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My Goal: To build an ECO-Village in the long term

Posted by Hernán Moraga on December 27, 2011 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

 

 

I am one person with a vision of gathering a group of people with a shared common intent for becoming industrious and inter-dependent, living in a sustainable way, exploring new and innovative approaches for making our community self-sufficient, and integrating our Eco-village to outside communities.

 

Since childhood I've had recurrent dreams where I saw myself married with children, and facing unemployment in the middle of a deep Recession. These recurrent bad dreams happened for several years, up to the point that since High School I started to seek opportunities for starting-up my own business, with the hope that that business would protect me when required...

 

Now, I am 46 years old, married with a wonderful wife and three children reaching 20 years old the oldest, and 14 years old the younger. Not only I've created such an start-up that helped me a few times, but now everything is pushing me towards the creation of my Eco-village, and I feel a sense of urgency towards that objective.

 

A lifetime of preparation

 

In my professional life, I can say that I've been privileged having nice jobs and good income (i.e., working for Fortune 500 corporations such as NCR, AT&T, Andersen Consulting, CASE Corporation, Gillette, to name the most known). Also, I've been unemployed a few times, and fortunately I've been able to rely on my own start-up that I had the vision to create during my first full-time job.

 

During the months following the 2008 meltdown, life was so hard in Chile--by that time I experienced my second unemployment period-- that I had to rely solely on our zucchini and tomatoes garden for a couple of months (December 2008). You can't imagine how grateful we were for be living in a country home, with a little piece of land that provided us when we needed the most.

 

My third difficult time came during our first two years as landed immigrants at Montreal. Even though I am a qualified professional I couldn't get a full-time job, up to the point that after our first year, we spent our $20K+ savings we brought from Chile just for paying the rent and having food on the table. Once our savings were gone, I was forced to start relying on welfare for more than a year... During those days my family and I learned to live with the minimum, and also we were blessed having the chance for meeting some wonderful people that shared our condition. At last but not at least, I had time to make a lot of research in different fields, which helped me to came up with a first draft my Eco-village project.

 

Fortunately, things changed for good as soon as we moved to Gatineau, and currently I enjoy having a decent job in a wonderful small software development company...

 

In summary, I have experienced it all: wasting resources when having a large paycheck, and living out of the social welfare and charity coming from good people, and having founded a small company that provided to me when I need it the most...

 

All those experiences, both in the professional, entrepreneurial, and the economical arenas with its ups and downs, had prepared me, and now I am confident that I am ready to design an Eco-village like few people...

 

Entrepreneurship

 

Hearing to my youth's bad dreams and acting accordingly, that is, starting-up my own business, for sure was the best financial decision of my entire life. That little IT company (www.e-market.cl) back then, supported me when I've got unemployed, and also it helped me to finance the construction of our 3 story home on the country, back in Chile.

 

Also, thanks to that very small business--which since 2008 changed its focus to the Energy Efficiency-- I was (and I still am) able to help thousands of individuals to improve their lives, by delivering to them free, high-quality LED lighting design training, promoting self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship (see list of people trained for free, here). At the same time, this new start-up allowed me to make enough money for paying out for our trip from Chile to Canada. And currently it seems that it will help me to gather part of the down-payment for purchasing a farm, where I will deploy my Eco-village...

 

Self-reliance, Inter-dependence, and Sharing

 

I've learned in all my years, that networking and FREE sharing of value-creation knowledge with others is perhaps one of the most valuable and gratifying experiences that anybody can have. In my case, it had allowed me to meet wonderful people from different latitudes of the world. For that reason, I am so enthusiast about LINUX, and OPEN SOURCE (opposites of Intellectual Property and Patenting, by the way). For that reason, OPEN SOURCE and Networking will play a key role in my Eco-village project.

 

In addition, I've learned that once you have a project, YOU are the only person that can realize that dream up to the measure of its full potential. Others will eventually follow you, but NOBODY will do what you know it needs to be done. As my grandfather used to say: "If you want to have something done right, do it yourself."

 

The moment for creating my Eco-village is close!

 

Now, I am focused in the early stages of materializing my Eco-village. All started to accelerate about 3 years ago (2008), just before the 2008 Meltdown. Later, after landing in Canada, another series of recurrent dreams about Corruption at the Government, Church, and Charity spheres awake me and put me into researching about that.... As a result of my researches, I've got VERY disappointed in all three domains.

