Vale da Lama

The story of Mud Valley begins with the chance union of Walt and Nita. Walt, an enterprising American businessman, and Nita, a compassionate Portuguese social worker who is deeply committed to helping the homeless and families in need. United by a shared vision, they set out to make a positive mark on the planet and its people.

In 2005, their shared dream took root when they purchased a plot of land in the Algarve region and founded Quinta Vale da Lama. On this land, they created a sanctuary open to people from all walks of life. At its heart is a permaculture centre designed to support a holistic agricultural project that harmonises different forms of organic farming. Their vision goes even further, through educational internship programmes and a commitment to providing enriching, health-conscious living experiences.

This is the story of two different worlds and two divergent ideals coming together to make a profound impact and create a unique and compelling testament to social change and transformation.

Why is it regenerative?

The story of Mud Valley embodies the principles of regenerative tourism by creating a protected area that harmonises permaculture and organic farming and promotes sustainable agricultural practises and environmental protection.

Project partners met in Aveiro on the 14th and 15th of September 2023. It was the perfect opportunity to visit the destination with regenerative glasses on, to understand its many assets but also some of the challenges the destination is facing. Face to face project meetings always provide the partners with the unique opportunity to learn about the work of the hosting partner and get valuable insights about the destination. In this case partners were hosted by the dedicated team of management and tourism professionals of the University of Aveiro who shared a wealth of insights about a city that was new to many of the participants.

The Enforce project is well on track when it comes to the project work plan, which means that after having completed the Best Practice collection of innovative examples about storytelling for regeneration and also the Storyteller’s Guide, partners used the meeting to discuss the development of the Enforce Training Programme.

For the next few months partners will be working on developing the content in line with guidelines provided by the University of Usak, our project partner from Turkey.
The course should be available for piloting in January/February 2024 and will also be available in the partner languages once all translations are finalised.

The ENFORCE team met in the beautiful city of Luxembourg for its kick-off meeting. It took place at the premises of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg (also known as CCIL), which opened its doors to warmly welcome all partners.

The team was aware of the importance of this first meeting and approached it with the same enthusiasm, as it plays an important role in building strong bonds that will contribute to the success of the entire cooperation. With the common goal of building a solid foundation, the participants discussed in depth the first steps required for the project ENFORCE.

During this visit, the project objectives were discussed in depth to ensure that each partner has a comprehensive understanding of the overarching goals. The outcome of the kick-off meeting was extremely satisfying for all partners and generated enthusiasm among the team. It was a success and left everyone inspired and energised.

The journey of ENFORCE has officially begun and with the collective expertise of the committed partners, there is no doubt that it will thrive and achieve remarkable results.


“The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein”

Project N: 2022-1-LU01-KA220-VET-000089887

© 2024 Enforce Project
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