Since 1992 Gaia Association has been working in the project definition and resource generation to complete it. In June 1996, the association finally bouth the field where we started to walk this first steps.
The Ecovilla has 20,3 hectares in the Navarro Town, 110 kilometers from Buenos Aires City, Argentina.
The field is elevated, with a soft slope and fertile, with a clayey soil. There are big old constructions that belonged to a dairy products industry, that was abandoned for over 50 years, also a warehouse, houses and bathrooms for personnel. The majority of these buildings had been up-cycled with a lot of effort, and today they work as rooms for students and tools warehouse.
Besides we have a series of natural construction buildings that work as residents’ houses, community center, auditorium, the Argentine Permaculture Institute with office and library, and two bioconstruction hostels to receive visits.
We are practicing sustainability principles in the daily life, looking for stages to achieve a permanent culture, where a mutual collaboration could bring an individual and grupal security framework.
There is a small group of people that lives permanently in the place, carrying the different community projects, and the offered educational programs.
We are open to receive families with kids, couples, independent adults, that are willing to help and work in the project.
We offer guided visits on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays for the interested people that wants to know the place, as it is also the first step for those that want to join the project actively.
The Ecovillage works as a Living and Learning Center, were we offer educational programs and trainings for young students that want to live the sustainable life, and also for adults that want to initiate sustainable projects and need inspiration and practical tools.
We offer courses over specific subjects such as: Permaculture, Natural Building, Renewable Energies, Community Life, Health Cooking, Circular Dances, Aromatherapy, etc. These programs are organized in the Ecovillage, for all audiences, students, professionals, universities, etc.
We were inspired by the different native cultures from America, whom by hundreds of years had created sustainable communities. We also visited communities, ecovillages and interpretative centers that work in different places around the globe. We wish to learn from all those experiences, our ancestors and our pears.
We are studying what type of obstacles and solutions experiment other communities in the vital and creative work. We gather information with videos, pictures, interviews and written material. All of that allows us to have a base content to see how other communities and ecovillages manage themselves.
The main objective of this stage is to implement this project in Argentina. We hope to have a critical mase of residents to achieve the lifestyle dynamics. Different working areas will arise, according to each individual skills and the organizational skills that we will develop down the road. What is already present is the need to share the experience, the land living with defined objectives.
It is probable that during this stage, some of us feel the need to go back to what is known, then we will have to recognize the confusion as part of the change process and have patience during the transition period.
Our commitment/challenge is to continue with this pioneer project in a voluntarily simple life, were the service spirit is present, being able to see the interior life of all organisms. Make the place into an inspiration and experimentation place for new sustainable projects.
We are living the paths to create realities. We believe that to accomplish this project there is a need for hope, creativity and commitment.
Gaia Association is a place for all of those that with a pioner spirit would like to participate in the project.
We believe that the future of Ecovillage’s development in different regions will allow an interchange of resources, knowledge and habilities, specially in food production and other renewable resources. Besides, the different settlements will improve the experience interchange and people net working.
Gaia Association has an active collaboration in the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and in the Ecovillage Network of the Americas (ENA) since its creation. Its also member of the RAPEL (Red de Apoyo a la Permacultura Latinoamericana), that it was created in the First Latinamerica Congress of Permaculture that was organized by Gaia Association from 3/27 to 4/2, 2000.
All those that have a mature sense of themselves, with a profund interest in living a sustainable way with nature, open to challenges in a pioneer project and to community life.
We are waiting for the arrival of native educators, artists, agricultors, entrepreneurs, therapists, constructors, etc. All of those with creativity, enthusiasm and service spirit, open to support this project under construction.
- Grow your own food
- The little is beautiful
- Ecology is a deep thing
- Voluntary simplicity
- Work near your home
- Creative education for kids
- Live in a place stimulative for kids and adults.
- Share resources and habilities with others
- Open communication
- Transformation based in working over our self-limitations
- Share creative energy that apears with community tasks.
- Participation and resposibility over decision making
- Research and practice new lifestyles.
21 Agenda. Making sustainability a fact.
In a document produced by all the governments represented in Río 92 as part of the strategy to change the path that civilization is following regarding the ambient.
21 Agenda, requires a change in the consumption patterns, to check the natural resources used by unsustainable consumption and looks for decrease the usage of resources as possible, so as to reduce contamination.
Human sustainable settlements
All construction in its work prevents the polution and different ways, for a correct use of water, garbage recycling and human waste. Also, the project looks for a high level of economic sustainability. Trying to make the majority of activities in the field, decreasing the time and energy wastes due to comute.
Protecting the atmosphere
The use of electric devices that have a low consumption, heating water by sun exposure, cooking with solar ovens and having a bioclimatic design in our houses, make this ecovillage a model that does not impacts negatively in the climate change. After an intense research we have in place the energy production system with windmills.
The use of soil, applying the Permacultural principles you manage the soil to improve its quality over the decades. Avoiding the use of agrochemicals. We fight de-forestation, with a huge project or re-forestation with it we propose to produce more oxygen that the carbon dioxide that the ecovillage produces. We manage to plant over 1000 trees and bushes.
As regards the 21 Agenda request to stimulate the traditional methods for agriculture, agroforestry and life maintenance, the Ecovillage contributes to conserve and increment the biodiversity of the place by copying the nature cycles without human alteration.
Education, training and public knowledge
The Ecovillage also develops 21 Agenda recommendation to develop the courses related to sustainability, offering guided visits and printed materials. The main educational experiences is the Permaculture Design Course and the Ecovillage Design Course.