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Uma Exploração de Comunidades Sustentáveis na América Latina.

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Común Tierra on the Regenerative Route in Uruguay!

Posted on September, 30 2016

After almost a year in Argentina between comings and goings, we crossed the Uruguay River to arrive in one of Latin America's smallest countries: Uruguay! 

The country presents visitors and travelers with a low-key territory and population, one or two gears below the rhythm of it's giant neighbors Argentina and Brasil. Our time in Uruguay was really enjoyable, meeting new friends and allies while documenting local experiences in Permaculture and Ecovillages that are sprouting up organically around the country. 

We crossed the border in Paysandú, where on that very day we hosted a Film Screening session (accompanied by lots of yerba mate, of course) with Camino al Sol, an alternative school that we recomend everyone to check out in the area. We had a great exchange with the community, and even inspired 2 of the parents to create a nomadic project to document the alternative schools peppered around Uruguay. The project is called Otra Educación, or 'Another Education.' 

 

Permaculture in Shangri-La and Montevideo

From Paysandú our route essentially made a giant U, following first the Uruguay River which led us to the famous Río de la Plata, which eventually led us to the Atlantic. On the way we stayed a few days with our friends Aldo and Nati, founders of La Casa del Árbol, Permaculture Center in Shangri-La, a suburb of Montevideo. There we gave a workshop on Fermented Foods, and hosted film screenings and events in Montevideo and the neighborhood association of Shangri-La.

 

Finding Old and New Friends in Uruguay's Ecovillages 

In a small country, travel distances are so much shorter. So it was a short trip to arrive at our next stop, La Tierra / La Comarca, two sister communities which were pioneers in Uruguay almost 20 years ago. There we got to see old friends, residents like Lucia from the CASA network, and visitors including Tainá and Bruno of the awesome nomadic project Passupreto Imagería

We spent several days in the communities, receiving the school-age kids for a visit in Minhoca, hosting a film-screening, planting together in the gardens, and other activities, and of course: drinking lots of mate! 

 

Rocha and Aiguá: Fertile Zone with Many Projects

We then hit the road on our way to the 2º Uruguayan Communities Gathering, in the foothills of Rocha. This area is known for it's mini-mountains, which are the highest in Uruguay, and the stretch between Rocha and Aiguá might be the area with the highest concentration of alternative projects in the country. The gathering, which took place in La 23 community, was a great community event, and we were able to learn more about the movement un Uruguay and it's peculiarities. 

 

Closer to Aiguá, we visited La Cinco and La Escuela de Vida en Permacultura (School of Life and Permaculture) where we participated in a workshop on living roofs led by the natural building team Bioconstrucción Zunandi.

 

Beyond the projects we visited, we had great times with friends we met during our trip. And during all of this time, a seed was growing in Leticia's belly, enjoying all of the movements, circles, new friends and diverse experiences. 

We could have stayed longer in Uruguay, but Brasil was waiting for us, with many miles still to travel and several visits and activities coming up.

With our pregnancy advancing, we wanted to be sure to have time to establish ourselves somewhere to be able to receive our daughter in just a few months. So we said goodbye to Uruguay in the Santa Teresa National Park, with the sweet scent of spring flowers and a sea breeze mixing under a giant blue sky. 

Thank you Uruguay for opening your heart to receive us, and to all our Uruguayan friends for your generosity and work to create and implement new systems and methods of construction, education, agriculture and living together. 

Abrazos! Ryan, Leticia + Anahí
 

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