Gaia Eco-village is an ecological community in Argentina based on the principles of permaculture, or living in a way that works with nature rather than against it.

Gustavo Ramirez, who has lived at Gaia for the past 18 years, acknowledges the challenges of this model, namely that it requires a lot of space. Houses cannot have more than one floor, and swathes of land are needed to cultivate vegetables and medicinal plants.

Given these realities, “the Buenos Aires population [16 million people] could only live in 20 percent of the Pampa in Argentina,” he said. The Pampas are fertile South American lowlands.

Still, it’s a start in the right direction. Here’s a glimpse of Gaia:

By Kamilia Lahrichi, GlobalPost
This article is syndicated from GlobalPost.


Gaia Eco-village is an ecological community in Argentina based on the principles of permaculture. It is a model that integrates environmental design and sustainable agriculture.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


Gaia Eco-village is part of Gaia Association, an Argentina-based NGO founded in 1992 to foster an alternative model of living. "Gaia" means "Mother Earth" in ancient Greek.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


It is located in the Navarro town, 75 miles from Buenos Aires.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


Gustavo Ramirez has lived in Gaia Eco-village for the past 18 years. "I believe that we can live in a different way without destroying the planet," he said.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


The community, which mainly relies on solar and wind energies, covers 50 acres.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


This sustainable model of living requires space because houses cannot have more than one floor. Each house has an ecological heater although the natural construction materials enable to keep the heat in during winter. During summer, they keep the houses cool.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


Mud is used to build and decorate the walls of houses.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


This ecological mud stove is made of stainless steel.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


Alicia Fandiño, who works and teaches organic cooking classes in Gaia Eco-village, washes the dishes after lunch.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


There is only one house to wash clothes in Gaia Eco-village in order to optimize water management and minimize waste.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


This organic vegetable garden ensures the community's self-sufficiency.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


The food at Gaia Eco-village is 100 percent organic and vegetarian.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


“Permaculture belongs to the real solution to save the planet rather than being accomplice to a society that keeps consuming more,” said Gustavo.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)


A group of women from Mar del Plata city in Argentina attends a three-day training program on sustainability.(Kamilia Lahrichi - GlobalPost)