Uma Exploração de Comunidades Sustentáveis na América Latina.
How are you friends? We are super good!
After a couple intense weeks at the RIO+20 Peoples Summit, we are at last breathing a little easier, and we finally have time to upload some updates and materials for you!
The RIO +20 UN Conference, as expected, followed the same pattern of recent global environmental meetings, producing nothing more than a huge carbon footprint and a weak statement empty of obligations for concrete actions to be taken. This outcome represents the inconsequential stance of governments and corporations on our planetary situation. Their pointing to the "green economy" as a solution to the huge challenges that we live ... pretty bleak! But we also have good news to share from some of the concurrent events in Rio, particularly related to the EcoVillage movement, which Común Tierra was well involved in.
For us, it was a very productive week of action and community building… we participated in and led workshops, we were present in the Indigenous Camp when they signed the International Charter of Kari-Oca 2, and we made important connections in the EcoVillage movement, participating in the continued building of the network of grassroots sustainability in Latin American, CASA (Council of Sustainable Settlements of the Americas). The EcoVillage movement in Latin American is in a moment of intensive organization to co-create, from the bottom up, a representative network of sustainable human settlements in their diverse forms… So prepare yourselves for this report of activities and good news!
Photo: Marta Buchweitz
STARTING THINGS OFF WITH SEMEAÇÃO
Our first participation at the People’s Summit was to support and co-lead a workshop with a group of artists and educators "Semeação" (Seeding), a connection made by our friend Carola Cortes who is a founding member of Semeação. The workshop, focusing on water awareness, led more than 40 students through a series of artistic and didactic activities, and ended with Dances of Universal Peace. It was beautiful to begin the week working with kids!
GAIA HOME AND THE ECOVILLAGE MOVEMENT
Unlike what happened behind closed doors at the UN Conference in Rio-Centro, one of the most active and interesting parts of the Peoples' Summit for us was Gaia Home, a space hosted by Gaia Education and produced by members of the Terra Una EcoVillage. Gaia Home was home to the EcoVillage movement, Permaculture and other grassroots sustainability movements, hosting a full schedule of workshops, meetings and talks on the diverse models of sustainable human settlements. The space was also a meeting point for discussions to move forward the organization of CASA, and create important partnerships to build the future of our movement. It was here that we were most present during the Summit, and we were proud to bear witness to this incredible growing movement, with so much sharing and many useful proposals made by people who ‘practice what they preach’.
MEETINGS WITH CASA AND GEN
We participated in several meetings of CASA, co-creating with activists from across the continent our visions and methods to unite five areas of sustainable settlements (EcoVillages, Eco-Neighborhoods and Transition Towns, Eco Caravans, Permaculture Projects, and Cooperatives + NGO’s). We worked at coordinating both at the national level as well as the continental level, designing our integration with GEN (the Global Ecovillage Network) with which CASA will be directly related.
An Illustrative Map of the CASA Network
Our first meeting to organize CASA was a small meeting in the Nove Terra Village where about 50 people gathered from Brasil, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and the United States to create working groups on key aspects of building and strengthening this movement, and to prepare for a meeting with GEN in Gaia Home, which defined the initial steps of our collaboration with the Global EcoVillage Network. These were long, focused and beautiful encounters, feeling the intense motivation and positive energy of so many projects, EcoVillages and sustainable settlements across the continent looking to work together.
Meeting between CASA working groups and GEN at Gaia Home
COMÚN TIERRA WORKSHOP AT GAIA HOME
The Común Tierra Project held a workshop on "Sustainable Communities in Latin America," sharing a bit of what we have learned in more than 2 years of our pilgrimage (from Mexico to Ecuador), in addition to showing a few of our videos. The workshop was very well received, as many participants expressed to us their interest and inspiration, and it was exciting to see how our work impacts people both inside and outside of this movement. The experience was yet another proof that the collective knowledge base being created by the EcoVillage movement is utterly useful to so many people!
