What is it? The Hexayurt is a refugee shelter system based on work done at the Rocky Mountain Institute. It uses an approach based on "autonomous building" to provide not just a shelter, but a comprehensive family support unit which includes drinking water purification, composting toilets, fuel-efficient stoves and solar electric lighting. Other systems can be added in a modular fashion.
Is this for real? Yes. Both the American Red Cross and the US Department of Defense have examined the Hexayurt system in detail and found that it has considerable merit and utility. I hope that we will see it in use by international agencies within two years.
The best place to get started is to read the slides from the presentation Vinay Gupta gave at the Pentagon in December 2006: Pentagon Presentation (pdf) - 20 pages, not much text, and the best summary of the system we currently have online.
People, their buildings and the ways they organise themselves are central to permaculture. Thus the permaculture vision of permanent (sustainable) agriculture has evolved into one of permanent (sustainable) culture.
Service learning as a teaching method combines community service with academic instruction that focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service learning programs involve students in organized community service that addresses local and global needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to the community. Internships offer ways individuals can learn from valuable work experiences while also contributing to the host's mission.
HSU Chiapas Program 2010:Humboldt State University's 2010 summer immersion in Appropriate Technology and Spanish Language & Culture took place in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. In 2010, we worked with Otros Mundos and various community members in San Cristobal de las Casas and near Acteal to collaboratively build three improved cookstoves, three rainwater catchment systems, windbelt prototypes, microhydro power feasibility studies, and a biogas digestor.