How might your current work contribute to the sustainability movement?
I started a new company 3 years ago called Viva Study Abroad which is dedicated to study abroad & voluntourism opportunities in Oaxaca, Mexico & Latin America. It is now evolving rapidly into opportunities that include eco-tourism, volunteerism, sharing renewable resources and supporting indigenous communities,
Last year, I custom designed a new volunteer program for Cal Poly University on the Oaxacan Coast. It is called The Oaxacan Sea Turtle Program and Eco-cooperative Tour . Given that my long-time friend is the educational coordinator at the National Mexican Sea Turtle Center, Viva Study Abroad was granted special permission to do a tailor-made short-term program at the Sea Turtle Sanctuary. A Cal Poly Professor, ten students and I spent twelve inspiring days touring the coast, learning about local eco-cooperatives and aiding biologists in protecting the endangered Olive-Ridley sea turtle. However, what we gained in learning more about ourselves and our connection with the larger global community far outweighed the incredible tours and volunteer program. It was truly a life changing experience for all.
Check out my website vivastudyabroad.com
I also have a Spanish Study Abroad Program in Oaxaca designed for families and community members of all ages. In Summer 2010 I added a day of volunteerism in a small Zapotec indigenous village where the participants helped the community reforest their lands. Go to my website at vivastudyabrad.com for more info.
I shop at the Farmer's Market weekly and I buy local organic and pesticide free produce.
I am a member of co-op America and have subscribed to the green guide for the past 7 years.
In what ways do you personally identify with the Sustainability & Transition movement? Why are you interested?
I have spent most of my adult life traveling and living in third world countries. Many of the villages that I visit regularly in Oaxaca, Mexico are already living sustainably and have for centuries. As outside influences toil with their way of life, many are working to maintain their sustainable lifestyle and only incorporate the outside influences that serve their communities in positive ways. We have a lot to learn from these ancient indigenous communities.
I would like Morro Bay and the surrounding communities to be sustainable. It would be great if we could survive on our own water and food supply.
What background and skills do you bring to this community?
I am the owner of a small tour operator company that is philanthropic in nature and is committed to helping a greater global communities. I can help run events and tours for any type of group. Our programs and tours offer an alternative form of educational travel, exclusively tailored to the particular interests of your group. Whether yours is a university, a membership organization, a group of professionals or a group of like-minded people, I can organize your tour, volunteer or study abroad program. I have the infrastructure & liability insurance already in place and my prices are 1/2 the cost of other programs.
I am also a Spanish Instructor at Cuesta Colllege. I would like to reach out to the hispanic community on this topic.
I was instrumental in bringing public awareness to the water nitrate crisis in Morro Bay. I kept a group of Morro Bay citizens informed about the city's water quality and was influential in getting the City of Morro Bay to change and improve it's emergency response plan.
I was instrumental in bringing the film "Two Angry Moms" (a film about reforming the public school's cafeteria food) to the San Luis Obispo Unified School District.
My daughter and I took a gardening class to learn how to set up a garden and plant fruit trees in our own backyard.
Wanted to connect a bit and thank you for the awesome work you are doing! We were wondering if the 'Transition Handbook' has been translated into Spanish yet and if not then we think that would be an awesome first step in bringing Transition to the Hispanic communities...we will research a little to see if one already exists and get back to ya in a bit.
Thanks for joining and a special thanks for helping bring the film 2 Angry Moms to Morro Bay. Its a great film with a very positive message about gaining more sustainable solutions to our food system and children's health.
Your photo could be more crisp. I can help you if you need it. It can take a higher resolution photo if you have one.
And working with the hispanic community would be fantastic AND they have a lot to teach us unsustainable white folks. Tell us more about the backyard farmer. Is that a new group? Is it the backyard harvest folks like the ones in Atascadero/Paso?