 

The lesson that I've learned from these discoveries has an impact on my Eco-Village design:

 

 

The Government that I need should be created by me and others that want to have a new world, based on the most pristine values.

Some similar happened with my spirituality life: I discovered that I should seek it directly in a closer contact with the Nature.

On the Charity side, I've discovered that my donations were all ending up in the pockets of hypocrite individuals who had founded institutions that from the outside resemble the embodiment of charity, but in deed, they are corrupted people that have engineered for profit organizations, based on legal, but not ethical practices. Therefore, my charity approach has changed from the one of relying on charity organization towards one in which I will donate my time and resources for helping the less privileged, directly, with no middle-man.

 

My first Eco-Village approach

 

These three major deceptions I've experienced (Government, Church, and Charity) have influenced somewhat the design of my Eco-village model. In fact, my first draft I targeted it for dealing with the unrest that I perceived then it would start to spread and become bigger and bigger over time:

 

First, I thought of a business project that considered selling "security" to the people living in the city (a spot in my self-sustainable Eco-village)... In fact, I've delivered several business presentations of my project. Many friends and prospect investors found the idea terrific, but for some reason, they didn't join as clients... Now, I can see that they didn't sign in because the are still asleep, not seeing what I see is coming, and because I pitched the message from a negative perspective. So I was talking to the wrong people at the right time, and I was using the wrong message...

 

I think that I've learned my lesson, therefore I have incorporated major changes in my Eco-Village model. I hope that this website will allow me to find the right people, as the time is quickening:

 

My Eco-village will be a place where my family and some selected friends/relatives may find a secure place, learning to live in harmony with the Pacha-mama (mother Earth), and having a better quality of life during the journey. Also, I foresee incorporating some for-profit activities such as the possibility of leasing some lots in the Eco-village to selected tenants, for generating additional sources of revenue, and strengthen the Business Model, just in case if I need to get external financing.

 

My credentials = Successful practical experience

 

The different jobs and projects that I've been involved with, have all gave me different skills that I believe are key when starting an Eco-village project. In fact, now I have all the elements that I would need to succeed in the intent:

 

  • Engineering & IT (Industrial, with emphasis in Computer Systems),
  • Finances & Operations (MBA),
  • Solar (PV, Thermal) & Eolian,
  • LED Lighting and Electricity,
  • Manufacturing (Steel, Acrylic, Wood),
  • General Construction (design & building of 2 eco-homes, back in Chile: 2,400 & 1,600 sqft, 3 story homes),
  • Waste Water Treatment (highly effective system),
  • Technical Education (Computer and Energy Efficiency: Solar, Eolian, LED lighting),
  • Business Management and Entrepreneurship (founding businesses and also an Eco-System), and
  • Organic Food growing.

Those experiences and skill sets will allow me to start alone, if required; but I understand that the Power of Synergy is larger than the Power of One, for that reason I am creating this Website for attracting talent to my Eco-Village project...

 

Purpose of this web site

 

This site is created with a three-fold purpose:

 

  1. Become a showcase of the community towards people who might be considering supporting my Eco-village project (e.g., either offering me a suitable piece of land at a reasonable price), and/or considering joining me in this challenge.
  2. Record and publish the different stages of my Eco-village, from conception to the current state, so it may become a good reference source for those who are willing to deploy their own Eco-villages.
  3. Become the Eco-village's internal communications channel.

The Blog section is used to post our chronological record of events. Different sections may be created in the future.

 

If you want to exchange knowledge or join efforts with me, sign up to the Members area and keep in touch with me. It will be a privilege to share with you the knowledge that I've accumulated for so long.

 

Thanks for visiting my site.

 

 

HERNAN MORAGA MULLER

Sustainable Living Founder

I lost the chance to buy the Williamson Farm

Posted by Hernán Moraga on November 10, 2011 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Last week, my Real Estate agent told me that the property that I was trying to buy, was sold to a Saudi buyer, as my Mortgage Broker didn't replied fast enough with the financing.

The bad broker was William Priest LLC, from Fredericton, NB.

They alledged that for being a permanent resident with more than 3 years of residency, I was out of the policies of the lender for having a mortgage, even that I was co-buying with a canadian citizen.


