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Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World
     

Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World

5.0 1
by Alan Weisman
 
The eastern savannas of war-ravaged Colombia, known as the llanos, are among the most brutal environments on earth, an unlikely setting for one of the most hopeful environmental stories ever told. Here, more than twenty-five years ago, an intrepid visionary named Paolo Lugari set out to create a village that could sustain itself agriculturally, economically, and

Overview

The eastern savannas of war-ravaged Colombia, known as the llanos, are among the most brutal environments on earth, an unlikely setting for one of the most hopeful environmental stories ever told. Here, more than twenty-five years ago, an intrepid visionary named Paolo Lugari set out to create a village that could sustain itself agriculturally, economically, and artistically. He reasoned that if a community could survive in the Colombian llanos, it would be possible to live anywhere. The new village was named after the graceful river terns common to the area, los gaviotas.

The early inhabitants of Gaviotas soon realized that if they wanted even basic necessities, they would need to be very resourceful. So they invented wind turbines that convert mild breezes into energy, super-efficient pumps that tap previously inaccessible sources of water, and solar kettles that sterilize drinking water using the furious heat of the tropical sun.

They even invented a rain forest! Two million pine trees planted as a renewable crop have unexpectedly allowed the rain forest to re-establish itself. Paolo Lugari and the Gaviotans, in their quest to create a model human habitat, serendipitously renewed an entire ecosystem. Perhaps this is why Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez has referred to Lugari as "The Inventor of the World."

The story of Gaviotas is told by Alan Weisman, a veteran correspondent and part of a team of journalists who in 1994 were funded by the Ford Foundation to document solutions to the world's greatest environmental crises. His search led him to war-torn, drug-ravaged Colombia, and the miracle of Gaviotas. Weisman's original report was heard on National Public Radio byChelsea Green editor, Jim Schley, who recognized similarities between the story of Gaviotas and Jean Giono's classic fable The Man Who Planted Trees, the book that launched Chelsea Green twelve years ago.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the early 1970s, a unique community was founded in the los llanos region of Colombia. Located north of the Amazon rain forest, this region is an expansive savannah, sparsely populated and generally considered uninhabitable. Gaviotas originated out of the belief that the current state of urban expansion and poverty and the continued depletion of natural nonrenewable resources could not be sustained and that the future required people to learn how to live in harsh, inhospitable environments and to do so in an ecologically sound and sustainable manner. Journalist Weisman tells the story of a remarkable and diverse group of individuals (engineers, biologists, botanists, agriculturists, sociologists, musicians, artists, doctors, teachers, and students) who helped the village evolve into a very real, socially viable, and self-sufficient community for the future. The people of Gaviotas today produce innovative technologies (solar collectors, irrigation systems, windmills, and hydroponic gardens) that use the environment without depleting or destroying it. While some of their creative endeavors have not succeeded, even the failures tend to spawn ideas for future successes. Weisman does a fine job of detailing Gaviotas's evolution and placing it within the larger global historical context. The story he presents is wonderful testament to human creativity, commitment, and effort toward building a socially viable and environmentally sustainable future.Karen Collamore Sullivan, Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Saginaw, MI
Booknews
This book tells the story of a remarkable experimental community in Columbia named Gaviotas. Founded in 1971 in the midst of the war-torn Columbian countryside and funded by the United Nations, the settlers there invented numerous technologies and t echniques that allowed them to survive in the harsh tropical conditions. The village is now widely regarded as a model for Third World sustainable development. The author tells the story of the community primarily through conversations with the com munity's residents and founder. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher

"...a book telling a tale too lovely for fiction, a lyrical, well-observed book that reports from the llanos of eastern Colombia, savannas tortured by guns and cows and cocaine, of an experiment in solar democracy in which 'appropriate technology' is anything but a sad product on the discount tables of broken, post-sixties idealism."--Tom Athanasiou, The Nation (This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780930031954
Publisher:
Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date:
05/01/1998
Pages:
231
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.33(h) x 1.45(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best seller The World Without Us, Alan Weisman is an award-winning journalist whose reports have appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Discover, and Orion, among others, and on National Public Radio. A former contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Magazine, he is a senior radio producer for Homelands Productions and teaches international journalism at the University of Arizona. He lives in western Massachusetts.

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Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book helps you to realize that if they can build a peaceful community in a war torn country it can be done anywhere!