As a young farmer dedicated to responsible land stewardship, food security, & conservation, I have planned an educational journey on bicycle across Costa Rica. The purpose of this journey is to do research into the different systems in place at well established research stations, education centers, universities, and farms which are being employed in attempt to create pathways to a more sustainable culture. With your help, I intend to depart on bicycle for nearly three months visiting the following locations:
-C.A.T.I.E, Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, Turrialba
-EARTH University Non-Profit Undergraduate Studies, Guacimo
-Costa Rica Center for Natural Living, San Isidro de General
-Finca La Isla Botanical Garden and Permaculture Farm, Puerto Viejo de Limon
-CIRENAS (Centro de Investigacion de Recursos Naturales y Sociales) Research Center of Natural and Social Resources, Nicoya Peninsula
-Finca Bonafide Permaculture & Bio-diversity Research Farm, Ometepe Island, NR
-Sat Yoga Eco-Village, San Isidro de General
-The New Dawn Education Center, Tropical Adventures in Human Ecology, San Isidro de General
The money that is donated to finance this trip will go directly towards the most basic logistical needs of the journey: food, lodging, transport, bike maintenance, personal items, extracurricular, resources, and communication.
As incentive, for each dollar that you donate I will plant one tree in your name. A 100$ donation means 100 trees in the ground here in Mastatal. If I reach my goal, 2600 trees will be planted. The trees will be a native fast growing leguminous species, Madero Negro (Gliricida Sepium). After the trees have grown to be 4 m (2-4 years) the trees will be cut and the wood turned into carbon (BIOCHAR) and then added to the soil. This is a truly carbon negative proccess that you will be supporting by your donation. The trees will sequester carbon from the atmosphere right on site and store that in the form of woody biomass. Once the trees are cut the wood will be carbonized into "biochar". The carbon, formerly at large in the atmosphere in gaseous form contributing to global weirding, will then be added to the soil on site. There it will stay for hundreds if not thousands of years as a stable solid, providing home to millions of microbes supporting a healthy soil ecology and preventing nutrients from leeching.
If you want to support carbon negative activities while at the same time supporting me in my continued education and life work, donate to finance this trip!
I will depart Mastatal on January 12, 2013 with two close friends and colleagues as my comrades, Scott Gallant and Laura Killingbeck. We plan to return to Mastatal by March 30, up to 77 days in total. Please review the budget at the end of this write up for a breakdown of costs.
Over the course of the trip as I visit progressive sites and meet people, I will be gaining first hand experience through my observations and interactions, gathering information, and making connections with people and institutions. I will be arranging formal tours and visits as well as extended stays where I will work as a volunteer and apprentice under some of the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals in the fields of permaculture, education, agronomy, bio-diversity, natural medicine, and more. I will be actively building relationships for future collaboration while at the same time gaining knowledge and insights into specific techniques and technologies which I can bring with me to the communities I serve. This work will provide valuable resources aiding me in the work that I will do in the small rural town where I live and work, and in my life.
For nearly 2 years I have lived in Mastatal, CR serving as a volunteer at environmental learning and sustainable living center Rancho Mastatal. During my time with the Ranch I have served as Captain Carbon Negative, helping to lead efforts in tree planting by the thousands (agro-forestry), alternative cooking technologies (biogas, bio-fuels, wood), & food production, among other things. Additionally, I recently accepted a position on the board of a non-profit called the Mastate Charitable Foundation, as the Community Liason. MCF has worked for around 8 years in and around the town of Mastatal advancing benevolent, educational, and scientific efforts. By donating to finance this trip you will be supporting in a hugely significant way both MCF and Rancho Mastatal in the important work that they do. Together, these organizations I am involved with have protected hundreds of acres of ancient forest while working tirelessly for over a decade helping to lead local efforts in conservation, food security, natural medicine, natural building, and community growth. Many community projects have been initiated and completed including the design/build of a timber-framed library (Community Learning and Sharing Center) over the past 3 years. By donating to finance this trip, you will be empowering me to serve these organizations better and thus the communities they serve. I will have a more intimate relationship with the country I am working in, and will be a more experienced and knowledgeable leader. I will become a greater asset to those I am associated with, including you.
This trip signifies my dedication to continued education through real world interactions and hands on experience. Traveling by bicycle reflects my dedication to minimizing as much as possible the amount of fossil fuels I use and the amount of carbon I am responsible for adding to the environment; my dedication to taking responsibility as much as possible for the energy I consume and waste I produce.
TRIP BUDGET (for 77 days):
*based on 3 meals a day at 5$ per meal, reflecting the costs of food at family owned restaraunts and local marketplace
*based on cost of budget hostel dorm room for one night assuming that I will pay for lodging half of the nights and camp without cost for the rest
*based on border crossing fees, ferry trips, and emergency transport in case of breakdown
Bike Maintenance $200
*based on costs of essential spare parts including tires/tubes, brake pads, light batteries and hardware, plus a safety budget for emergency repairs
Personal Items $50
*based on price of Dr. Bronners soap, toothpaste, and other basic hygienic needs
*allowance for entrance fees to botanical gardens and other facilities, tour fees, guide fees, etc.
*allowance for printing out resources, books, and other educational and work related tools to be purchased and brought back to Mastatal
*based on fees for telephone and internet services over the course of the trip to allow for the ongoing communication between me and the people/places I will visit while on the road
Total costs of trip: $2,392
Fundraising fees $208
*based on website and money processing fees adding up to 7.9%; min. allowance to ensure I recieve the minimum amount to cover the costs of the trip
Total Funds Needed $2600
Any surplus donations above my goal for this trip will go towards extra food, extra resources and towards basic necesities supporting me in my continued work living in Mastatal.
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