Dispatches from Ecuador
by Peter Berg
Peter Berg first went to Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador in February,
1999 to help create community awareness of ecological issues and participate in a
celebration announcing the Ecological City Declaration. He has been a consultant
on creating and ecological city since that time, visiting every year. Peter
organized ecological projects that included, revegetation, recycling and
composting, alternative energy, and education. Planet Drum currently maintains
an apartment/office where volunteers help with various projects under the
guidance of the Project manager and staffers.
On each visit Peter sent back Dispatches containing his
observations, progress reports, events, and even recipes.
The Dispatches are listed by year with the most recent at
Peter returned to Ecuador in November 2010 to
initiate the Bioregional Sustainability Institute. He sent this
essay about his thoughts and activities.
Peter returned to Ecuador in February 2009 to attend
celebrations for the Tenth Anniversaryof Bahia's Eco-City Declaration.
Peter visited Bahia in both March and October 2008. His Dispatches in
March include Bahia's Eco-City Mandate 2008(English
& Spanish) and a celebratory dinner with
the landowners who worked with Planet Drum this year. Judy Goldhaft sent a
series of Journal Entries describing her adventures in Bahia and as a
Planet Drum revegetation volunteer. In August Peter investigated
Ecuador's new constitution and its innovations including its
granting “Rights of Nature.”
He also worked with the Bioregional Education classes and produced a
document considering what Planet Drum's Bioregional Sustainability
Institute might include.
Peter made trips to Bahia in March and September in 2007.In March
he writes about the land that Planet Drum has purchased for a Bioregional
Institute and setting up a meeting with the Amigos de la Eco-ciudad, a
coalition of individuals and groups who are interested in the eco part of
the eco-city. In September, two letters by Judy Goldhaft describe the
happenings in Bahia, including a visit by the new president of
Peter returned to the Eco-City project in
Ecuador in March and later in September, 2006. He sent dispatches to report on
the project's progress as seen through his eyes.
to the Eco-City project in Ecuador in early February, 2005. His first
Dispatch arrived near the end of February. He sent four Dispatches during
Ecuador Dispatches, 2004
Peter returned in early June, 2004, to the Eco-City
project in Ecuador. He began sending dispatches soon after. The first
Dispatch is the often-reprinted essay Learning
to Partner with a Life-Place.
Ecuador Dispatches, 2003
We started out the new year with one volunteer, Simon Winch, working on the Eco Ecuador
Project. In early January Peter arrived, and about a week later Brian
Teinert, who has
been hired as chief of operations for Planet Drum's projects, arrived to carry on
the work. Peter was busy organizing the projects in Bahia and introducing Brian to
everyone. In mid-January Peter sent a comprehensive
dispatch which reviews Planet Drum's accomplishments
and visions over the past five years in Ecuador. He returned to Ecuador in
November and continued sending Dispatches.
Guayaquil Green City 2003
Peter Berg gave a presentation in Ecuador (21 Feb, 2003). This talk
represents the latest strategic thinking on creating sustainable
Dispatches from Ecuador, 2002
Several volunteers have joined Peter back in Ecuador to
continue the revegetation work amidst downpours and mud slides. These
Dispatches include a Statement of Intent to revegetate eroded hillsides,
and a Management Plan for Fanca Produce Composting.
Dispatches from Ecuador, Aug/Sep
Peter returned to Ecuador to continue the work on Eco
City. He continued the tradition of sending back dispatches for his
faithful readers on the web site.
An addenda to Berg's Dispatches
Dispatches from Ecuador, Jan/Feb 2001
Peter Berg returned to Ecuador in January and February, 2001, to continue work on
the Revegetation project and to participate in the growing Eco-Ciudad
movimiento in Bahia de Caraquez. These are his reports from the scene. The
series of meetings that Peter describes is important because it represents
the institutionalization of an ecological agenda that has developed over
the past two years.
Peter also lays out numerous opportunities for individuals or groups to
contribute either through volunteer work, or donation of materials and
supplies, or monetary contributions to the success of this experiment in
creating green cities.
Planet Drum staffers Peter Berg and Judy Goldhaft returned to Bahia in early September 2000 for further
work in various areas of urban sustainability. These dispatches
tell the status of their efforts in the hillside revegetation, water
supply, alternative energy and other projects.
In order to get a
first hand view of the situation since the Eco-Gathering, Peter made a second visit to Bahia
in August, 1999, accompanied by Judy Goldhaft, Planet Drum's Managing Director.
They wanted to survey the positive activities that the Bahians had already
started, what support they needed, and how
their projects could be tied to large-scale infrastructure improvements. The
resulting report by Peter Berg outlines the
Planet Drum proposal.
Peter Berg went to Ecuador in February, 1999 to attend the International
Eco-Gathering and help the local ecologistas organize in the midst of natural
disasters that have beset the Bahia de Caraquez region over the past two years.
We anxiously awaited for these seven dispatches that Peter sent back over the
two-week period. These reports from 1999
illuminate the genesis of this unique collaborative effort.