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Meet Us
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Pare (Evi) Gerou Founder & Project Lead I am a Greek-American attorney specializing in refugee representation and a devoted mother to my son, Atticus. My love for Greece began during childhood summers on Lesvos. After earning my law degree from the University of Virginia Law School, I pursued a career in refugee law, serving in various roles, including Director of a Refugee Resettlement Agency, solo practitioner, Clinical Professor at University of Virginia Law School, and refugee adjudicator for USCIS. I spent five transformative years in the Touchstone cohousing community in the U.S., profoundly influencing my sense of belonging and community. Nearby cohousing villages of Great Oak and Sunward allowed me to gain knowledge of three different communities of different ages during these years. The experience inspired me to dedicate over a decade to better understanding cohousing and intentional community, visiting numerous communities, taking courses, and conducting research. My return to Greece during the 2015-18 refugee crisis rekindled my dream of retiring there. During the pandemic, I decided to merge my love for Greece and cohousing, creating Greek Village Cohousing. Starting with a website and an officially registered organization, I’ve worked to lay the foundation for an ideal location and land, of developers who understand, for membership who share common values, of sociocratic governance, and other foundations that create fertile ground for an intentional community. Now that we've got the land, developers and professionals, and other important foundations in place, in year three, our small seed group has begun to build community, create policies, and mold village culture. As Project Manager, I oversee the entirety of the project. Last year, I organized participatory design workshops and collaborated with our developers to create the opportunity for members to enjoy multiple trips to the land. There they collaborated in the design of our Common House, and on Zoom the group began to realize their vision. I continue promote to utilize and promote a best practices approach to our growth, using data from empirical studies and a researched and thoughtful approach so that we take advantage of all the wisdom that has come before us in this now decades old movement, and I am grateful for our many cohousing mentors who have helped me. We are now focused on sustainable features, climate change planning, and policy making. We enjoy planning our gardens, creating our conflict resolution plan, and beginning our sociocracy and NVC training. However, none of my work would have created the strong foundation for the group had it not been for our wonderful developers and advisor board members. Managing Partner Stavros Tampouglou, Visionary Partner Peter Eliopoulos whose land will become our home, and advisory board member Robert Peck have given us what we’ve needed to overcome many hurdles to make our dreams a reality. I am proud of our group's progress and the strong foundation I was able to lay with the help of our developers. From this foundation, our diverse, multigenerational seed group is crafting something extraordinary. The community is thriving, attracting skilled members who deeply value community, connection, community service and living sustainably. See our visions and values page to get a glimps of what drives this community. Together, we are now nurturing my initial vision and turning it into a flourishing community that embodies our shared values and aspirations.

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Miriam, Spiros, Anna, and Yannis, from Amsterdam and Greece We are a family of 4 (plus dog) with mixed roots living in Holland. Miriam is half Dutch, half Danish while Spiros is Greek. Anna our daughter will soon turn 18 and is finnishing high school in a few moths; after which she is ready to spend some time exploring the world before she wants to commit to a study. Our son Yannis will turn 16 this year and is a fanatic basketball player who loves seafishing. Spiros has a background in chemistry and is fortunate enough to be able to work mostly remote. He shares his main hobbies with his son. Miriam has a background in antropology and nursing and has worked mostly in mental health and community health settings. At the moment she is working in projectmanagement for ukrainian refugees. We spend as much time as possible in Greece, with the greek part of a family and friends. We have always had the intention to move to Greece at some point as we love the people, the way of life, nature, food, climate…oh well the whole deal I guess. Although we do not have a background in community living the concept appeals to us a lot and we have been envisioning this way of life for ourselves at some point in the future.

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Jenn from Austin, Texas Hi, I'm Jennifer Collman, and I'm excited to join the co-housing village! My husband & I have been interested in co-housing for over ten years, and I believe it's a great way to live more sustainably and connect with others. I'm married to my husband, Tom, and we've been together for 16 wonderful years. We have three adult children and four grandchildren. I'm also a QHHT Practitioner, Past Life Regression Hypnotherapist and a Reiki Master, so I'm a healer by trade. I love gardening and keeping chickens and goats. I also enjoy swimming, biking, hiking, and mountain climbing. I'm also a great cook and love wine. And I LOVE to dance! I'm passionate about being of service to others, and I'm excited to bring my skills and experience to the co-housing village. I believe that by working together, we can create a vibrant and sustainable community where everyone feels supported and connected.

