EcoSur e-magazine

Of cement, chocolate & rum

LC3 Chocolate and Rum

Although many trendy bars now serve chocolate mojitos, a Swiss and Cuban mix is not obvious. Yet, when it comes to cement, Swiss, Cuban and Indian scientists have tackled one of the world’s lesser known but biggest challenges. As countries develop, demand for housing and infrastructure increases. Concrete is by far the most commonly used construction material to meet these needs, and cement is required to make concrete.

Read more: Of cement, chocolate & rum

Post-disaster resilence and recovery

Post-disaster resilence and recovery

Some months ago we reported on a seminar in Guatemala, where the local Caritas had invited EcoSur specialists to pass their knowlege on to a group of young professionals who were interested in this ancient technology. Meanwhile the organizers can show real practical results, houses have been built, a promotional video is being circulated, a lobby group for adobe has been organized and a manual for self-builders produced.

You can downoad the "Manual para la construcción de viviendas con adobe" (Spanish only, PDF, 10 Mb)

Reconstruction in Nepal: a school in the mountains

Reconstrucción terremoto Nepal Nicaragua Escuela

It is nine months since the devastating earthquake in Nepal, and there are still very few reconstruction projects underway. But in Bhorle, in the Langtang district, EcoSur consultant Ramon Gonzalez from Nicaragua has managed to start the rebuilding of a school.

Read more: Reconstruction in Nepal: a school in the mountains

A trip to the 19th Century in Ecuador

Proyecto "Mejorando la Vivienda" en Guano, Ecuador

In the small rural community of Chingazo, Ecuador, most of the people are small farmers of very low income. Many of them live in traditional huts or half-finished houses that offer no or little protection from the cold of the Andean highlands and against the ash spewed from Tungurahua volcano, Because of their socio-economic status, these families can not improve their situation on their own.

Read more: A trip to the 19th Century in Ecuador

When the flow of oil stopped: the Cuban experience

Transporte alternativo y provisión de comida - Foto: MagicOlf - Flickr

For Cuba, the flow of oil stopped suddenly with the collapse of the Soviet Union. While it will be for different reasons and from different causes, the end of the supply of oil is on the horizon. Countries could prepare for the future... if they want to.
The crisis hit all sectors of society. The oil dependent industrial model established during 1959-1990 collapsed with more than 50% cut of the oil supply. The government, however, chose to maintain all social achievements, especially in the areas of education, social security and health.

Read more: When the flow of oil stopped: the Cuban experience



Edition #11, March 2005
Edition #10, February 2005
Edition # 8, November 2004
Edition #7, October 2004
Edition #6, September 2004
Edition # 5, August 2004
Edition #4, June 2004
Edition #3, April 2004
Edition #2, March 2004
Edition #1, January 2004

Dec 2003

  • Marketing degree through MCR research
  • Impact of clay construction in Orwetoveni
  • Masonry apprenticeship at SofoNic
  • Distributors are an important link
  • News
    • Cooking with the sun
    • Loja: Ecological City
    • Construction professionals host ECOSouth presentation

October 2003

  • SofoNic – a committed team (part 4)
  • MCR Encounter in Cali, Colombia
  • SIRDC MCR tile launch
  • Behind the scenes with ecomaterials
  • 5-day MCR training program in Zimbabwe
  • News
    • Bicycle race in Jinotepe
    • CD about urban waste management
    • Prize to Nigerian CP40 blocks

Sept 2003 (II)

  • MCR premiere in industrial sector in Dhaka
  • An Update from El Salvador
  • SOFONic – Focuses of their work (part 3)
  • Making MCR tiles is like making tortillas
  • Grupo Sofonias honored as Tech Award finalist
  • News
    • Followup and quality evaluation in Salvador
    • Plaster analysis in Guatemala
    • Participative design for urbanization

