Welcome to the Belize Eco Village Bulletin 7 update for our master-planned community based on regenerative, renewable and restorative sustainability principles. We are always eager to hear your questions and thoughts regarding our planning, planting, and progress posted on the first Thursday of each month. Previous posts shared the values, virtues, and vision we hold for our Belize eco-community. More people are eager to discover Belize and decide if it is right for them to design, build, learn and live a healthy lifestyle. We are happy to share our experience regarding the new options we discover. A special thanks to Don Norris for helping our contractors source tools to make our construction faster and easier for the building team.
There are many good reasons to take a closer look at Belize for a reboot, retreat and retirement haven. With basic education and information, it is easier for you to be able to make more informed decisions regarding a healthy investment and lifestyle opportunity. If long-term happiness, health and well being are high priorities than our ecovillage may be a great choice for you. The goal of each Bulletin is to educate and inform readers about the benefits of Belize and our eco-community.
Belize Home #1 & #2
Our construction crew for Stabilized Compressed Earth Block Home #1 and #2 is making fair progress in spite of delays and rains. After starting foundation #1 during the May trip and #2 in June the September trip progress included the crew completing the bond beam on house #1 and almost ready to do the bond beam on house #2. The form boards are installed for the bond beams that support the roof and soon concrete will be poured for house #2. All the 4-inch cement block walls for the bathrooms are complete and being plastered with two coatings.
Rainy season in still hindering our planning, planting, and progress. The plan for the September 2018 trip was to continue coordinating with the contractor and suppliers to maintain progress but the rains continue to cause delays. We had to delay the caretaker house due to rains and filing with the Central Building Authority for permits. When the two homes are finished we can house the caretaker family and construction manager so we have a solid base of operations for our future development plans.
The drainage ditches dug in March have kept excess rain runoff from washing out our roads during the rainy season and provided the dirt berms for planting over 130 coconut trees. The two culvert installations were delayed due to rain and runoff which is still hindering progress. We are still waiting for it to dry enough for a bulldozer to contour additional land, clear more access lanes and the boundary survey lines. Two trips to Spanish Lookout have helped design the roof and support system with one more trip planned for October trip to finalize plans.
Stabilized Compressed Earth Block Homes
The Stabilized Compressed Earth Block (SCEB) has proven to be excellent for constructing a quality home. However, a few challenges were discovered early on which required modification for house #2 and for future homes. We are still pleased with the Royale International Ltd products and support. The SCEB allows us to build a cool and cost-efficient eco-friendly home which should be fireproof, mold proof, storm proof, and termite proof. Rain gutters and cisterns for each home will help us catch and store the abundant rainfall during the rainy season to use during the dry season.
We chose CSEB homes because they have a lower carbon and water footprint long term. We chose them after looking at over a dozen options because they are easy to maintain and extremely energy efficient. While we are not finished yet and still calculating the construction costs we feel confident our early pioneers will be able to buy a .25 acre lot and small SCEB home (excluding Stamp Tax and General Sales Tax – GST) to live in our eco-community for under $99 K. A couple should then be able to live comfortably on a small retirement or Social Security benefit of around $1000 per month.
We are still waiting for the drilling contractor to drill a water well as an additional source of water.
On October 19th and 20th we have a site visit planned to meet with the experts at the Monolithic Dome Institute in Italy, Texas to learn more about dome homes and an idea for dome eco-lodging on our project in Belize. Stay tuned for more details as we evaluate the benefits and costs associated with building some dome homes in Belize.
Healthy Habits & Habitats
The 2018 focus for Morningstar NEWS is 50% on Healthy Habits and 50% on Healthy Habitats. Researching and role modeling proven principles for a transition town drives us to share words with wisdom. Our vision is attracting a wide variety of eco-friendly people to help design, build and live in a healthy and sustainable way. We invite ideas, insights, and inspiration to help us focus our planning and progress. Sharing your solutions, strategies, suggestions, and systems will help us design and develop a better eco-community.
Where is Your Gap?
What actions, behaviors, beliefs, and decisions regarding your habits and habitats are influencing your happiness and health? What is your motivation for making better choices to avoid health hazards and adopt healthy habits? Investing in our long-term health helps protect our long-term wealth. Being happy, healthy and holistic naturally helps us shift to a more sustainable ecological, economic and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
Our daily habits and habitats directly impact our happiness and health. There are many reasons to consider our Belize Eco Village for a healthy future. What ideas and information will you share to help us embrace better regenerative and sustainable choices in 2018? Creating a healthy habits code of conduct and mastery action plan will enhance our quality of life. Our happiness and health benefit from healthy challenges, changes, and choices.
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding healthy habits and habitats?
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Michael — first big mistake is to lay out homesites in a grid pattern! If this is to be a sustainable and healthy community, there needs to be a more organic, natural pattern in tune with the local landscape and the harmonious emotional tone you wish to create here. Please don’t replicate the common mistakes of the past! Consult a Feng Shui master — you know one and if you’ve forgotten who she is, contact me and I can remind you! Hugs, Alice
Yes we realize that a grid pattern may not be optimal in some ways. We are learning the lay of the land and the western part of the community is currently laid out differently. As we discuss with the earth mover team, land planner and surveyor there can be many challenges as you attempt to create curves and do a less conventional grid pattern with the cost raipdly rising. Back when villages originally evolved boundaries and survey lines where not a big deal as they are today. While the current draft of a land plan looks very grid oriented we are seeking ways to soften the approach and eager for suggestions and support. We are also tuned in to sun and wind patterns. Yes I remember Brigitte is a Feng Shui master and plan to seek advice. We are looking for someone to join the design team in exchange for a sweat equity discount on a lot if you know of someone. BTW Bruce Carroll just joined the team my last trip and has experience in sacred geometry and geodesic domes so we are super excited. He has already started sharing ideas and influenced me to change the roof design we are starting this week. This week we have plans to visit the Monolithic Dome Institute in Italy Texas for ideas and suggestions before we build our first two domes. 🙂