To explain the full history of our digital nomad community in Las Palmas, we have to go back to the Summer of 2018, when I first came to the island. If you have any pictures to share from these years, please send me a message on Slack.
In the years I have also given some local and international interviews about our community, I will add them to the timeline when I have located all of them.
Special thanks and love to everyone who has made this community what it is today!
2018 – November
The organisers of Coffees & Co-Working were planning to leave the island and asked me to take over. I was a bit hesitant, because I didn’t want to be the face of a meetup, but at the same time I didn’t want the meetups to stop, so I decided to go for it. From that day on, I organised the meetups every week and I discovered that I really enjoyed hosting the meetups and connecting people.
2019 – June
The coffees & co-working meetups were going very well, but I felt there was something missing: a 100% social meetup for every digital nomad in the city. Around Summer is when most digital nomads leave the island though (including me in 2019) so I waited a few more months before taking action.
2019 – October
Summer ended, lots of digital nomads arrived, I’m all settled in my new apartment so it’s time for the first digital nomads community meetup at Toma Pan Y Moja.
2019 – 2020 February
The first meetup was a big success and after trying several locations, we decide that Malasaña (a burgerbar at the time) was the best place for the meetups. Unfortunately I was always too busy chatting with everyone, so I don’t have pictures from those meetups. If you have any, please share!
One night, we were looking for an afterparty and we randomly found Imaginario. Back in 2019 karaoke was organised on Wednesday’s, so it was the perfect place to go to after Malasaña.
Wednesday was thé day to go out and meet digital nomads. We would be around 50 people every meetup, with most people coming every week.
2020 – March
Everything was going great and then: lockdown. Spain went into a very strict lockdown and we were only allowed to leave our house for grocery shopping. It was announced as a two week restriction, but ofcourse it was obvious from the start that this would go on for months.
On the first day of lockdown, Nacho Rodriguez asked me to help organise an online community event.
2020 – April
During lockdown I was living alone, so I had zero offline social interaction. I needed to connect with people online and I also realised then that I really love the community. I love bringing people together and I want digital nomads and everyone else to enjoy this island as much as I do.
So I asked community members who would want to help me organise virtual meetups during lockdown. Several people reached out and we had a weekly schedule with yoga, a support group, co-working sessions, creative meetups, karaoke and a social Friday night.
Looking back, this has been quite a special time, but something I hope we never have to go through again.
2020 – May
In May everyone was allowed to leave their house again and bars and restaurants were open as well. I organised a dinner for ten people at the terrace of Rockabilly’s and was completely overwhelmed by being surrounded by so many people and so many people talking at the same time. After two months of being locked up alone, I really needed some time to get used to people again. I think we all did.
2020 – June
In June I restarted the community meetups. Malasaña was not interested in hosting a group of 10-30 people, so the meetup would start directly at Imaginario.
Ofcourse the meetups were different, with limited capacity and mandatory sitting down, but I still remember the first meetup so clear and it was amazing. For most digital nomads this was their first social gathering since they arrived (in May or later) and it made me so happy to instantly see people connect and enjoy themselves.
2020 – July
After four meetups, I had to put the meetups on hold, because of a big increase in positive covid tests and increased restrictions. It didn’t feel right to gather so many international people from all over the world, especially since back then you didn’t have to test to enter a country.
2020 – October
After a break of a little over 2 months, I restarted our community meetups in October. With the limited capacity I needed a way to communicate to the community when the bar was full, so they wouldn’t come for nothing. That’s when I created a WhatsApp group.
2020 – November
The WhatsApp group was full within a few weeks so I needed a better solution. On November 24th I opened a Slack group which right from the start had around 200-300 daily active members.
It was only then that I realised that in the last two years I had been building towards this point. A digital nomads community in Las Palmas, for everyone. Yes, when I arrived there were already digital nomads here and meetups, but these meetups were usually organised by businesses like co-livings or co-workings. No one was trying to connect everyone and now I can proudly say that, looking back, it has been me.
2021 – January
The Slack community grew fast and it bothered me that it was always referred to as the Slack group. We are more than just a Slack group, we are a community! That’s when I decided to brand our community and after some brainstorming I came up with Live it up, Las Palmas!.
To live it up: ‘To spend one’s time in an extremely enjoyable way, typically by being extravagant or engaging in an exciting social life.’
2021 – June
Despite the extra features, the new platform unfortunately never reached the level of engagement like Slack did. So at the end of the month I decided it was time to bring Slack back to life.
The events calender and the informational content stayed active on Mighty Networks, but all community interaction would be on Slack.
2021 – September
The meetups in Imaginario would be full within minutes and most of the evening I spent sending people home. We just really needed a bigger bar. I spoke with the owner of Bar San Remo (and ofcourse with the owner of Imaginario) and decided to move the main meetup to Bar San Remo and keep a smaller meetup including karaoke at Imaginario.
2021 – December
All that time, I was still paying for Mighty Networks and I noticed more and more people would join, but less and less people read the articles or checked the events calendar.
The pandemic also seemed to start its final fase (fingers crossed) and I realised it’s time the world get’s to know Live it up, Las Palmas!. For that, it’s better to have a public website instead of a private community platform, so behind the screens I started to work on a website.
2022 – February
In February I (soft)launched the website www.liveitup-laspalmas.com and disabled the paid features from Mighty Networks (so I wouldn’t have to pay double). The main paid feature was the event calendar and that feature is now integrated in this website.
This website is a source of information for digital nomads who are on the island or are thinking about coming to the island. It’s also a way to find our community online. The Slack group is really meant for day to day communication within the community.
Oh, the new logo was also launched!
2022 – March
I believe our community is essential to enjoy the island to the fullest, so right now I want to focus on getting the word out and make everyone aware of Live it up, Las Palmas! and to make the sign up process for Slack easier.
For that reason, I have printed flyers to hang up in co-working spaces, co-livings, bars, cafés and other digital nomad hotspots. If you see the flyer, you know it’s approved by the community!
I still have a lot of ideas to make our community even better, but it’s work in progress. After all, Live it up, Las Palmas! is still a hobby project that got out of hand and I get my income from my services as an online advertising specialist. But it would be pretty awesome if one day I can quit that job and can focus fully on building and improving Live it up, Las Palmas!
Let’s wait and see at the end of the year which highlights I can add to this timeline!