September 2003

August 2003

  • High quality MCR in Bangladesh
  • Sofonic – a committed team
  • MCR roof post-Mitch in Honduras
  • Batteries or transformers?
  • Columbian decision-maker gets overview of MCR in Riobamba
  • News
    • CP-40 blocks now produced in Nigeria
    • MCR roof in Angola
    • Professors

July 2003

  • Decoding empirical knowledge – plaster research
  • Training important at Clay House Project - Namibia
  • Metal Roof Structures resolve timber scarcity
  • SIRDC hosts MCR seminar in September
  • News
    • New equipment bank in Guatemala
    • South-south interchanges: New MCR equipment in Columbia
    • CIDEM professor provides expertise in Bangladesh
    • A bit of history

June 2003

  • Guillermo, a voice we should heed
  • Metal structures for MicroConcrete Roofing
  • Cooking stoves and brick production – a burning problem
  • An ecomaterials workshop
  • News
    • Aids program in CHP Namibia
    • Alfredo in Ecuador
    • Pedals for Progress extends in Nicaragua

May 2003

  • Supereconomic houses: an affordable solution for working people
  • Gastronomical and Cultural Encounter of Cuy in Riobamba
  • Building upwards – a simple and affordable ceiling slab
  • First ecomaterials workshop in Panama in full production
  • Sustainable management of natural resources in Nicaragua
  • News
    • Las Melidas publishes calendar
    • CHP construction goes ahead in Otjiwarongo
    • Producing bricks with sawdust briquettes

April 2003

  • Guatemalan tile producers discuss client survey
  • “Las Mélidas” hosts meeting of Salvadorean MCR producers
  • Networking Cuba-Ecuador
  • Ecomaterials introduced to Ecuadorean universities
  • Synergies in Salvador adobe project
  • News
    • Ecomaterials lecture at the College of Engineers
    • A brickmaking village and a university research institute
    • Cleanest moulds ever seen!

February 2003

  • Networking from Namibia to Bangladesh
  • Investigation about plaster underway in Ecuador
  • Managing a MCR Business
  • Creative strategy for marketing MCR in Ecuador
  • News
    • MCR Standards in Zimbabwe
    • Guatemala - investigation about plaster underway
    • Women tilemakers in Mexico receive enterprise award
    • BSHF calendar includes “Two decades after the earthquake”

January 2003

  • La Betania, just another barrio in a satellite city?
  • Cuba: 3ra. ruta ecologica Holguín - Santa Clara
  • ECOSOUTH NETWORKING – from Namibia to Thailand
  • Three MCR Clusters in Ghana
  • News
    • Women tilemakers in Mexico receive enterprise award
    • BSHF calendar includes “Two decades after the earthquake, Guatemala”

December 2002

  • Coloring MCR tiles
  • Visit to housing developments in Colombia and Ecuador
  • A creative solution for water catchment
  • Networking in Zimbabwe
  • News
    • Outpouring of questions to the EcoSouth WebSite
    • New book by EcoSouth caricaturist Martirena
    • Microconcrete technologies used in hotel in the Dominican Republic

November 2002

  • Building materials supply - a strategy for disaster relief
  • IYM – Slow Food Award to Ecuadorian Radio Station
  • EcoSouth Certificate Quality for MCR workshops
  • EcoSouth expert in Mozambique
  • News
    • Technical sheet about sand and mortar mixes for MCR tiles
    • Colombia: FENAVIP director appointed vice-minister of housing
    • Ecuador: Study visit to housing projects in Ecuador and Colombia
October 2002
  • Construction in Earth and Clay congress in Germany
  • MCR Exposure Course in Cameroon
  • Year of the Mountains: From the Andes to the Alps
  • News
    • Namibia: Adobe Factory
    • Ecuador: Producers and students analyze the MCR market in Ecuador
    • Nicaragua: Elaborating action program for investigation about plastering
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Víctor Martínez
Civil Engineer
MCR tiles, instruction, quality control, project management.


Molino mezclador de lodo para ladrillos
Earth mill for fired clay bricks - electric motor
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