Welcome Everybody -
We have 20 people signed up already, and we look forward to seeing you all for the February 2020 CEB Microhouse build in Belize. Here is some followup detail and logistics info. This coordination process is collaborative, as we welcome participants to meet and greet, and coordinate travel or activities outside of the workshop. For this, we are capturing all this information in a Google Form - so please fill out the Belize Coordination Form - https://wiki.opensourceecology.org/wiki/Belize_Coordination - so that we can all coordinate. This includes information from all instructors and assistants. All workshop participants will be able to view the responses for coordination purposes, otherwise - we respect your privacy. Also - before you ask questions, see if they are covered in our FAQ - https://www.opensourceecology.org/ceb-microhouse-build-in-belize/#faq.
1. Arrival. You should plan on arriving at the Belize Inernational Airport the day before - and we will pick you up in a van or bus. What time? Usually flights arrive before evening - so we will plan on leaving the airport around 6 PM - or as soon as the last arrival occurs. So please arrive the earliest in the day that is convenient for you.. The trip to Copper Bank to our site is 2 hours long. If you don't have tickets - now is a good time to get them. Please fill our the Belize Coordination Form to let us know your flight and arrival time.
2. Housing. The first 12 people who signed up are staying at the Bamboo Beach Resort - you probably know who you are. Someone asked if that iFor other people - please fill out the Belize Coordination Form with your housing preference - BBR, local families, or camping at BBR, or other - so we have all this in one place and so others can see your info for easier coordination.
3. Visiting Belize and Coordination - Ready to snorkel, dive, or tour the country? Here are the top places to see if you'd like to travel before or after the workshop. #1 natural jungle areas - https://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/belize/articles/belizes-10-best-jungle-lodges and https://www.islandexpeditions.com/belize-vacations-blog/8-unique-things-see-and-do-belize-rainforest, #1 coral reefs - see our FAQ at https://www.opensourceecology.org/ceb-microhouse-build-in-belize/#faq , #1 Mayan Ruin - https://www.belizeadventure.ca/mayan-ruins/ - and Cerros happens to be about 1/2 hour from our build site, and other #1 locations you must see - https://www.touropia.com/best-places-to-visit-in-belize/. Please fill out the Belize Coordination Form to let others know what you are planning to visit in case others would like to as well, or also to put in your suggestions for other places if you are familiar or found something compelling.
4. Transportation - The public transport system is not well-developed in belize, so if you want to visit places, a car rental is most reliable. Expect to pay about $82 per day on average according to Kayak. But - for those who are renting cars - please consider offering a ride to others if you have space. Once again... please fill out the Belize Coordination Form to let us and others know.
5. Build Site - Foundation is prepared and blocks are ready to be pressed. We are pressing 2400 block for the event - we are waiting for the soil to dry right now. See some pictures of the build site -
6. Machines - machines are ready. On top of this, we have designed a new Soil Mixer - but not sure if we can build it in Belize as we are having trouble importing parts. But here's more about it - as it's too good to keep to oneself. The design at https://wiki.opensourceecology.org/wiki/Soil_Mixer_2019 shows a hammermill-based mixer/doser which injects a controlled amount of cement to the soil mix to get high quality, stabilized block with consistent and measurable cement percentage. While you can build with raw block - stabilization makes the blocks waterproof - so they can literally function with the durability of cement block. Our soil mixer design is unique: only one person is required to operate the block pressing operation by loading the mixer with a tractor and adding bags of cement to the mixer. The mixer feeds automatically into the brick press - with 2 people stacking pressed block on pallets. The soil mixer machine itself costs $3k in materials. Auroville is the world's leading authority on CEBs - and their machine - for comparison - costs $48k for a similar product but with a different type of workflow - and requires 15 people to run... So I think we are innovating here on low cost, accessible, high performance design. We'll see when we'll be able to build it - but definitely at the 2020 Summer of Extreme Design-Build at our Kansas City headquarters - see https://www.opensourceecology.org/summer-x-2020/
7. Safety equipment and tools - Do you have work gloves, glasses, earplugs, hard hats, or cordless drills? Bring them - the more tools we have available the better. Once again - fill out what you can bring at Belize Coordination Form.
8. Internet - do not expect massive internet access. Bamboo Beach Resort does not provide internet. Your best option is a pay-as-you-go internet card. If you have an unlocked phone, or if you unlock your phone (call your provider, get a new SIM card - we will send more details if you like). Or, if you have international data - you're all set. Scott will be providing more wifi access details.
9. Learning goals - please share your learning goals so we can serve you better. Please fill out the Belize Coordination Form. We will have detailed build instructionals and CAD - so that anyone can replicate our design easily anywhere in the world.
Other than this - we look forward to the event. Any questions or anything we missed? Please feel free to respond to this email - but do please fill out the Belize Coordination Form.
Marcin and Crew
- Event Announcement on our Website - please pass this on to your friends - 
- Other OSE Programs for 2020 - https://www.opensourceecology.org/workshops-and-programs/
- Participate in a Book Sprint to document houses and aquaponic greenhouses - Seed Eco-Home and Aquaponic Greenhouse Book Sprint