The Mesa Life Project announces the launch of a Community Lending Program: a unique loan program that puts your money to work building a future in harmony with the Earth. An intentional community in deep relationship with its land base, we seek visionary lenders inspired to finance not simply the construction of earthen homes but an Earth-honoring way of life. Please join us in transforming the status quo into full-spectrum sustainable living.
THE VISION: The Mesa Life Project is a residential community bonded by a shared reverence for the lands in which we dwell. We are a demonstration project that leads and teaches by example, integrating natural building, renewable energy, permaculture master planning and land conservation, along with cooperative living, ceremony, and public service, into a sustainable way of life. Connected by a common set of values and vision, plus the shared, regular practice of gratitude, we are a spiritual community even as individual members follow a diversity of spiritual traditions. Through our non-profit Full Circle Living, we provide public programs in healing, education, and spirituality designed to deepen participants’ sense of community, place, and the Sacred.
THE MONEY: We seek adventurous people of all financial means who want to know how, where, and what their money is doing—and with whom. The Community Lending Program offers an alternative to stocks, bonds and money markets and instead an opportunity to align your resources with your values and vision.
Our goal is to raise $750,000 through loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.
THE LATEST: With many years of planning completed, the project is now ready to break ground. Mesa Life, LLC owns 80 acres of beautiful, high desert land in Western Colorado on the shoulder of the Grand Mesa. To date, we have invested approximately $300,000 into the acreage, a small council house, a well, and development of ceremonial grounds. Financing is needed to complete construction of a one-mile gravel driveway and to build two three-bedroom, 2400-square-foot, off-grid dwellings. All units will be constructed with local, natural materials and feature premier passive-solar design, solar electricity and hot water systems, masonry heaters, and rainwater catchment systems.
Why Community Lending?
For investors and entrepreneurs alike, the world has changed. We are following the lead of other successful communities who bypassed the financial industry and went directly to the grassroots for their fiscal needs. Instead of engaging centralized banks, we are reaching out to friends, family, and allies to accumulate many small and some larger private loans to finance the construction of MLP homes. Community lending is an alternative that connects investors and builders in a direct and personal relationship that benefits both.
For investors, Community Lending offers the opportunity to receive not only a return on your investment but the gratification of supporting community-building projects in which you believe. Unsatisfied with both the risks and rewards of stocks and bonds, mutual funds, or even CDs and money markets, today many investors are divesting from large corporations and instead investing in communities where they know what their money is doing.
For borrowers, while traditional sources of capital like bank loans are increasingly scarce, funding for non-conventional, creative developments that champion community over individualist values are virtually non-existent. Projects like ours that don’t easily meet the expectations and assumptions of mainstream financial institutions depend, instead, on peer networks of community-based lenders.
Finally, for both investors and builders, Community Lending humanizes financial support. While most economic activity creates commodities, Community Lending creates community. Exchange transpires between equal and interdependent partners who share a common vision, reap common rewards, and develop lasting personal relationships.
Why Mesa Life Community Lending?
From small, rural communes to large, urban co-ops, all forms of “intentional community” strive for sustainability and some identify it as a primary goal. Thankfully, there is an increasing array of tools and technologies available to homebuilders today to reduce their ecological footprint and conserve natural resources.
However, while we welcome and utilize many of these solutions, we do not see the environmental crisis as fundamentally a matter of technological innovation. Guided by traditional wisdom from around the world, we understand sustainability as simply a by-product of right relationship with the natural world. Shamanic in our worldview, we experience the whole world as alive and attempt to tend respectfully to the entire matrix of human and non-human beings upon whom we depend.
We believe that a balanced relationship with the natural world can only be achieved through a deepened sense of community—with each other and the nonhuman world. We call this “Deep Community” and have formed the Mesa Life Project as a practical demonstration of this ancient and enduring wisdom. Ultimately, we approach the cultural imperative of today not as a technical problem of innovation but as a spiritual opportunity for transformation.
How It Works
The Mesa Life Community Lending Program (CLC) is a Revolving Loan program. This means that, while amortized at 30-years just like traditional mortgages, loans may include a balloon payment requiring full payoff after an agreed amount of time (5 years, for example.) The loan is either paid off or renegotiated and extended another period of time—hence, a “revolving” loan. In most cases, loans will revolve through multiple cycles and effectively resemble a 30-year mortgage.
For the investor, the balloon payment ensures that if your financial circumstances change, you can claim your return in the short- rather than long-term.
For the Mesa Life Project, 30-year loans provide the affordability we require.
Terms: The terms of each loan are fully negotiable. We seek to be flexible and craft agreements with each lender that are mutually beneficial, satisfying, and practical. Most loans will be between $5,000-$100,000, amortized at 30 years, at 0-5% interest, and perhaps with a balloon payment. Depending on their needs, some lenders might require shorter or longer balloon period for pay off, while others will want simple rather than compound interest.
Legal: We will negotiate a legal contract with each lender, outlining the amount being loaned, for how long, at what interest rate, and any other additional terms.
Security and Payback: Loans are made to Mesa Life, LLC under the Community Loan Program (CLP). Loans are considered unsecured which means they are not attached to the Mesa Life, LLC property in county records. In the event that the LLC may dissolve and the property is sold, our lenders will share an “equal second” position.
The lender is paid quarterly by ML, LLC from revenue generated through rental income, promissory notes on mortgages from our members, new loans and financial gifts received, or some combination of the above.
The “Vision Dividend”
Cultural transformation doesn’t grow from the top down: not from Government, Business, or any other mainstream power. Today, as always, the source of change is in the grassroots, in the understory, in the hearts and minds of everyday people impassioned to “be the change.”
We invite you to consider with us our vision of Deep Community and assess your own enduring sense of purpose. Do you seek to promote community development that goes beyond mere technical ingenuity? Do you believe humility, commitment, and courage might be more important than even virtuoso innovation in sustainable living? Do you see your descendants living lives of abundance? Have you noticed that the oldest living civilizations on Earth all live in balance with the natural world?
The real value of money is found in what it can do to provide for the urgent needs for cultural change—change toward lifestyles that affirm the sacredness of the Earth and all its inhabitants. We ask you to join our network of allies bringing to life sustainable living rooted in traditional wisdom. Your participation will extend the old ways in a new era and build enduring, Deep Community—from the ground up, and for generations to come.
It takes a village to raise a village.