I do not want this “development”

Julio Monsalvo is an Argentine doctor and people’s health activist I’ve met along the way, a wild bearded Diogenes on a Guevara-esque crusade to serve the poor in wealth by elevating the riches of the spirit. He coined the Spanish medical term “alta alegremia,” meaning “the level of happiness in the blood” — an important diagnostic.Continue reading “I do not want this “development””

Life and Dreams of the Perla River Valley: A River that Runs through History

In April, 1998 after most of three years in Chiapas, Mexico, installing drinking water systems in villages supporting the Zapatista struggle, the village I was in, called Taniperla, was invaded and occupied by Mexican military. It happened that, in Taniperla, an artist named Sergio Valdez Ruvalcaba had guided the painting of a mural celebrating villageContinue reading “Life and Dreams of the Perla River Valley: A River that Runs through History”

Planning for Climate Disaster: Resilient Communities Respond

From the latest issue of Race, Poverty & the Environment By Jeff Conant After months of silence on the presidential campaign—preceded by years of denial by big industry—climate change was forced back into the national political conversation last October by Hurricane Sandy, which swept across the northeastern U.S. A New York Times opinion piece entitled,Continue reading “Planning for Climate Disaster: Resilient Communities Respond”

“If I go around selling someone else’s home out from under him, well, he’s going to get angry”

Santiago Martinez collecting medicinal plants Photo; Jeff Conant An Interview with Santiago Martinez of Amador Hernández, Chiapas Santiago Martinez is a community health worker from the village of Amador Hernández in the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. Amador Hernández, a village of about 1500 people, sits at the biological center of the Montes Azules BiosphereContinue reading ““If I go around selling someone else’s home out from under him, well, he’s going to get angry””

Declaration of Patihuitz: Divided We Become Allies of the Government

Members of Global Justice Ecology Project traveled in late March to Chiapas, Mexico, to investigate the emerging local impacts of the REDD+ Program (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), and specifically the REDD Agreement signed between Chiapas and California. What we found was an astonishingly complex web of economic development projects being imposed onContinue reading “Declaration of Patihuitz: Divided We Become Allies of the Government”

Pushing for Climate Justice on Buffalo’s West Side

Buffalo, New York is the quintessential rust belt metropolis. With a population lower today than it was in 1900, Buffalo is the third poorest U.S. city of over 250,000 people (following Detroit and Cleveland), with more than a quarter of the city living below the poverty line. And, like Detroit and Cleveland, even as Buffalo’s job market hits rock bottom, its share of community gardens, neighborhood revitalization projects, and adventurous urban initiatives, is on the rise.