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Tom From Austin, Texas Like many people, I first experienced social living in college. First in a dorm, then in a room rented in a house that I chose, and then in a house I rented and filled with housemates. I observed and learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, and fully expected this way of life to continue and expand. Then came a serious job and moving for work, relationships, marriage, kids… Family and work took over as primary and I didn’t think much about also exploring alternatives. I did put community at the top of the priorities for where to live and often chose a community first and then found a place to live. I think of these as augmented communities - great places and great people that bond together and support each-other, yet living in something designed by developers and city planners. When I reached the mutually-agreeable end to my tech career at the end of 2022 I set my priorities: Spend meaningful time in parts of the world that I love or have always wanted to visit, primarily the Mediterranean and SE Asia. Not just to have fun, but to observe how people live and spend lots of time reflecting on what I want. The Foundation for Intentional Community (IC.org) was an inspiration and we visited and learned from many amazing and welcoming communities. I did start with a month of snowboarding from Utah to Canada with my kids and friends. Explore ways to help in a very non-prescriptive way. I was fortunate to connect with Swiss Contact (www.swisscontact.org) and did two tours in the Balkans and one in Vietnam working with local companies and tech communities to promote growth and happiness through entrepreneurship. Figure out where we are going to make our “forever home”. Upon returning home from Asia in April of ‘24 I felt I had learned a lot and moved #3 to the top of the list. I knew that I wanted to join a great team with a compelling plan and not start from scratch. I found GVC and read everything I could find, talked a lot with Jen and signed up for our first orientation. I was immediately very impressed and excited by all the work that Evi (Pare) Gerou, the developers Stravos and Peter had done. It is an audacious vision, not just for our community, but as an inspiration to all for ways to live and find connection and meaning in this world. Both Jen and I are so excited to join this inspiring and exciting project and help make it a reality!

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Karl from San Diego Karl Gerth grew up in Chicago, went to college in Iowa, and has lived in China, Japan, Spain, and England. Currently, he is a Professor of Modern Chinese History at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He writes, teaches, and speaks on the history and contemporary implications of consumerism and capitalism, particularly the case of China. His books include Unending Capitalism: How Consumerism Negated China’s Communist Revolution and As China Goes, So Goes the World, which explores whether Chinese consumers can rescue the economy without creating even deeper global problems. After receiving his PhD from Harvard University in 2000, he taught at Oxford University until his move to UCSD in 2013. For fun, he likes to row, hike in the Colorado Rockies, cycle, and read non-fiction.

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Dennis from Cyprus Denise Demetriou grew up in Cyprus, and has lived in the US, UK, and Greece. She is currently Professor of Ancient Greek History at the University of California, San Diego. She teaches, writes, and speaks about the history of the Mediterranean region from a wide perspective that integrates the interconnected histories of Greeks, Phoenicians, Persians, and others who lived in the region. She is author of Phoenicians among Others: Why Migrants Mattered in the Ancient Mediterranean and Negotiating Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean: The Archaic and Classical Greek Multiethnic Emporia. She received her Ph.D. in Classics from Johns Hopkins University in 2005 and taught for nine years at Michigan State University before joining the History Faculty at UC San Diego. Together with Amalia Avramidou she co-led one of the summer seminars of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens in July 2022. She is currently working on another book on the anxiety ancient Greek authors express about relentless technological development and the necessity of humanistic values in achieving happiness and living a good life.

