Quantcast
Papito at La Caleta. All photos by Nicolás Rodríguez Crespo.

The Modern-Day Hippy Commune On a Remote Spanish Beach

Guillermo Rodríguez

Just miles from the centre of Tenerife's booming tourism strip, 20 people have are living as basic a life as possible.

Papito at La Caleta. All photos by Nicolás Rodríguez Crespo.

This article originally appeared on VICE Spain

Tenerife, Spain's most populous island, attracts millions of tourists a year, there for guaranteed sun and hangovers. But just a few miles up the coast from lobster-pink Brits in unflattering sandals you'll find a group of people who value a very different way of life.

The island's La Caleta beach is home to a hippy commune whose inhabitants have chosen to live with as few possessions as possible, embracing a simple existence with the aim of being at one with nature. The majority of the commune's residents live in homes built into the rock face itself, while some have pitched up on the beach.

In September, photographer Nicolás Rodríguez Crespo travelled to La Caleta to meet and document the lives of the people who call the beach home. There, he got to know Brigitte and her three children; Fernando, an IT graduate who moved to Tenerife after realising his work for a large company was "based on destroying the planet"; and La Caleta's longest resident, Papito, who has lived in the commune for 35 years.

Scroll down to see more photos from the La Caleta hippy commune.

Many of the residents live in caves built into the rock face.
Brigitte moved into the commune a year ago. She says she loves the community spirit and how everyone comes together to help each other out. Some of her neighbours assist in homeschooling her three children.
Brigitte's son.
Fernando says he wouldn't swap his basic, electricity-free life for the crazy excesses of the tourists pumping their money into Tenerife's restaurants, clubs and hotels. For him, they're the ones who have lost a sense of reality.
Brigitte.
The commune attracts people from around Europe. Some only stay a short time just to get a break from their busy routines.