Edition #15, August 2005

Preview of themes of EcoMaterials 2005

Preview of themes of EcoMaterials 2005 An introduction to the illustrious panels that will launch each day of the upcoming EcoMaterials conference forms the basis of the accompanying report. All continents are represented by the participants, who include academic luminaries, as well as people of wide experience and provocative ideas from government and civil society organizations. The specific commissions each day reflect a potpourri of presentations, well-addressed to the particular theme of the day, whether New Developments, Connecting Science with the Grassroots, or Policies.

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The constructor and the apprentices

Nicaraguan builder, Martin Gutierrez, participates in programs of apprentice education with two vocational education institutions as well as housing programs of SofoNic. He cannot hide his enthusiasm of contributing to the development of the young people in his country. Over the years he has included electricians, plumbers, welders and masons will now integrate three students who are about to graduate as construction foremen, but require a practical experience. He also has incorporated recently graduated engineers as construction supervisors. The young people are exposed to a wide variety of situations from housing settlements to apartment buildings to individual upmarket dwellings.

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Pedals for Progress - Sustainable Partnerships

Pedals for Progress has recently concentrated its activities on sustainable partnerships. These are organizations are able to cover the shipping costs from the U.S.A. to country of destination, the most critical factor in creating a sustainable self financing partnership. It currently considers seven partnerships as “sustainable”, five in Central America, one in the Caribbean and one in Africa. CESTA in El Salvador is the organization that has received most bicycles over the years. PfP is hopeful that other partner organizations, including several that did not receive bikes during the current year, will enter onto the team of sustainable partnerships.

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School for young restorers

“Challenge of a utopia, an integral strategy to save old Havana” is the title of a book about the restoration of Havana. An innovative school for young restorers plays an important role in this strategy. It prepares young people for the ongoing restoration activities in Old Havana, which is a UN patrimony of humanity. During their two-year apprenticeship they learn the theoretical and practical issues of restoration and also how to work and use different materials and tools that are not used nowadays. They learn the arts of masonry, carpentry, painting, glass craftsmanship, stone masonry, mural and gypsum painting for the restoration of the old damaged buildings.

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Minga: communitary work

In Ñuca Huasi (“Our Home” in Quichua) in the foothills of the Volcano Chimborazo in Ecuador, the community continues the tradition of “mingas”. This tradition of community work goes back to pre-colombian époques and is based upon voluntary work, the expectation of which is solidarity and reciprocity. In modern times as such qualities are being lost, it is most refreshing to see that this voluntary work remains in many Latin American communities where cooperation, solidarity and reciprocity are still present.

You are here: Home Past editions Edition #15, August 2005


Charlotter BelliCharlotte Belli
Social projects feasibility
Project implementation and evaluation


Molino de lodo: testimonio
Earth mill for fired clay bricks - Testimony (spanish only)
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