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Eleni & Paul, Canada Eleni and Paul first met in 2012 at a writers circle and solidified their budding relationship during a 200hr YTT (Yoga Teacher Training, recognized by the International Yoga alliance). Both earned their Sironami Ashtanga teaching Certification in 2013. Eleni later went on to complete several Nidra Yoga teaching modules from 2016-19, and added those to her repertoire. Before they married in 2013 (10 months after their first date!) - they both had a very deep entrepreneurial background. Eleni is a born & raised Calgarian, but earned her MBA in Paris in the mid-90s, moving to the Silicon Valley, USA to participate in the late-90s bubble there, before returning to home during the whole Y2K brouhaha. Paul, originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, moved to Calgary in the late-80s to take advantage of the job opportunities presented in this city. Utilizing his entrepreneurial experience as well, he created several valuable business and product opportunities. His love of politics, had him dabble in provincial party politics before ending up with the City of Calgary Roads Crew, where his career continues to flourish. Eleni, with her several languages and several degrees dabbled in the starut-up space in Calgary, working with IT companies, and art companies, as well as events companies, before deciding together with Paul to launch their dream company of Holistic Hellenic in 2018, launching with extreme success in Greece, bringing +50 yogis from across N.America and Europe together on the islands of Evia and Spetses for 3 very different immersive-style retreats, including Greek art & history, culture, agriculture & village life. Our goal was to provide our guests a wholly holistic experience in Greece. Plans were on to offer 3 more retreats in the Meteora and Sounio areas in 2020, with 50% sold out before we were shut down by the world-wide Covid19 pandemic, never to recover. Our company is currently on indefinite hiatus, ready to be resurrected whenever the time is right, most likely in a somewhat different iteration. Eversince, Paul continues to work at the City, and work on his writing, while volunteering with our local Community Association. Eleni, unfortunately, battled two separate bouts of Covid, which made her chronic auto-immune conditions much, much worse. Their goal is to retire in Greece, not only for improved health benefits, but mostly because Life is Life in the Land of the Gods.

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Advisory Board Member Robert William Peck, Canada Former Ambassador to Greece  Recently retired after 35 years with Global Affairs Canada, Robert Peck has held a variety of positions in Canada, Greece, and abroad. At Headquarters, these included Press Secretary and Departmental Spokesperson to two Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Chief of Protocol of Canada. He was Canada’s Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria from 2004 to 2007, and Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic and High Commissioner to the Republic of Cyprus from 2011 to 2015.  As Canada’s representative to both Algeria and the Hellenic Republic, former Ambassador Peck worked closely with the Canadian oil and gas and mining sectors. This involved advocacy at the ministerial and head of state/head of government levels and providing strategic advice on critical issues and emerging trends. Earlier in his career, he served in various diplomatic roles in Nigeria, Switzerland, and Greece. During a two-year leave of absence from the Government of Canada, Mr. Peck was Director of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at CAE Inc., the global leader in aerospace simulation technology. Throughout his diplomatic career, Ambassador Peck has been a strong supporter of cultural diplomacy and worked closely with leading Canadian and international artists and organizations.   As Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic he played a leading role in supporting the unprecedented and highly successful exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History in 2015: “The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great.” Mr. Peck was named in 2017 as an independent, non-executive member of the Board of Directors of Energean PLC, a leading independent oil and gas company in the Eastern Mediterranean. He is also actively involved in the voluntary sector as President of the Board of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra (OSO), a member of the Canadian Institute in Greece (CIG), and an Honorary Director of The Hellenic Initiative (Canada). He continues to be engaged with several charitable organizations in Greece, including a local non-governmental organization that provides a safe haven for refugee minors on the Greek island of Lesvos.In 2010, he agreed also to dedicate himself voluntarily to the Michaëlle Jean Foundation as Executive Director until 2020. Promise kept. The position will be opened next July. Former Ambassador Peck has received numerous awards including the Canadian Foreign Minister’s Citation for Foreign Policy Excellence, the Minister’s Merit Award, a Citation from the Fondation Club Avenir  for his exceptional contribution to Canada-Algeria relations, and the Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix conferred by the President of the Hellenic Republic.

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Karim and Harper from Toulous & DC Karim Is a musician from Toulouse, France. He has played various instruments and genres of music. With a DIY spirit he is an avid learner who has a love of Feldenkrais, kayaking and good food. He has been living in the United States of America for over 10 years now. Harper has an interest in film and the arts. She started her love of community as a student at a small Quaker farm school in Iowa . She has been a Riot Grrrl, poet, a baker, an artist and had various jobs over the years. She returned to the United States from France to care for her beautiful mother. Her film Angel Food was featured at numerous international festivals including the International San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Her writing was featured in Inga Muscio's award winning book Cunt: A Declaration of Independence. After her own health challenges she became even more interested in health and studied to become a Bioenergetic Health Coach, She continues to work on creative and film projects because she believes that creativity is an ntegral part of wellbeing.