That was an open, olimpic, and 100% discriminatory action, going against all the Canadian Housing Mortgage Corporation's directives, that in its main web page states that legal immigrants, regardless of its permanence time in the country are elegible for a mortgage.  I even presented a pristine Credit Bureau from EQUIFAX Chile, with 999 points, but that was not enought for this little people...  It is incredible how institutions in this country can smash people's rights, and nobody seems to care about...


That made me sooo mad !!!....

Thoughts about Local Economy

Posted by Hernán Moraga on October 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I've been thinking a bit about the best way to implement a system that would promotes community, self-reliance, entrepreneurship, and at the same time, it would provide a mean for trading with the external world.

My thinking suggests me that the Eco-village should have both a Gift based Economy (for creating community sense among its members), a LETSystem with a propietary currency (for promoting the internal trade within the limits of the Eco-village), as well as a Barter based Economy component (for dealing with other Eco-villages and external entities), and also, a regular Credit Union that would provide exchange currency services (between the internal and external currencies), as well as loans to community members, and regular Financial Operations with the external market.

It seems too much, but each system would be serving particular needs at different levels of the Eco-Village (internal community Economy, external community Economy, and regular Market Economy).

******* 

 

Bitcoins, LETS, Barter, Taxes & Gifts

Posted by Hernán Moraga on October 13, 2011 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Lately I've been thinking in creating a propietary virtual currency on a transactional way, so it could operate over Internet on a Eco-Village (Wi-max and Wi-fi) versus researching about opensources initiatives on virtual currency.

On the last idea, I've found several equivalents to Napster in the virtual currency, peer-to-peer type of solutions.

So, today I am publishing the result of my research on BitCoin and other solutions (listed from the most complex solutions going down to more simpler and easy to implement solutions).  I am sure that this information would be valuable for any Eco-Village project: 

Other Alternative e-Currency Systems:

Barter Economies:

Review when a Barter volume become Taxable (if over $30,000 in consecutive 12 months for persons, or $50,000 for social institutions).

Another interesting approach is the Gift Economy (where people freely gives without expecting anything in return).

*******

 

Lammas Eco-village: Basic Principles

Posted by Hernán Moraga on October 10, 2011 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The Lammas Eco-Village located in UK shares the same vision that I have:

See also:

 

A few Eco-villages that have inspired me

Posted by Hernán Moraga on October 6, 2011 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

October 6th, 2011

Today I've added a few links of Eco-Villages or similar projects that have inspired me.  See details in the Links section.

Also, today my Mortgage broker informed me that on Tuesday 11th, they will re-submitt my mortgate application to the lender, for a property in Williamsburg, New Brunswick, Canada, where I would love to settle my Eco-Village.  So, I have my fingers crossed, until then.

Searching for Land for the Ecovillage

Posted by Hernán Moraga on October 4, 2011 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

October 3th, 2011, Gatineau.

It's been almost two months since I've visited with my wife a nice farm in Williamsburg, New Brunswick.  It is a 105 acre farm withe two homes, an old barn, and three outside buildings, which has about 30 acre of farming land, more than 75 acres of wood lands, about 1,8 km internal road, two little brooks, and a natural pond.  It is just perfect !!!

As a developer of the Ecovillage, I am not interested in having the homes right now, as I live in Gatineau, QC (about 1,200 kms from Williamsburg).  So, I've asked the Realtor to try to find for me a co-buyer interested in purchasing the homes with 5 acres of land, so I would buy only the 100 acres of land.

My plan is to purchase the land first, then save some money, and start developing my Ecovillage...

After sharing my Ecovillage plans with the Realtor I was surprised having her so supportive.  In fact,  she has already found a young couple that would like to co-buy the farm with us.  Right now, we are in the process of getting the mortgage funding approved from a local Mortgage Broker.  It's been a longer than usual process, as lending institutions are not easy in lending to two unrelated buyers (even though that this would reduce the default risk, a basic concept of Economics 101), and because in this case, both of the buyers, have no credit history in Canada (and even that I have a pristine credit record from my country, reported by EQUIFAX, the SAME Credit Bureau service that operates in Canada), and one of them (e.g., me), lives outside New Brunswick...


Well, let's see if we can get the mortgage approved on a timely manner, as this property seems to be the perfecet farm for my Ecovillage project.  I believe that it will work out, because I feel that I am doing something with wide and deep implications that will touch so many people...

Let's see if the creation powers grant me this opportunity withe the Williamsburg property...

Hernan Moraga
Founder


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