Eco-amigos plan for eco-week in Bahia’s 8th year as an eco-city.

January 29-February 2, 2007

Did I say that we were waiting for rain? In fact it is the rain that is waiting for us. We prepare our seedlings, tend to the greenhouse, turn compost, and water trees, and yet somehow we are not ready because the drought continues. What we are lacking in preparation is a mystery to me, but we are not waiting. In other news, the Eco-week is rapidly approaching, and our preparations continue on pace.

We started off the week with an uneventful morning of more bottle-collecting and transplanting in the greenhouse. In the afternoon I attended a meeting of community members concerned with the environmental status of Bahia. The meeting consisted of our local eco-amigos group, some municipal representatives, local neighborhood leaders, and other vocal members of the communities around Bahia. The intended purpose of the assembly was to introduce the calendar of events for the Eco-week that we have been preparing during our smaller bi-weekly meetings and ask for support from the others in attendance. While we managed to get through a presentation of all the events, and received promises for help where it’s needed, there was a large amount of sidetracking.

There is clearly some negativity about the progress being made with Bahia’s self-proclaimed status of ‘Eco-city.’ The fact remains that even after eight years of being an ‘Eco-city,’ there is still a lot of work to be done to be able to truly deserve that name. While I found some of the frustration expressed during the meeting to be understandable, the real importance is to continue looking forward. What can be done tomorrow, next week and next year? Our plans for the Eco-week include numerous activities that invoke the participation of neighborhoods, also activities that promote local ecology and active preservation and restoration of the environment, as well as significant publicity about the green-consciousness we are trying to spread. Below is the schedule of events.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday we were relegated by the lack of rains to continue watering our old sites: El Toro, Bosque Encantado, Cherry Tree, La Cruz and Bosque en Medio de las Ruinas. Of the half dozen trees that were affected by fire at our El Toro site, about half are recovering rather nicely, while the other half unfortunately appear to have been killed.

On Wednesday some of us tended to the greenhouse, transplanting and doing a general clean up of garbage that has accumulated there. All of our seedlings have now been transplanted into 3-liter bottles and we even have a small reserve of extra bottles. Our seedling beds are now empty and we will be replanting them after we take care of reforestation in the field. The rest of us returned to Bosque Encantado to finish improving catchments at our old sites there. Catchments were increased in size and mulch leaves were added to help maintain humidity and provide compost to the soil around the trees. All of our trees there now have improved catchments, including the future sites of trees in our new area of reforestation.

Our community activity of the week had to be postponed until next week when we will be participating in the planting of several hundred fruit trees in the Bella Vista neighborhood. I’ll keep you all posted.

On a closing note, we said goodbye to Dave and Lauren, two volunteers who blessed us with their presence for the month of January. It’s been great to work with them, and I think it’s safe to say they had a great time with us too. They’ve been instrumental in our operations for the past month, and we’re sorry to have to say farewell. Safe travels and enjoy the rest of your time in South America!

¡Conciencia Verde! Green Consciousness!


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