Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World

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Chelsea Green Pub., 1998 - Nature - 231 pages
5 Reviews
Los Llanosthe rain-leached, eastern savannas of war-ravaged Colombiaare among the most brutal environments on Earth and an unlikely setting for one of the most hopeful environmental stories ever told. Here, in the late 1960s, a young Colombian development worker named Paolo Lugari wondered if the nearly uninhabited, infertile llanos could be made livable for his countrys growing population. He had no idea that nearly four decades later, his experiment would be one of the worlds most celebrated examples of sustainable living: a permanent village called Gaviotas.

In the absence of infrastructure, the first Gaviotans invented wind turbines to convert mild breezes into energy, hand pumps capable of tapping deep sources of water, and solar collectors efficient enough to heat and even sterilize drinking water under perennially cloudy llano skies. Over time, the Gaviotans experimentation has even restored an ecosystem: in the shelter of two million Caribbean pines planted as a source of renewable commercial resin, a primordial rain forest that once covered the llanos is unexpectedly reestablishing itself.

Colombian author Gabriel GarcOEa Mrquez has called Paolo Lugari Inventor of the World. Lugari himself has said that Gaviotas is not a utopia: Utopia literally means no place. We call Gaviotas a topia, because its real.

Relive their story with this special 10th-anniversary edition of Gaviotas, complete with a new afterword by the author describing how Gaviotas has survived and progressed over the past decade.

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User Review  - juniperSun - LibraryThing

Gaviotas is a village in Columbia, established in 1971 with the vision of establishing a self-sufficient community in the harshest environment in that country. The closing sentence (of the ... Read full review

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User Review  - enaliba - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this book very much. Read full review

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About the author (1998)

ALAN WEISMAN, author of An Echo in My Blood and Gaviotas, has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine and many others. He has been a contributing editor to The Los Angeles Times Magazine. A former Fulbright Senior Scholar in Colombia, he has received many awards, including a Los Angeles Press Club Award for Best Feature Story and a Robert F. Kennedy citation for reporting on the disadvantaged. He teaches international journalism at the University of Arizona.

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