Fuel Efficient Cooking

With her new stove that she helped co-design, Margarita saves Q1,200 every month.

New stove reflects what rural cooks want. CONSERVATION  by Matt Bokor  photos courtesy of Soluciones Apropiadas. By enlisting the cooks in the design stage, an inventive new company has developed a super-efficient, wood-burning stove that incorporates age-old methods of cooking tortillas. Although other initiatives have achieved positive results from safe, fuel-efficient stoves for rural households, Soluciones Apropiadas found that the clean- […]

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The EcoLeña Project

An innovative, sustainable alternative to wood as fuel by Joyce Stanley When most people walk down a road and see useless dry leaves on the ground, an EcoLeña producer sees gold.    EcoLeña is an innovative, sustainable fuel-wood alternative made from grass, leaves, straw and other renewable resources to replace fire wood. Also called biomass briquettes, EcoLeña is being produced and used in […]

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Shifting Paradigms: Water is Life!

The soul-searching opportunities of living off grid are fascinating. There are those who believe a solar panel and car battery will keep things going when the power goes out. This is naïve and a waste of money. Clarity helps you set priorities. Am I seeking help for emergencies only? Do I just need lights or do I need my refrigerator? […]

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Festival de la Tortuga

Festival de la Tortuga (photo by Iñaki Oliver)

Nesting season for sea turtles is in full swing along Guatemala’s Pacific beaches, where from July to December, the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) comes ashore to lay eggs.   To raise awareness of this endangered species, the third annual Sea Turtle Festival will take place the weekend of Nov. 18-20 in Monterrico and nearby Hawaii. Events include lectures, workshops and […]

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Green Gospel

Forest and brush fires were blazing all around me during my recent expedition into the rainforest.

The tradition of slash-and-burn farming cannot continue text/photos by Thor Janson (www.bushmanollie.com) In Mesoamerica the end of the dry season—April and May—finds millions of campesino farmers busy practicing their age-old method of slash-and-burn agriculture. All the refuse on the fields is put to the torch, enriching the soil with mineral ash. This traditional method of farming is sustainable as long […]

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Discovering the Mermaids

Author Janson makes friends with a young manatee

Once seen in the hundreds and even thousands, manatees are now only found in isolated enclaves along American coasts. text and photos by Thor Janson Three months after Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean, on Jan. 9, 1493, the ship’s log recorded: “On the previous day when the Admiral went to the Rio del Oro he saw three mermaids which rose […]

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