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Gaviotas: A village to reinvent the world

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posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 03:39 PM
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Gaviotas is a settlement made up of several hundred Llanos Orientales and Columbian Engineers dedicated to living a peaceful, ecologically sustainable life in a region of Columbia that is/was considered a barren wasteland. To any casual eye, any tropical savanna will look bleak and unforgiving, but to the people who originally dared to dream, in the most unlikely of places & times, it was the most important work any of them could do at the time. It was theorized at the time, that this part of the Llanos was originally an extension of the Amazonian rainforrest 30 thousand years ago.

Gaviotas is located directly East of Bagota, Columbia around 200 miles into the Eastern Savannah, where in the late 60s, the only dwellers of this forbidding region were the Llanos Orientales.

In the late 60s, as the Environmentalist and Hippy movements were getting into full swing, a group of likeminded scientists set out to create a Utopia that actually worked, which they called their Topia. Utopia means literally, No Place. Gaviotas is a very real place which has thrived over decades in one of the harshed landscapes(both politically and environmentally) in the world. The logic is, if they could do it there, then it could be done anywhere on the planet.

Paolo Lugari: Founder of Gaviotas

Here, you see him sitting on one of the many innovations pumped out of the Gaviotas think-tank.

It's designed to provide force that moves a sleeve pump which moves water all using kid power. The trees behind him are another one their fortunate accidents. One of the most interesting things I've read about these people, is that they never pre-planned anything or commit their idea's to blueprints before they start building(they say that slows down the creative process, which is what they believed engineering is). They like the chaos and unpredictablility of the whole endevor.

One of their early missions was to bring clean water to the Llanos. Their results were mixed due to a variety of factors. Some of them Cultural, some of them Practicle Mistakes, and some were due to overt government meddling.

During the Reagan administration, things in Columbia took a nosedive, but surprisingly, Gaviotas prospered where so many other villages floundered in desperation. They had their close calls, with both sides at that, but they stood firm in their pledge of non-involvement and equally treated medical patients from both sides with care and respect. It was these acts that gained them the respect of both the Government Paramilitary Troops and the FARC rebels.

You know you've done something right when the Communists commented about the Socialist paradise they've created, and literally within the week, have the opposition Conservative leader of Columbia praise the Community of Gaviotas for "being an outstanding example of Conservative Values."

For those of you more interested in this amazing abberation of a village, please check out the following links. The book is excellant as well and gives indepth insight into a long period of Columbian history that you never knew about.

Related Links:
Friends of Gaviotas website
About Gaviotas
WorldChanging: GAVIOTAS, by Josh Ellis
Columbia's Model City
Social Design notes: Gaviotas
Hollister Knowlton's trip to Gaviotas, Colombia

Related Books:
Gaviotas: A Village to reinvent the world

[edit on 15-9-2006 by sardion2000]




posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 03:50 PM
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What a fascinating thread!

I had never heard of this group before.

Thanks for the contribution!



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 04:01 PM
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I'm with loam, great thread, thanks sardion2000!

And I'm quite surprised that I've never heard of them before, I mean, how could they keep this away from the public. it's amazing. Sardion, do you have pictures from their village? I'm quite curious wondering how would it be.


From www.worldchanging.com...

"They'll give you a free meal, and if you ask they might show you their revolutionary designs for power-collecting windmills, solar heating systems, and even their hospital, which the Japanese Architectural Journal has designated one of the 40 most important buildings in the world. There is no mayor here, and no crime; no guns, and also (for some reason) no dogs."


My dream is to live in a society like theirs.


[edit on 15/9/2006 by tunin]

[edit on 15/9/2006 by tunin]



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 04:12 PM
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They are really an amazing group of people. Did you know they actually had the nads to stand up to the FARC when they interrogated the village? The FARC Cmd pretty much asked Lugari whether Gaviotas was with them or against them. Their answer? "We are with Gaviotas, and you are not allowed to bring Weapons here." That was paraphrased, but you get the idea. He responded by backing down and saying we leave you alone "Because you are doing very important work."

Their neutrality saved them from both the FARC and the Paramilitaries. Both sides came to Gaviotas for medical care. In one instance, they were so tired and forgot who was on which side and they accidentally put two men, of opposite sides in the same room. They ended up trying to kill each other, but in the end, the one who could still walk, ended up bringing water and food to his enemy because they gave him an ultimadum. Play by the rules or leave and risk dying. Pretty persuasive if you ask me.

