Eco-Ecuador Dispatches Index

This is a collection of Peter Berg’s writings during time he spent in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador. The city had experienced devastating mudslides and an earthquake in 1999 but resolved to rebuild as an Ecological City. Peter was invited to be a consultant and he organized ecological projects that included revegetation, recycling and composting, alternative energy, and education. On each visit Peter sent back Dispatches containing his observations, progress reports, events, and even recipes. On some visits Judy Goldhaft, Planet Drum’s Managing Director, accompanied Peter and occasional letters from her are included.

(Dates & Dispatches are most recent first.)

2010 Dispatches from Ecuador

Peter returned to Ecuador in November 2010 to initiate the Bioregional Sustainability Institute. He sent this essay about  his thoughts and activities.

2009 Dispatches from Ecuador

Peter returned to Ecuador in February 2009 to attend celebrations for the Tenth Anniversary of Bahia’s Eco-City Declaration. 

2008 Dispatches from Ecuador

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. 

2007 Dispatches from Ecuador

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 Ecuador.

2006 Dispatches from Ecuador

Peter returned to the Eco-City project in Ecuador in March and later in September, 2006. He sent the following dispatches to report on the project’s progress as seen through his eyes.

2005 Dispatches from Ecuador

Peter returned to the Eco-City project in Ecuador in early February, 2005. His first Dispatch arrived near the end of February.

2004 Dispatches from Ecuador

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.

2003 Dispatches from Ecuador + A Presentation

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. On January 17 Peter sent a comprehensive dispatch which reviews Planet Drum’s accomplishments and visions over the past five years in Ecuador. On February 21 he gave a presentation in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s large port city on the Pacific. This talk represents the latest strategic thinking on creating sustainable bioregional activities. He returned to Ecuador in November and continued sending Dispatches. 

November Dispatches

January/February Dispatches + A Presentation

2002 Dispatches from Ecuador

We started out the new year with one volunteer working on the Eco Ecuador Project. Yijin Woo left in mid-January, after completing many tasks on the Fanca Produce work. In early February, Peter and three others arrived to carry on the work. Peter began sending dispatches soon afterward. Later, in the Fall, a large core of Planet Drum workers had several projects to finish before the winter rainy season began.

September Dispatches

February Dispatches

2001 Dispatches from Ecuador + Reports, City and Recycling Plans + An essay

Peter Berg returned to Ecuador in late August, 2001, for further work on the Eco City project. Shortly after arriving he began to send back dispatches for his faithful readers on the web site.

August/September Dispatches

Peter Berg returned to Ecuador in January, 2001, to continue work on the Revegetation project and to participate and collaborate with citizens of the in the growing Eco-Ciudad movimiento (Eco-City movement) 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. (For convenience links to the Recycling & EcoCity Plans and Hillside Erosion Report are included here.) Peter also lays out numerous opportunities for individuals or groups to contribute to the success of this experiment in creating green cities.

January/February Dispatches + Reports on Hillside Erosion, City Plan for Bahia and Recycling Plan (by Amy Jewel)+ An essay

2000 Dispatches from Ecuador

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 are the latest dispatches telling the status of their efforts in the hillside revegetation, water supply, alternative energy and other projects.

September Dispatches

January/February Dispatches

1999 Dispatches From Ecuador

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.

August Report

Ecuador Green City Revisited (August 1999)

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 beset the Bahia de Caraquez region over the previous two years. The following include his reports over a two week period.

February/March Dispatches