May 2003

Supereconomic houses: an affordable solution for working people

Martín Meléndez   

When building a house, engineers and architects are usually worried about location, materials to be used, cost, and recently, about the damage that we could cause to our planet as well.

When a family undertakes the construction of its own house, it builds it in a natural manner and according to its possibilities. It is not unusual to see blocks, adobes or tiles kept in the yard for long periods of time, to be used later in a process that usually lasts years before the house is finished.

Read more: Supereconomic houses: an affordable solution for working people

Gastronomical and Cultural Encounter of the “Cuy” in Riobamba

The Cuy (Cavia porcellus), known in the English-speaking world as the Andean rabbit or guinea pig, has been a traditional Andean foodstuff since pre-Inca times. Not only has it been a foodstuff of the people of the Andes, but also it is a medicine, friend, gift and symbol of reciprocity.

Read more: Gastronomical and Cultural Encounter of the “Cuy” in Riobamba

First ecomaterials workshop in Panama in full production

The first ecomaterials workshop in Panama, “FAMATECO”, is in full production in Santiago de Veraguas, after a visit from EcoSouth expert Benigno Dávila from Nicaraguan partner Grupo Sofonias. Benigno worked together with FAMATECO proprietor José Manuel Pérez, and over a two-week period they were able to place their knowledge in the hands of all the workshop members.

Read more: First ecomaterials workshop in Panama in full production

Building upwards – concrete ceiling slabs

Kurt Rhyner   

It is a well-known fact that the large cities in most developing countries are spreading at a dangerous rate. Formerly rural areas are being developed or simply invaded, and the urban sprawl limits the possibility of its inhabitants for natural recreation activities. It also creates incredible costs for the urban society. The services that eventually have to be provided (roads, water, sewage, electricity, security) are much more costly in a horizontal growth pattern than in a vertical one. Over the centuries most towns have grown vertically as much as horizontally, and it is only in recent decades that many societies have adopted the “North American Style” of ever growing suburbia and of relinquishing the inner cities to business and low level / low cost apartments.

Read more: Building upwards – concrete ceiling slabs

Sustainable management of natural resources in Nicaragua

A project dedicated to the sustainable management of natural resources and socio-economic development in the rural area of Carazo got off to a good start on April 5, with an encounter of key players from the various communities. The project financed through POSAF/BID/FND/MARENA benefits 164 small and medikum rural producers from 13 communities of Jinotepe and La Conquista.

Read more: Sustainable management of natural resources in Nicaragua

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Consultants

Fernando Martirena
Cuban
Civil Engineer, PhD. Professor.
Spanish, English, German.
Research and investigation of materials, specifically alternative cement and cement products.

Humour

Videos

EcoMateriales: Teja de MicroConcreto y Paneles de FerroCemento

The EcoSur network presents a short professional video on two major technologies, the Ferrocement panels and the Micro Concrete Roofing Tiles. Filmed in Nicaragua and Salvador, it shows production and application and gives a summary overview of those two materials that have a relatively small ecological footprint and have widely proven to be sustainable in the three classical dimensions ecology, economy and social acceptance.

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