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Volunteer Spotlight: Mauricio

Monday, March 14th, 2011 by Marie

good-foto-of-himWe were so happy to have Mauricio join the Bosque team for three months!

Mauricio is originally from the state of Aguascalientes. He is a filming location manager and has been a part of creating several documentaries. His experience with filmmaking combined with his experience being a part of large teams made him an amazing addition to the Bosque.

Depending on the day, Mauricio helped out with general work such as building with cob and clearing trails, joined in on activities like pottery and papermaking, and filmed and edited videos that will give visitors a better idea of what to expect at the Bosque. During our team meetings he was able to provide valuable advice and ideas based on his experience running events and working to coordinate large groups of people.

In free time, Mauricio enjoys practicing yoga, meditating, and Edgu. He’s a people person but also enjoys time to himself; it was great to always know that he can be content with the simple forest setting and also participate in group events. A great person to know! We hope to have Mauricio back in the forest someday.

Be well Mauricio, and come back soon!

Videos Mauricio made:

Mauricio and Angela at bread class:
bread class

taking video

Editing video:
Editing video

Mapmaker, mapmaker make me a map

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 by Marie

We have been working on the Bosque map for years. Since Brian first arrived to the Bosque with his GPS, up until yesterday when Jairo added some final touches; the Bosque map making process has been a long haul! And many people contributed to its creation. Hours of GPSing, converting files, and then painstakingly drawing each trail in Adobe Illustrator - many steps to a great map!

Step One: GPS

The first step to making the Bosque map included using a GPS to record all of the trails in the Bosque. Many people worked on this step, including Nika, Brian and Marie. We use a Garmin GPS to walk the trails, mark significant points, and learn about distances and elevation changes.


Step Two: GPS Trackmaker

The second step involves loading the files onto a program called GPS Trackmaker. This program allows us to fiddle around the different lines, making up for any obvious errors that happened while using the GPS. In Trackmaker we could change trail types, add symbols for different locations, and make a basic Bosque map.


Step Three: Adobe Illustrator

After the basic map is done in GPS Trackmaker, we convert the files so that we can edit the map in Adobe Illustrator. Using this program, at least four people have done work on the map. Brenda, Niklas, Jairo and Brian all contributed to making the map look pretty in Illustrator.

Niklas, in particular, spent hours and hours and hours tracing the lines on the Bosque map.


And the FINAL PRODUCT!!!!! (click on the image to see a large version)
This map will help visitors know their way around the Bosque - it is a really fun place to explore, and much easier to enjoy with a map. There will of course be changes as the Bosque continues to develop.


Thanks to everyone who helped along the way!

Hannah, a visual designer and illustrator, and friend from Seattle, created the first pretty Bosque map:


Brian working with one of the first drafts on a canvas:

Drafts, of both GPS Trackmaker files and Illustrator:



And last, the original map of the Bosque Village (and its old name)

A Giant Solar Oven in our Future!

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 by Marie

For years, we have been on the look-out for an old satellite dish, hoping to find one to create a solar oven. The dish can be covered in foil or reflective material, pointed at the sun, and its focal point will have lots of reflected heat waiting to cook pizza, bread, casseroles - even fry an egg! This article details how to make a solar oven from an old satellite dish. Below, Brian is demonstrating how even a small reflective disc is very powerful and can light sticks on fire if focused on the sun.

A few days ago Todd from Pátzcuaro contacted us - his friend, David, an avocado farmer in very rural Michoacán, was interested in unloading an old dish. Jumping on the opportunity, Brian drove to go meet David and Todd, load up the HUGE dish into a truck, and haul it back to the Bosque Village.

David was so kind to provide both a truck and driver to get the satellite dish from his ranch to the Bosque.

The dish measures 15 feet across (4.5 meters). We are considering turning it into two semi-giant solar ovens rather than connecting the halves into one mega-giant oven. Perhaps one will be used as a solar oven, and the other as a solar skillet.

Measuring the dish:

Half of the dish:

The new solar oven will be an addition to our current solar oven and lorena stoves.

Thanks so much to David for your generosity, and for Todd for connecting us with David!

Bosque Family Gathering

Friday, January 7th, 2011 by Marie

Every year we host a dinner to celebrate our friends from the local villages and to thank them for being a part of the Bosque Village. 2010 was a fantastic year for the Bosque, full of many positive changes, new residents, great guests, and interesting projects. Towards the end of December was an appropriate time to bring everyone together to celebrate the work that has been done, the people who have helped, and the partnerships that have been created over the past few years.

We started off the gathering with some beers, home-made liquors (flavored with quince and blackberry), and a delicious meal prepared by Jairo and Nere. We ate pollo con mole (chicken with mole), champiñones con mole (mushrooms with mole), rice, beans, fresh corn tortillas, and a beautiful green salad.

Jairo and Nere, finishing up the final touches on the salad

Next, the piñatas! Jairo, Javiero, Heather and Damon had crafted a beautiful piñata for the occasion. We were also given a piñata by some friends from Pátzcuaro. The piñatas were filled to the brim with sweets, and both the kids and adults had a great time trying to break them while Beto skilfully moved the piñatas around the terrace with a rope. The piñata dances in the air while kids and adults try to hit it with a pole. The adults are blindfolded to make it more difficult and more amusing for the people watching.

And finally, according to tradition, some games of volleyball, trampoline, and tether ball. We think there is a conspiracy going on, because the same team that won last year’s volleyball tournament immediately formed nearly the same exact team this year, and proceeded to win game after game after game. Only when they were extremely tired did one team finally take them down.

The winning team: Chilino, Adan, Gonzalo, Javiero, Beto

We give a heartfelt thanks to our friends for being a part of the Bosque family. Without the continued effort of many people - class teachers, language exchange helpers, workers, residents, and visitors - the Bosque wouldn’t be able to survive.

Thanks to everyone for joining us on this strange adventure!

Michoacán, the Soul of Mexico

Sunday, December 19th, 2010 by Marie

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