Sustaining a Splendid Species

CAUTIOUSLY WE PLOD THROUGH a cattle pasture trying to avoid slipping in the mud or stepping on piles of dung. In the treetops above us, we hear raucous screeching, and the closer we get, the louder and more insistent the screeching becomes. Our guide, Alexander, sets up his spotting scope and waves to us eagerly while…

The Grand City of Granada

MARAUDING PIRATES, bloodthirsty mercenaries and roughneck gold rushers all played a part in the history of the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua. But in spite of being burned to the ground twice and taken over as a stronghold for a foreign filibuster, Granada has managed to persevere and even prosper—while emerging as Nicaragua’s best hope for…

Energy from Water in Nicaragua

CARLOS COLONEL owns an avocado farm on the slopes of an extinct volcano on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua. A while back, he realized that he could use the waterfall on his property to create clean energy, not only for himself, but for some of the poorest residents of the island who had never had power before.…

Purses from Plastic

THE UBIQUITOUS PLASTIC grocery bag—used for lunches, garbage cans, and groceries—is one of the most prolific sources of pollution in modern-day society. Scientists estimate that worldwide people use 500 trillion plastic bags each year. In the Americas alone, the United States reports using 380 billion plastic bags a year. Cheap to buy and easy to store,…