Reserva Integral y Ecoaldea Sasardi
The Sasardi ecovillage was the first initiative within the ecovillage movement to start in Colombia, it was as well one of the first private natural reserve in the country. The first members of this ecovillage moved in 1985 from the city into the Darién, within the Chocó biogeographical region, known as one of the areas with greatest biodiversity worldwide. The members were looking for new and different ways of life, trying to show it was possible to live a sustainable life in the middle of the tropical rainforest, preserving natural resources and increase the level of self-sufficiency livelihood based on conservation principles.
Since the very beginning the group decided not only to have as objective to achieve a good and more sustainable living standard for the group, but as well to work with the local inhabitants in order to ameliorate their way of life and preserve biodiversity. The Darien Foundation as NGO was created in 1993, since then the work has been done in various fields, with children as well as adults, in education programs on an informal basis, promoting the exchange of knowledge, experiences, seeds and dreams, empowering the locals to solve their own needs and problems, promoting human values such as: unity, solidarity, respect for all living beings, sensitivity, self-esteem and organizational processes, helping them to recognize their natural surroundings as a very important and special region with unique wildlife and cultural diversity. Doing different research together with the empiric local knowledge.
The basic group established at Sasardí has moved between 15 and 6 persons. The place is located in the middle of the rainforest and half hour walking from the Caribbean coast.
We are in contact with the external world thanks to appropriate technology and renewable energy, 4 solar panels and a micro pelton turbine give us enough electricity to have a telephone line, get connected into the internet, get light to read at night or listen some music once in a while. Most of the houses, a total of 6, have been built with local material mostly; palm leaves roof, wooden structures and clay/soil floor. We produce part of the food we consume, we have increased the self-livelihood but we are still far from becoming self-sufficient.
A big part of our time and efforts are placed to encourage the various social and environmental processes achieved along the region with local communities.
We receive visitors and have a responsible tourism program. Every year we organize an international voluntary working camp, carrying out various activities such as: planting native trees, waste management, setting up appropriate technologies together with the local communities, sharing and cultural exchange program. People come to share our way of life as internships and collaborate in the daily routine, at the same time that are inspire and get the idea of making a change somewhere.
Hundreds of people have been visiting the Sasardí ecovillage, many have been inspired to have a drastic change of attitude with their life and some have taken action and started ecovillages and sustainable projects around the country.