The community site

IMG_2729 Over 14 lovely hectares (~35 acres) of pristine and fertile farmland with a seasonal creek (with seasonal fish) passing through the center, in a quiet and undeveloped part of town on the outskirts of Villarreal about 3 kilometers (2 miles) from the beach town of Tamarindo, one of Costa Rica’s prime tourist locations. DSCN3288 Where our private easement/driveway meets the property.  (Photo taken before road installed.) DSCN3350 DSCN3351 DSCN3346 DSCN3349 DSCN4786 This is actually a photo of the hole we had dug for the foundation of our house, which filled up with rainwater before we added the gravel layer, demonstrating how easy it will be to create ponds. DSCN4788 This is the view from the other side of the “pond”. Catastro w:o pencil Our own private driveway stems from the quieter of the two main roads to Tamarindo and is a short walk to the central plaza of Villarreal. Master Plan We are visualizing approximately 30-35 homesites (accessible from a road around the perimeter of the property that will serve as firebreak), each with their own private lot arranged around a large car-free, communal central park that will comprise almost half of the site.  The park will feature a winding pedestrian path that weaves through the communal farm and orchard, grazing lands, sculptures, labyrinth, playgrounds for kids (and another for monkeys), connecting a water fountain on one end of the path to an Atlantean-like pyramidal structure located on a small island encircled by a large pond (stocked with fish) on the opposite end.  We’re still working out the business details but, other than by potentially selling individual lots, spec houses, renting cabinas, selling locally-made eco-friendly products & foods, funds will be raised with the creation of an earthen building school that will offer a hands-on approach to teaching our fellow nature-lovers and dreamers how to architecturally liberate themselves in a unique, ecological and artistic way.  It is our expectation that the permanent residents will be participating (at least to some degree) in the design and building of their own houses, though help will be available to them. Ready or not, we are living in a new (post-peak oil) age and a major economic collapse along with a new way of life is upon us. The sooner we adapt to this new reality, the less hardship we will bring upon ourselves. By recreating a tribal village using locally available materials, simple technologies, and minimizing dependency on fossil fuels and money, my hope is that this model community will help get our species back on track by setting an exquisite example of how people can ease, if not eliminate, economic hardship by mutually providing for their own needs. DSCN4096One of the first things we did was bring in over 30 truckloads of gravel to construct a road to our homesite since the native soil is very clay-rich. DSCN4102 DSCN4144 Next, since we can’t do much without water, we had a well hand-dug by two guys, one of whom was 68 years old!  I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it!  Luckily for us, he said it was one of the best wells out of the 100 or so he’s dug so far. DSCN4148 One guy would climb down a rope to dig the well deeper while the other would lift up the bucket filled with broken rocks and hard chunks of clay. DSCN4174 That shelf midway down holds the concrete well casing cast in place later on… DSCN4302 Rosendo is standing on the formwork used to cast the well casing while filling the empty space with concrete. DSCN4306 As the concrete started to set, the wooden formwork was gradually raised by Pedro twisting the ropes that supported it. DSCN4310 Once the concrete casing had been cast using the formwork in the background, Rosendo used a trowel to patch it up before it set. DSCN4312 You can see the water at the base of the well, ~8 meters down.  The next entry will feature the 9-meter/30-foot high water tower we built to get some gravity-fed water pressure…

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