Another Amazing thing that I forgot to mention(there is soo much in the book, you have to get it, I polished it off in a 7 hours straight), is that they actually managed to regenerate a rainforrest that has lain dormant for thousands of years. They did it with Carribian Pines. They were the only tree that proved that it could fluorish in the harsh conditions of the Llanos. At first they worried a bit about introducing a "foreign" species(there was some argument about that as well), but it turned out that the soil(besides having other startling and amazing side-affects) made them sterile and they only way they could reproduce is by cultivating cuttings in hydroponics. The other side benefits were also increadilby surprising and amazing. It turned out that the soil was so beneficial to the Microryzoid and the Pines that they formed an even tighter symbiotic relashionship then was originally predicted. According to conventional wisdom at the time, the time to maturity of a Carribian pine is 20 years and in order to speed it up a slight bit(by a few years) you need to add Microryzoid specimins every year. Their experineces differed significantly, in that the pines reached a maturity of 25 years in like 10 years or something. The Microryzoid specimes never needed to be replaced as they started to spread and deeply embedd themselves in the root structure of the local plantlife. Eventually local Amazonian flora starting to appear. They will eventually let the local life choke out their precious Pines(precious because they are getting an Industrial Resin out of them at a highly reduced cost, collecting it is actually beneficial to the tree, and is completely sustainable as there is many square kilometers of Llanos that is still pretty barren.





[edit on 15-9-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 04:19 PM
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Here is a bunch of pics here.

Pics

Just scroll down a bit.

[edit on 15-9-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 04:33 PM
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Astonishing, really and very funny the story about the 2 enemies in the same room, funny to see how life and mutual respect / care can be more important than just a stupid conflict between 2 ideological matters.

I always thought about studing, get college degree and probably MBA later on, and then retire myself living in a farm surviving with my own resources, doing some art, having fun and do exactely what they do, invent stuff to improve our life conditions.
But, what everyone always said to me was:
"Bah, you just want to get rid of the responsability of having a REAL job, build a career, etc.. Get a life and stop thinking about it"
I never agreed, never. But deep inside I knew it is true.

Fortunatelly, seeing these examples I can have a little bit of hope that someday, I'll live in a place like theirs




[edit on 15/9/2006 by tunin]



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 04:47 PM
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I never agreed, never. But deep inside I knew it is true.


NO IT ISN'T! Gaviotas is proof of that. When I get my PhD, I want to start a Gaviotas in Canada. As far North as possible, but I want to do it in a much more high-tech way that they did it(I don't, for instance, want to live in an Ingloo and Teepee for the first few years). I'm not strong enough for that.
They are paving the way for the future though.

Here is a piece of speculative fiction that has also inspired me.

WorldChanging: The Unplugged: A Fictional Interview Circa 2030

[edit on 15-9-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
NO IT ISN'T! Gaviotas is proof of that. When I get my PhD, I want to start a Gaviotas in Canada. As far North as possible, but I want to do it in a much more high-tech way that they did it(I don't, for instance, want to live in an Ingloo and Teepee for the first few years). I'm not strong enough for that.
They are paving the way for the future though.

Really? You're brave, for me it will take a while until I get enought "base" to do it. Well, at least the land I already have since legally I have a good portion of land in my town, enought to build a farm and live with that




Here is a piece of speculative fiction that has also inspired me.
WorldChanging: The Unplugged: A Fictional Interview Circa 2030

Very nice too, made my thoughts run wildly haha!

I was imagining myself living with my wife and kids in a farm, farming my own food with a rain water store system, sharing new free technologies with partners all over the world via internet and working in my "home-made" observatory haha!
And, of course, harvesting grape and making wine to sell / consume


But thinking a little bit deeper, what would we need to build something like this besides the basic needs like Food, Water, Basic Saneament and a Roof to sleep?



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 07:29 PM
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But thinking a little bit deeper, what would we need to build something like this besides the basic needs like Food, Water, Basic Saneament and a Roof to sleep?


Money. You or I will not be able to do it without money which is why I want to do it the Capitolist way.

Have everyone pool their money together, say 5 or 10 thousand each(gotta have comitted people) to be held by a neutral source. The majority of this money would be used to build initial habitation, greenhouses and barns but a portion, say 1/3 will be used for lobbying purposes and grassroots recruiting campaigns to get more money, political backing, skilled/unskilled labor, and specialists. Allthough there will be some approachs to policians initialls, I'll mostly be seeking help from universities and looking for volunteers through grassroots campaigns, etc. I've been thinking and planning this out for quite some time.

