Gaviotas : A Village to Reinvent the World

Cover, Gaviotas : A Village to Reinvent the World Author: Alan Weisman

Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub Co

ISBN: 0930031954

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Gaviotas : A Village to Reinvent the World

Hardcover
240 pages
May 1998

The Nation, Tom Athanasiou
…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.

Customer Comments

A reader from Washington state. , July 21, 1998
Gaviotas holds out a real hope for the future of this Planet
Come along as Alan Weisman deftly weaves the true story of one man’s dream and many peoples making. A dream of hope for our planet and belief in the triumph of many human spirits.

Gaviotas is a dream that Colombian Paolo Lugari had over 30 years ago. A dream that Paolo never let go of and with the help of an indomitable group of engineers, teachers, doctors, students, musicians and native Colombian Indians he has succeeded in accpmplishing. Blessed along the way with grants from the United Nations as well as others, they have brought that dream, Gaviotas, to fruition.

Paolo always believed that a self-sustainable community could prosper, working with nature instead of against her. To that end he found a piece of environmentally challenged land in the Savannas of Colombia and began his dream.

The engineers went to work. Their solar technology runs everything from lights to phones to water pumps and heaters to water purification plants. They discovered how to ! get solar energy from the low light of rainy days, since the rainy season at Gaviotas lasts for 8 months of the year. The children’s see-saw is used to draw water from the well. They grow their own food, then cook it with methane from cow manure.

They air conditioned the hospital with centuries old techniques using not one whit of electricity. They’ve even managed to re-establish an ancient rain forest, and a thriving renewable industry to go with it.

This would be a remarkable feat anywhere. That it was accomplished in Colombia is astounding. Colombia is as battle-scared as any nation on earth. In one decade alone over two thousand poloticians and two presidental candidates were murdered.

Through all of this Gaviotas has thrived and willingly made changes when needed. They have shared unstintingly with those in need all around the world, all the while staying consciously unarned while surrounded by battling vigilantes, government troops and guerillas.

Weisman has told the story of the Gaviotans and their accomplishments so beautifully, it is one of those rare stories that I did not want to end. And in reality it has not ended because Gaviotas continues to grow and prosper.

In a world where most of us doubt that these things can really be accomplished Gaviotas holds out a real hope for the future of this Planet.

A reader from San Andres Islands , July 11, 1998
Gaviotas Shows People Working Together CAN Make a Difference
Gaviotas describes the trials & tribulations of Environmental Improvement in a place called the LLANOS in Colombia-The book has inspired me to help fund a project to bring Internet to Schools in the Caribbean-We want to thank Alan Weisman for risking his life-That was the part in the book that was a sort of wake-up call for me personally-and bringing back the stories of people’s lives that have made an incredible difference in the preservation of our planet. The book also shows the positive and hard-working nature the Colombian people pride themselves on-yet it is never shown the way that GAVIOTAS does. All Colombianos should buy this book for their family to enjoy-and buy an extra one and send to your relatives in Colombia.

Barbara Phillips from Seattle, WA, May 4, 1998
Discover a real-life Utopia on the arid plains of Columbia.
Twenty-seven years ago, a group of South Americans envisioned a society in which limited resources would form the base of a sustainable future. To bring their experiment to life, they chose a site in the sparsely populated and nearly arid plains of eastern Colombia. They called their village Gaviotas and went on to create a host of ingenious and relatively affordable technologies. Alan Weisman produced a documentary on Gaviotas for National Public Radio in 1994. After producing his radio documentary, Weisman maintained an avid interest in Gaviotas. He returned to the village several times in the past few years, and updates the Gaviotas story in his new book: Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World. Weisman, a journalist based in Tucson, AZ, has covered some of the world’s worst ecological disasters, but when he needs his faith in the future restored, he always returns to Gaviotas where, he says, people seem to have gotten it right. This book documents the successful implemntation of a self-sufficient, harmonious, ecologically based community that is building a sustainable economy.

Gaviotas comes as close as human society can to achieving a real Utopia – and perhaps will serve as a model for a more balanced way of life for all of us.

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