I’ve been living in Prado del Rey for over 8 years now. It started as a three month trip. The plan was for Lidiya to volunteer for a while, and do a yoga teacher training, then we’d see where we should go next. Now, we are happy parents to a two year old little girl, bought the lovely apartment we live in, and I just opened up a coworking space.
Needless to say, we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. At least as far as I can see for now.
La Colmena Coworking
The coworking idea came up with a friend of mine, Francesco, who lives in the same village. He also works remotely and wanted to get out of the house to better separate work and family live.
I’ve always been pretty content working from home, but with our little girl coming along, I anticipated it would be healthy in many respects to be able to get out of the house to work. As much as I love her super cute interruptions, I do need to get work done. Also, working, but closing a door when she’s at home, or explaining several times I’m working feels like I’m ignoring her, or not giving her my full attention out of disinterest. Meaning she might think my work is more important, or she’s a bother to me. If I’m not around, that can’t happen. And then it’s extra exciting to see her when I am home, and haven’t seen her for a few hours, and can give all my attention.
Anyway, I was sold on the idea. We briefly considered just renting a small room somewhere for ourselves, but both agreed setting up a coworking seemed like fun. A fun project, somewhere fun to work, and hopefully somewhere that others would love to come and work. To get out of the house, to stop by while travelling through the area. We wanted to build a place people can work, relax, chat, share ideas, a place to organise classes and workshops. I want to offer kids programming classes. Another potential coworker wants to offer adult web development classes. So we started planning.
All in all it took us about a year to find a good location. When we finally found the place it was scheduled to undergo renovations. Those were expected to take about three months, but ended up taking nine. But, we had the benefit of working from a small room, that would eventually become our meeting room, while all the construction was going on around us. So we have a mini-coworking from the start.
Renovations were finally done coming in to summer 2022 and we could start preparing the space. We had so much help from so many people. A very special mention to Cristina, who did almost all of the amazing interior design. It was very fitting to have so much collaboration going into launching a project that we hope will be the start of many future collaborations.
What’s a coworking?
So what’s this project all about. Coworking spaces are usually open plan offices, where you can come rent desk space. We have what we call permanent desks for people who want to come full time. And some hot desks, space for people to rent per day or week. Where you just come, see what desk is free and get to work. You need to pack up your stuff at the end of the day, and only have access to the space during office hours. A permanent desk on the other hand means you get your own key, can be in the space literally anytime, and can leave your stuff.
We also have a meeting room, that can be booked by anyone, even if you’re not working in the space. A kitchen (with good coffee), and a small chill area. Those are coworking essentials. And we have great wifi needless to say. Prado del Rey is lucky to have fibre optic internet.
So if you work from home, are a digital nomad working on the road, or an entrepreneur, a coworking space might be for you.
We’re also hoping creating a space like this might show that smaller places like villages are real alternatives to living in a big city, for working, for starting many types of businesses. It’s so much cheaper to live, encourages a lower stress lifestyle, you’re closer to nature. It has a lot going for it, and the digital infrastructure is here to support it.
Although our doors are already open if you want to stop by, we’re having an official opening event on November 3, 2022, at 6pm. And let’s see what happens. Now, I have a substantial list of promotional tasks to continue with, but with the little marketing we’ve already done, we’ve gotten inquiries and even had our first coworker come for a day last week, so I’m excited and hopeful!