clear that, like everything else, there are a thousand ways to do it, but I believed it was important to share this theme so that more people could carry out these initiatives, which are crucial for rural areas.

I hope you have enjoyed it, and we are waiting for you at Anceu coliving when you want to visit a rural coworking.

Beautiful corners of Anceu Coliving after rain
Beautiful corners of Anceu Coliving after rain

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