Earth  Endowment Micro-Grants 1995 – 2001

Obregon Micro-Grant 2001

Two micro-grants have been made by Amaterra to support the housing projects near Obregon, Mexico created by Bill and Athena Steen of the Canelo Project.

Image1   A close friend and co-worker of the Steens, Emiliano Lopez, has been employed by Save the Children Foundation in Mexico for the last seven years. He agreed to take on the new work of making the necessary preparations for constructing a small home with a vaulted roof this February.  He prepared the foundation, made all the necessary straw/clay blocks for the walls and roof and pulled together all the materials and tools needed for the February project. This grant of $700 provided two months of salary for him,  He worked the months of December and January thanks to Amaterra.  Hopefully, funding will be secured for him in the future so that he can continue this type of work.

The second micro-grant for this project was for the purchasing of tools and materials needed to build this vaulted roof home. It was a one room building, approximately 400 to 500 square feet in size and will be home for one family. It did not cost the entire $700 to build this structure. The basic materials are clay soil, chopped straw, several windows and doors. The blocks used are made from straw and clay and are lighter and more insulating than a regular adobe. They were developed during the course of the Steen’s work in the Ciudad Obregon area over the past years. The idea and inspiration behind this building was to construct a home that uses no wood and is very low in cost and that ideally cou1d be replicated by others once the necessary training is in place. The balance of the funds were used to purchase the tools necessary for this project and so that Emiliano and the community can continue building more in the future.  We encourage you to take a look at their work by going to their web site


CEDO Micro-grant 2001

Image2  The Intercultural Center for the Study of the Oceans and Deserts, CEDO, is known for its pioneering work as an environmental voice and conservation force in the upper Gulf of California and surrounding Sonoran Desert. CEDO serves the different cultures and users of this bioregion through the development of diverse programs to understand and protect these ecosystems. Programs include basic research, science and environmental education, conservation of resources, and development of models of sustainable use. CEDO produces a number of regular publications, and most activities and materials are developed in Spanish and English to effectively communicate with visitors and residents in the region.

One of the most significant CEDO publications is the seasonal CEDO NEWS, which has been published and distributed to members since the mid-1980s. This bilingual publication contains articles that range from history and human interest, to ecology and biodiversity. Today, past issues of the CEDO NEWS form the most significant source of information that is available about the region.

To insure that this information is available to researchers and the public, the Board of Directors of Amaterra wishes to encourage the compilation of past issues of the CEDO NEWS into a published format that may be widely distributed. To this important end, Amaterra has given a $500.00  Challenge Grant to CEDO. Through this action, Amaterra begins a process of fund raising, which will result in the publication of all past issues of the CEDO NEWS. Amaterra challenges all who know the significance of this environmental and educational information to contribute to the funding of this project. For more information about CEDO.


The Sierra Ancha Project 1995 – 1996

Sari6_r1_c2The project sought to document cliff dwellings and other prehistoric sites in the Cherry Creek area of east-central Arizona.  In 1995 and 1996, major expeditions were mounted to revisit all of the cliff dwellings and other sites recorded since 1981, and to conduct additional survey work to locate new sites in middle Cherry Creek.  Four weeks were spent each fall with dozens of volunteers from all over the world.  Over the two seasons, nearly 20 cliff dwellings were fully documented and more than 40 new sites were recorded.  The documentation involved completion of more than 1700 forms, 40 rolls of black and white film, and over 20 rolls of color slide film.  We now have a great dataset of site condition at this point in time, and learned a tremendous amount about the construction and remodeling of the sites.  We also placed long-term temperature recording devices and have thousands of lines of data documenting diurnal temperature fluctuations in the sites and in the canyons.  These data show the importance of passive solar heating in the siting of these villages.

“The project was made possible by the Tonto National Forest; Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona; Statistical Research, Inc.; Earthwatch; and Amaterra.  Without the help of Amaterra, the field projects in 1995 and 1996 would not have been possible.  Amaterra supplied a vehicle, a large tent, a generator, a camp kitchen with complete set of cooking and other supplies, water system, housing for participants, and the labor to put up and take down the camp each field season.  These items and assistance made a very difficult and primitive camp situation bearable, and even enjoyable, for the staff and volunteers.  The staff and volunteers offer their deepest thanks for the support.  Your invaluable help made the project possible!”
-Rich Lange, Project Director