• Dan Buettner of the Blue Zones stated that Environment is more important than Genetics in terms of Longevity.  
  • We are creating a certain environment with routines & programs that promote longevity.  
  • No more fighting the household to eat or exercise, just follow the daily flow of a zen temple.   
  • Follow morning routines of exercise & meditation that increase health
  • Minimalism of keeping precious belongings that have meaning,
  • Building lasting friendships through daily connections of shared task of gardening & meal preparation.



  • One hour work per day requirements. 
  • Weekly meal preparation by two person teams. 
  • 50% participation of weekly field trips
  • Daily Portuguese language classes
  • Weekly longevity readings discussions
  • Daily household meeting



Intentional Community

Research shows that people who live in intentional communities have a quality of life as high as the happiest people in society

A group of people who have chosen to live together, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their core values.



Core Values

At the Vila of the Golden Mermaid, we focue on Food, Travel and Longevity.


  • Flexitarian Diet of 80% Plant Based
  • Community Dinner 6 Days a Week
  • 2 Person Team makes meal on rotation
  • Grow food in Garden
  • Intermittent Fasting from 8pm to Noon
  • Foodie exploration of new food ideas
  • Guest Chef Program


  • Weekly Field Trips
  • Included use of 2 house cars
  • One off the island trip each month
  • 50% attendance of trips
  • Each resident plans a different trip
  • Out of the country trips every quarter
  • Baggage store & mail forwarding service
  • Return Room Program


  • Following the Blue Zone Principles
  • 20 years of research by Dan Buettner
  • National Geographic Explorer Program
  • 6 best selling books
  • Successful Netflix’s mini series
  • 9 Core principles from 6 longest lived communities in the world
  • Weekly Longevity Book Reading to get everyone on the same page, rotates Monthly

Habits Make a Life

  • Hard to break life long bad habits
  • Easier to create new habits when you move to a brand new location
  • Going with the flow of house hold that has health routines built into its structure is almost effortless
  • Environment is more impactful than genetic for longevity

After dinner today, we hold the weekly meeting to go over tomorrows weekly field trip, as well as begin planning for the following weeks field trip.  Like everything, each person in the house hold is in charge of a a field trip on a rotating basis.  Once a month, the field trip is off the island of Sao Miguel.  We visit the other islands in the Azores 65% of those times and go somewhere international 35% of the time.  We are required to participate in at least half of all events, so no one is forced to do anything they don’t want to do. We try to avoid doing the same thing more than once a year on this small island.  Good thing there is more than one beach, thermal hot springs and volcano to hike on in this beautiful paradise.


After the meeting we have dancing, we are choreographing a sword dance that we plan on doing at the Mermaid and Pirate Parade in two months.  This is the big event the household is putting on as our local community outreach event.  We are adding a fun event to this sleepy little village, which will attract tourism into the local economy.  We have coordinated with the local government and other community groups.  Instead of just passively watching TV every night, we participate in different activities, yesterday was board game night.


We follow many of the principles listed in the Blue Zone program designed to promote longevity, but we have changed some of the ideas to fit our needs. We are in charge of the monthly household budget and how it gets spent.  $600 per person per month community fee pays for food, supplies, utilities, and transportation. The rent goes up and down based on the season.  So I only have to worry about budgeting for lunch, travel and personal items.  The Villa of the Golden Mermaid follow minimalism, which is to go all out on a few items of high quality that make you really happy and minimize everything else.  It sort of like a lite version of living in a Monastery without the religion, poverty, or chastity vows.

Day in the Life of

Wake up to the birds chirping at 7am, along with everyone else in the household. Half an hour later, we are all engaged in the morning routine of stretching, exercising and meditation. Some people have their own individual routines, but I follow the main group.  I have never followed a morning routine or a continuous exercise program.  I always made a new year’s resolution to be more fit, but it never lasted more than one month.  Now that I go with the flow of the household, it feels normal to get all the good physical activity started in the morning.


Afterward we have breakfast of a fresh brewed tea made on the island.  I am part of the intermittent fasting group which only eats from noon to 7 pm.  This gives my body a rest from digestion.  I was borderline diabetic, so this is one of the many healthy things I am doing to increase my longevity. It is so much easier to follow health routines when everyone else to doing the same thing, or at least no one is questioning why you are doing something strange.  Like everything, the first two weeks are a bit difficult, but now I don’t even miss breakfast anymore.

I am planning to take a 3 month trip to the Far East in 6 months. I can keep half my belongs in storage here, and get a room back when I return.  They will even forward my mail that gets delivered here.  This becomes my home base for traveling the world. There is one guest room that is rented out primarily to friends and family of those who live here permanently. It is rented out one week at a time to whomever makes the reservation first.  If no friends or family have rented out the space 2 months in advance, it gets rented to potential residents.


I really love soaking in the hot tub at night right before going to bed.  The weather is perfect for 9 months of the year. The beds are super comfortable and we avoid computers or TV screens one hour before bedtime as part of our go to sleep routine. Everyone needs to be in bed by midnight, there are no late night parties here.  I used to have trouble falling a sleep but now it’s much easier.  I didn’t think that a change in the environment would affect my life and health in such a benefit way in a few months.

I have never been into gardening, but now find it relaxing to take care of plants.  I am picking some vegetables that we will be using for tonight’s dinner.  I am the main cook today, along with Jill who will be my assistant.  It will be time to use the house hold car to go to the local farmers market to pick up foods that we don’t grow.  Shared expenses of community property allow us to have high quality items at a reduced cost, because items are split 8 ways instead of just one.  It’s more environmentally friendly as well.  Lots of magical things happen through this CoLiving community design that I didn’t have to figure it out.  I just follow the routine and it helps myself, the environment and the local community.


Since we are shopping at the market, we are going to miss the after lunch Portuguese language class.  Twice a week we have a language instructor work with our group.  I also listen to the Pimsleur audio course for 30 minutes each day during the morning walk. Even though the entire household speak English, everyone is making an effort to learn the language so we can communicate with the locals better.  We have placed Portuguese labels on all the objects in the house and we try to speak only Portuguese from noon to 6pm.


Everyone shares in cooking the group dinner, we have 4 men and 4 women in the villa. There is a main cook who determines the menu and an assistant to help.  I was not really a strong cook at first, but having an experienced cook with me really helped the first few time around. It is so much better to cook in a team of two instead of by yourself and it keeps me from burning dinner. I have always been a foodie. Adventurous, trying new things to eat, but now I am exploring the cooking side of being a foodie. Everyone is always trying new dishes out so it’s like going to a restaurant every night. I never really like cooking for myself, but cooking for others bring out a shared experience of serving others who enjoy your efforts.  Only having to do it every 4 days, it’s not the chore it would be when you have to cook everyday.


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