Photo: Marta Buchweitz
The Closing circle of our workshop
PHOTO EXHIBIT AND MATERIALS
Gaia Home also hosted a Común Tierra photo exhibition with images fom Latin American Ecovillages throughout the week.
Ryan setting up the photos ...
During breaks in our activities, we shared Común Tierra materials, fair trade products and heirloom seeds...
THE NOVA TERRA (NEW EARTH) VILLAGE
We visted the Nova Terra village, a camp and ‘future territory’ of the Summit, for the initial meeting of CASA, and for the solstice ceremony on June 20, which brought together spiritual leaders from many countries. We also participated in events and ceremonies with Sri Prem Baba, and 2 members of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, Mona Polaca from Arizona and Maria Alice Campos Freire from Brazil. It was a spiritual moment of our visit, in which we prayed and meditated for the health and wellbeing of the Earth.
A VISIT TO KARI-OCA 2, THE INDIGENOUS CAMP
We also visted the Kari-Oca, the camp that hosted the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples, on the day of the finalization and signing of the Indigenous Peoples Charter of Kari-Oca 2 (20 years after the Eco 92). We did several interviews with Indigenous leaders, and their perspective is that in the past 20 years, respect for Indigenous rights keeps getting worse: "It’s interesting to be here because we see that 20 years later our demands are exactly the same, and no matter where we are from on the Earth, they are always similar and increasingly difficult," says Ianaculá of the Kamayurá tribe from the Upper Xingu, Brazil. The fake "green economy", the lack of respect for Indigenous peoples, the unbridled exploitation of their territories by governments and corporations continue to harm their rights and compromise their existence and that of our planet. But at the same time, Ianaculá told us, this gathering serves them to come together and unite their causes and their struggles.
Interview with the Ianaculá of the Kamayurá Tribe from the Upper Xingu
One of the Indigenous representatives signing the Charter of the Kari-Oca 2
It was a beautiful day, where we could see dozens of Indigenous tribes from so many parts of the world giving their messages to the world. Although the issues are a harsh reality, in this event we felt the beautiful presence and spiritual power of these peoples who are struggling for survival and have so much to teach us in our search for a sustainable life! As they say in their own words: "We walk towards the future in the paths of our ancestors."
IF YOU’RE NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION, YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM
It was very interesting for us to participate in the Rio +20 Summit and also a little different than we had expected. Knowing the size and dimension of the event, we expected to spend more time as listeners and observers, more passively, to learn more from others. We did receive several strong teachings during the course of events, but were surprised to see that most of the time we were involved in activating processes, in presenting activities, in co-creating, and participating in meetings to form sustainable networks and strengthening our work in connection to these movements.
The truth is that it’s a good metaphor for what we are living today: to build the world that we want, the time is now, we can’t wait! It doesn’t help to blame others or expect miracles to solve our problems. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, and to be part of the solution is to take action and actively create alternatives! And we have to do this together, learning to work in collaborative networks using the tools and knowledge available. We believe that through organized popular movements from the bottom up, involving collaborative networks of solidarity, we can create a more just and sustainable world!
Photo: Marta Buchweitz
So after the event, we are very happy and proud to have participated in so many activities together with EcoVillage movement, working with people who seek coherence between their values and their daily lives, meeting the challenge of sustainability by living in community, growing their food, etc.... And to be able to connect with Indigenous peoples who carry their ancestral wisdom was a huge blessing and inspiration. This is the place we want to be, and the work we believe in!
Leti and Ryan
Les felicito por su acción diferente para que este mundo cambie- Sigan adelante si me pueden dar información para iniciar a ser sustentable vivo en Guatemala Gracias Gracias Gracias
What a perfect way to move Comun Tierra forward and to keep building a movement! You are an inspiration!! So glad this is the place [you] want to be! Very life affirming! Much love to you both!
Excelente trabajo en Brasil- Gracias Común Tierra por su bonita presentación-