I'll post more for critique later on.



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 08:00 PM
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Thank you for posting this article. This will definetly work on the small scale, but in the larger scale, when you add government, bureaucracy, regulations, and taxes it starts to become a society where things will get too complicated to sustain the utopia environment.



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 08:36 PM
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You're missing the point of Gaviotas.

Their goal was to live and thrive in an inhospitable land.

Not to design a style of life we all can live by(though it is encouraged
)

They succeeded and managed to start the restoration of a long dormant rain-forrest.

They continue to succeed. In Columbia of all place.

I've seen large Coop business do similiar things in my city. I know big orginisations of like minded people can do amazing things.

The technologies, techniques, and innovations developed by projects like Gaviotas were developed to help other people, not just themselves.

Their motto was 3rd World Solutions for 3rd World Problems.

Mine would be similiar except exchange 3rd for 1st.

We need pressure cookers like that, filled with Scientists, Engineers, Artists, Muscisians, and Trademen working with the best equipment trying simply to be as comfortable as possible within a strict set of constraints.

After a decade or two, if the project survives, the number of innovations and significance of those innovations could change the life of millions.



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 07:41 PM
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Yeah Sardion!

Great post/thread - awesome follow up comments.




You have voted sardion2000 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.






...and yeah, I wanna do that too. Seems that our culture discourages that sort of thing tho. Plus, fewer and fewer people are socialized to work cooperatively and non-competitively. Which is what it takes.



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 08:10 PM
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Plus, fewer and fewer people are socialized to work cooperatively and non-competitively. Which is what it takes.


This is why I'm going the Academic rout. Pitch the concept to people who are used to working cooperatively rather then competitively. The field I'm going into is extremely interdisiplinary(Physics, Math, Biology, and Chemistry), so it's pretty plain that cooperative work settings will be a must.

I don't want to do this to create a new way of life for all of Humanity, I want to do this to create a rural, techno-agrarian think-tank where mere survival will be the pressure cooker where our idea's will come from(confined by the limitation that we must do no harm if we can help it). Replace the stress of modern life(which tends to limit choice) and replace it with the stress and fear of survival, which tends to focus our minds on whats the most important things: Food, Clean Water, Comfortable Habitation in any season, etc. Necessity breeds innovation. Innovation breeds additional choices.

The location I want to setup in has to be a region which has had some environmental problems(like say, it had a forrest fire in the 70s and never fully recovered, or the region was the stripmined, or the dumping ground for a deep-core mine, etc) and has a reasonably sizable Native Population, to provide the majority of the labor and youth(for the schools, so they can keep doing what we were doing long after we have left).

This isn't Socialism nor is this Capitolism. I dub thee, Gaviotanism.


[edit on 17-9-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 17 2006 @ 10:04 PM
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posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 09:00 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000

This isn't Socialism nor is this Capitolism.




Exactly. But beware the witchhunters anyway. From both camps.






I dub thee, Gaviotanism.





Thank you.

Can I use that word?



.



posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 11:04 AM
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Sure, go ahead.

I'm not too worried about the detractors, I'm much more worried about Apathy.



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 12:15 AM
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Just dugg my own thread.


Here is the link.

digg.com...



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 12:52 AM
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Great post, I always love seeing things like this. I was trying to find a website I saved in my favorites related to future "environmentally friendly" construction, but my favorites menu has now grown to monumental proportions.

There are some interesting ideas for "Topia's" and villages of the future that blend in with nature and use it to the most efficient uses for the environment and those living in it.

Here are a couple of cool sites you all might like somewhat related to the topic. These aren't as primitive, so those of you that aren't into roughing it, may like it all the more.

Oasis Design

Tons of great links within these next two link
Nautral Building Colloqium

Dream Green Homes

Cheers

[edit on 9/26/2006 by infinite8]



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:26 PM
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Thanks for the links!
That first one is definately going to be helpful for my future plans!

Here is a link you might be interested in.

www.inhabitat.com...



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 04:29 PM
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Excellent work, A place where you can live from the inhibtion of science and goverment from violence and ridicule..that can strive in the difficulty of an harsh enviroment. No question that the work they are doing there would be beneficial to society.



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