Upon arriving, it’s difficult to believe that you’re still in Buenos Aires. But it takes just 1 hour by train, 45 minutes by boat, and a short 5 minute walk through a green tunnel, you’ll find yourself at the doorstep of the Echo Village. Immersed in the wilderness and wetlands, this Swedish-registered NGO was started by the Argentine after spending years studying permaculture while backpacking around Nordic countries and Latin America. Leonardo started the Echo-Movement about 5 years ago, and the first thing he did to kick it off was to bring bags of Californian red worms to start the permaculture cycle.
Here, the project’s only house is made from recycled wood and it was constructed with the help of neighbors and local island builders. The balcony uses wild tacuara canes that grow fast all around the islands. Tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, pumpkins, eggplants, and peppers are some of the many delights that grow on cane structures or raised earth beds—which also happen to double as pond walls.
Reuse and conservation is at the heart of the movement, and examples of Leonardo’s heightened consciousness can be seen throughout the site. In the images above, yellow bleach bottles are cut out to catch wind while safely keeping birds away; beautiful pumpkins grow protected inside a tipi; and an earth oven provides for zero-energy pizza parties during warm summer nights.