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Común Tierra: A journey through sustainable communities of the Americas July 27, 2014

Posted by Tracy in : Adventure, Consumer travel, Eco-Nomads, ecotourism, Ecovillages, Latin America, Nature tourism, Permaculture , add a comment

Minhoca Ecuador
(All photos courtesy of Común Tierra)

Editor’s note: In November of 2010, as I was winding down my journey through the Americas, documenting sustainability initiatives in the 10 countries I visited, my path crossed with that of Ryan Luckey and Leticia Rigatti, the couple who make up Común Tierra. They were doing exactly what I had wanted to do but ran out of time, funds and energy. They have spent the past four years creating a body of work that is unparalleled in this area, planting seeds of sustainability as they go with their workshops and seed bank and presentations. Their journey carried them throughout the Americas aboard the Minhoca, a motor home outfitted with a wide range of “ecotecnias” or ecological technologies that help the travelers live in a way that’s consistent with their values, while making their home a rolling demonstration project for sustainability.

Surfing the couches in Guatemala City May 1, 2010

Posted by Tracy in : Consumer travel, Guatemala , 1 comment so far
Mealtime is a special occasion with Cristina Diaz, here in the beautiful and eclectic home she helped to design.

Mealtime is a special occasion with Cristina Diaz, here in the beautiful and eclectic home she helped to design.

GUATEMALA CITY – The city sparkled below me like a carpet of diamonds, flung carelessly over the valley and clinging to the surrounding mountains. This is probably as beautiful as Guatemala’s capital city gets, I thought, then scolded myself for the unwelcome thought. I only know the city from reading about it, and from a single pass through to the airport. Hardly enough to judge. I should know by now that you can’t judge a city by the media coverage – look at Mexico City, for example, which I’ve come to love.

And indeed my first night in the Guatemala City has put the lie to the widespread condemnation of Central America’s largest megalopolis. Thanks to Couchsurfing.com, I had friends waiting for me with dinner and directions, maps and guides and ideas for my project. I took a taxi to their beautiful home next to a park in a leafy neighborhood in Zona 2 and received a family welcome.

United Breaks Guitars July 23, 2009

Posted by tracybarnett in : Consumer travel , 1 comment so far

Now this has to be the most creative way I’ve ever seen of filing a consumer complaint to an airline. And another example of how social media is changing the balance of power.

Canadian musician David Carroll says United Airlines broke his $3,000 Taylor guitar. A year-long attempt to get United to cover the damages went nowhere, so he took his appeal to the public on YouTube.

“I said to myself, ‘What would Michael Moore do if he were a singer-songwriter?'” he told the London Daily Mail in an interview aired this morning. So he wrote a series of three songs telling his story. His first one has gone viral — it’s garnered 3.7 million hits.

Check out the video – he’s not only a decent musician, he’s hilarious:


Here’s the story in the London Daily Mail.

United has reversed its position since his song became such a hit. They’ve offered now to pay to fix his guitar, plus they’re throwing in more than $1,000 in travel vouchers, according to the Daily Mail.

But the horse is already out of that barn. Carroll just announced the second in his three-part series will be released soon.