Turning a challenge into an opportunity, this collaboration addressed the realities of rural living with no plumbing or access to groundwater. As water scarcity increases and soil health depletes, partners creatively saw human excretion as an opportunity to re-value and re-purpose this raw material. Through the Terra Preta System (Dry Compost Toilet), a great low-tech solution achieved several goals, minimizing water use, reducing resource needs, enhancing soil fertility, creating closed-loop systems, and applying appropriate technology in a collaborative way.
Through their partnership, they learned how to harvest their own building materials from the land and choose appropriate timber types. Additionally, there have been conversations with other local farm owners about the best systems and use of excretion on their land. Through their project, they also offered new employment opportunities to the community as well as more experience and knowledge for their volunteers.
The twins benefited from sharing information and ideas, and feeling supported in decision making. They deeply valued the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded partners to attain low-energy intensive and sustainable livelihoods. Beyond building this relationship, they learned new skills, practiced creativity and patience, and explored potential with businesses in the community.
They were sharing “We are so fortunate to have learned about Terra Preta & the Game B theory from our twin, opening our perspective to alternatives in living in the community. Also just to know & acknowledge there are other organizations/people who think about society & life as you do. To know others are looking for solutions alternative to the status quo, to know that we are not alone and that there is a small community on the other side of the world which is in support of your cause.”
For the future they intend to share their learnings from this process and with that to become a great resource for those other ecovillages in the tropics through documentation, photos, and video while continuing to finish their project.
– Nuestra Finca Sagrada aim is to develop the land in an eco-conscious way, using permaculture techniques, natural buildings, growing sustainably while also being respectful of the local culture and tradition. They have a farm with many mango, cashew, lime, and guanábana trees, which was part of a reforestation project so there are a variety of tree species and age ranges. At the moment their long-term plan is to create a food forest & communal housing, we’re focusing on short-term projects like planting more fruit trees and more compost toilets.
– Familia Feliz is based on 3 members with more than 15 years of living, working, and developing a community life together and 50 to 100 guests each year.
They are involved in social projects like summer schools in Romania, and educative projects together with universities as well as alternative gardening and bio construction. They also run an art gallery and some European art projects.
For Ecovillages, eco-projects, regional and national ecovillage networks
For years there has been the practice of “twinning” within GEN, where ecovillages, eco-projects, and ecovillage networks form special friendships and support each other. Over time, these friendships solidify and evolve into mutually beneficial relationships. We now have wonderful examples of twinning relationships in GEN and are excited to streamline the twinning so more projects are able to find and support each other.
GEN is now supporting twinning relationships in a more systematic way, as a ‘dating agency’. When possible, we try to provide modest funds to support collaborative projects. Know more in the Twinning page.
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By becoming a Friend of GEN you will receive exclusive benefits to bring you closer to GEN’s work on the ground and connect with communities worldwide. Friends of GEN sustain the work of the Global Ecovillage Network through creating a grassroots community of supporters for ecovillage solutions and collaboration. Learn about the levels of giving below and find the one that is right for you.