by Tim Willmott : Be the first to leave a comment
The pioneers of Gaviotas have already created a legend – a flourishing community within some of the most desolate terrain in the Andes. Inspired by the original vision of Paolo Lugari, a group of professors, students and technicians came together in 1971, taking up the challenge of creating a sustainable and self-reliant community within some of the most barren and brutal landscapes on earth.
Ground-breaking innovations have included hydroponic techniques to grow food in poor soil; wind turbines that convert mild tropical breezes into electricity; solar panels that work in the rain; ultra-efficient pumps which tap deep aquifers and can be powered by children’s see-saws.
The success of Gaviotas has been recognised around the world, making it a role model for sustainability and alternative technologies. ‘Elsewhere they’re tearing down the forest,’ says Lugari, founder of the community. ‘Here we’re putting it back. If we can do this in Colombia, there’s hope that people can do it anywhere.’
Las Gaviotas website (in Spanish)
Friends of Gaviotas website (English)
Gaviotas – A Village to Reinvent the World, Vermont, USA: Chelsea Green Publishing Co.