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Wei & Daniel from Quanzhou, China & Ann Arbor USA Hi everyone, My name is Wei. I am a Chinese immigrant living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. This is my 8th year living in the US. Daniel and I are living at Touchstone Cohousing where Evi used to live, and this is our fourth year here. ‘It’s not always rainbow and unicorns’ as our neighbor shared with us, but community still has great value on many aspects. We are grateful for knowing Evi’s Greek Village Cohousing project through our marketing neighbor. I am a entrepreneur growing different varieties of micro greens for our 3 Cohousing community neighbors and local farm stop. Currently, I am attending Traditional Tibetan Medicine school for my first year, and my goal is to become a TTM doctor in the near future. In addition to Tibetan medicine, I like meditation, practicing Nejang Yoga, and learning Tibetan astrology. In my spare time, I also love studying about whole-food plant based nutrition, making meals with local and organic ingredients, studying diffident kinds of herbs, making herbal remedies for my family, and gardening. I hope to have a piece of land growing my own organic herbs and preserve them to help patients. Daniel and I both love sustainable organic way of living and traveling around the world, learn about other culture and other people. Greece is definitely our next destination for 2024! Hi everyone, I am Daniel. I currently work in IT, working a remote job at Amazon Web Services (AWS). When I am not working with technology or playing video games, I enjoy reading and learning languages. One of the things that excites me about Greece is the opportunity to grow a bunch of high quality, natural nutritious food.

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Vilma, Georgios, Aurora and Gabriel From Finland and Now Greece! The Karhu-Jopasin Family: Vilma, Georgios, Aurora and Gabriel The Karhu-Jopasin's are a family of four from Finland who just recently moved to Athens. Vilma and Georgios have two beautiful children, Aurora and Gabriel. Aurora is an active toddler who loves singing, dancing, climbing and counting in Finnish, English and Greek. Gabriel is a sweet, curious and calm 1-year old who is interested in learning more about the world around him.  Vilma has a degree in English  linguistics and has previously worked in university administration at Tampere University, focusing on exchange studies and international Master's degree programmes. She has been blessed to have had the opportunity to travel, study and work in different countries. She is now home with the kids and also works as a freelance translator (FI-EN) when she has time. She played volleyball for 16 years and has now taken up kickboxing. She also enjoys spending time in nature either hiking, downhill skiing or surfing (surfing skills are rusty though!). Among other things, Georgios (or Georgi) has a background working at the Finnish national broadcasting company YLE as a media journalist. Georgi is an entrepreneur-minded truth seeker and an observer of people. Due to his past at YLE and his curiosity to explore, he has been exposed to many things and has learned from those experiences a lot. He is now working remotely from home for a Greek company. On his free time he produces music or listens to podcasts. The family values natural approaches to health as well as strengthening a well-communicating and loving family unit. Second hand stores and relaxed jazz music on Saturday mornings are their thing. They also have experience in community building in Finland, where they were part of trying to set up two different types of communities. The first would have been a cohousing community in the Finnish archipelago and the second a commune for families with children located in the countryside. They are grateful for the lessons learned from their previous experiences and want to contribute to creating a safe, thriving and diverse multigenerational community in the Peloponnesos .

About Founder
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Diane Margolis is a founding member of Cambridge Cohousing where she has lived for more than twenty years. She is a former member of the Coho/US Board of Directors and co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Cohousing Research Network. She was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study 1980–1981. She has published many research articles, and her books include The Fabric of Self, which won Honorable Mention at the First Annual Book Award of the Eastern Sociological Society. She is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the Universityof Connecticut. She recently published "We Built a Village." The book describes the process of planning and building of an early cohousing community in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the way the people involved simultaneously built their homes and their social structure. As both a memoir and a sociological analysis that probes the differences between commons and markets, it is unique among books about cohousing. When this group of people began in the late 1990s to construct their cohousing community, they set in motion a counterpoint between the physical spaces and the social configurations that would guide their lives together, even up to creative responses to the recent pandemic.

Pare's Bio Here
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