Today is Friday, February 17th in the year 2017 and I am in a very pleasant single-story house with flat walls and a pitched roof. I have just finished my first day building a dome 6 feet in diameter after attending lectures about dome construction and touring the facilities yesterday with the group of thirty people onsite for this workshop. I am at Cal-Earth, the California Institute of Earth Architecture, a nonprofit organization based in Hesperia, California that is committed to developing new forms of shelter and hopes to create the ability for everyone to build their own home through earth architecture.
Each year, Cal-Earth trains hundreds of people in the art of earth building through educational programs, so that they can go on and share their skills with communities across the globe, nurturing a respect for the environment and aiding refugees, displaced and homeless people, and those in substandard housing. The founder, Nader Khalili, was inspired by the alarming effects of climate change and natural disasters, leaving millions of people displaced. Constructing human shelter is the most costly part of rebuilding after the disasters and Khalili saw an urgent need to create a sustainable form of emergency structures.
My experience at this co-op has been great so far. I feel good that I am learning a new skill while also being able to do something that will help people in need around the world!
Photo credit: https://www.calearth.org