The Victoria’s Secret Model, Dr. Bill, and a Kid Named Alberto

Viví el Victoria's Secret Fashion Show por TNT

Viví el Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show por TNT (Photo credit: sitemarca)

“I felt like a piece of meat,” was the complaint from a model after participating in a Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

Yeah, this came off of Yahoo News, so you know it’s got to be suggestive, but did an experienced model really have come to this realization only after working her way up to the big time Show of Shows?  When they outfitted her in wings, squeezed her into revealing lingerie that left little to more to suggest, did she pause before high-heeling it onto the runway?  No.  She seems to have made sure the check was deposited first.

Nothing else to report from the world of non-news, at least of any interest…Prostitute ads, Pope wasting food…, Taco Bell firing coupled with FBI investigations – the usual stuff I’ve commented on before, the kind of information that has no value and calls for no action or reaction, other than offering the easy and empty, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you” reaction.

I’m considering doing a few posts on some of the American, Canadian, and European ex-pats who call Costa Rica home.  They are an odd lot…mostly people who have left wrecked lives or open indictments behind in their country of origin.  These are risk-taking people, mostly, and they are as quirky a bunch as I’ve ran across in thirty years of traveling.  Few photos can be included with such posts, since many of these people seem very camera shy, and most of them go by names they’ve made up or have adopted since their arrival.

Costa Rica often reminds me of a pirate-era Tortuga.  There is little altruism here, as I’ve seen ex-pats involve themselves with in many other countries I’ve visited.  Some people are here for the eco-tourism biz, and there are some who volunteer for turtle, sloth, monkey, or parrot rescue projects.  But, on the whole, these people are here for their own economic advancement.  I’ve got a better example to draw from – one from when I lived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

I was walking down the beach my second day in town, trying to kill two days until an apartment opened up.  I had been sleeping in an abandoned restaurant near the beach, and came across Dr. William St. John on my way “home.”  A skinny man, appearing to be in his 70s, bright green bathing trunks that were too tight for comfort, and he was working away at a pile of beach junk, dock lumber, rusted cable and ropes – there had been a severe storm a few days before that had destroyed the city pier, and this was the remains.  I stopped, watched for a few minutes, he acknowledged me, then went back to pulling the mess apart.

“There’s a pelican in here,” he said.  I started helping him.  We eventually freed the pelican, and by that time he had found out I was homeless, and offered me a place to stay.  I spent the next two days living on the roof of the Hotel California – really, the Hotel California – under a corrugated tin roof, my only furniture was a full-sized Brazilian flag.  His name was Dr. William St. John, from White Plains, New York, and he smoothed over the rougher aspects of my life, asking for nothing in return besides my company.  We spent two evenings on his balcony talking over many topics, the broadest, the meaning of life…the narrowest, the value of one life.

Dr. Bill had been a successful physician in Boston, with houses, summer homes, cars, boats, a portfolio of investments, and a severe alcohol problem.  Putting down the bottle somehow brought him to question the lifestyle he had constructed around the endless drive for symbols of status.  He sold everything, gave much of the proceeds to charities, saving enough to travel the world comfortably for the rest of his life, which he refused to do.    He took public transportation, traveled across seas on cargo ships, hiked dirt roads, paid for passage on Arab trading boats, and generally lived like a bum.

When I met him he had visited 52 countries, and had been changing the world for the better, one life at a time.

In Puerto Vallarta Dr. Bill had made friends with a Catholic priest.  Dr. Bill was an atheist, convinced the best he could do in this world was serve his immediate community, and in turn, the world.  But, he also knew that in a Latin American country a local Catholic priest was probably his surest source to discovering a worthy project.  Through that priest he had identified a young man named Alberto who had shown promise, intelligence, a sense of family and community loyalty, but lived in a shack up on the hill without electricity, indoor plumbing, or any of the other conveniences most of us take for granted.

Dr. Bill moved Alberto’s family into an apartment with the basic amenities…nothing extravagant.  He up-graded their wardrobes, concentrating on Alberto, since the young man would need presentable clothing to attend the private Catholic school he was to be enrolled in, on Dr. Bill’s dime.  Alberto got a new computer, the beginning to a library worthy of a young man on his way to medical school, and reliable transportation to school every day.  The Catholic priest was put in charge of monitoring Alberto’s progress, and a local businessman of good repute was charged with monitoring the priest and his relationship and guidance of Alberto.  With all this in place, Dr. Bill backed his way out of the picture, asking only for bi-annual reports on Alberto and his family.

This was not the first such project the good doctor had undertaken.  He received many such reports from countries such as India, Bhutan, Vietnam, Ghana, Morocco, El Salvador, and Ecuador, to name but a few.  Besides the criteria perviously mentioned, the common denominator in Dr. Bill’s kids seemed to be they had ambitions toward a profession that would serve their community.  I lost contact with Dr. Bill after he moved on, while I stayed to become a diving guide, a waiter in a restaurant called Baby Jaws, checked in on Alberto and his family now and again.  One of Dr. Bill’s requests was after he had set a more manageable future in motion for this lad, strangers – like myself – should stay out of the way as much as possible and let the situation play out.

I can imagine I’ll have a hard time finding another Dr. Bill, but I am sure I’ll be able to come up with some unique modern-day pirates.  Will report soon.

The Mysterious Art of Speaking in Tongues

It was a dark, damp night when the Alchemist got off the bus in a small, Central American beach town.  He wore the garb of his arcane and mysterious profession – a dark suit of linear stripes, mirror-sharp footwear, and carried a black leather case full of flat, bleached wood pulp embossed with 44 mysterious black ink symbols arranged in linear rows.  It had been raining for three days, and the rutted dirt streets ran red with mud, blood, and liquid spirits.  His arrival from Cleve Land, an outpost in the Empire to the north, went unnoticed in the chaos of neon signs, weighted jungle foliage, and streets with no names or number associations.  No One was there to meet or aid him, and he wanted for no One here at the edge of the Western World.  His foreign sweat, mixed with jungle-steamed rainwater, ran in rivulets down skin that marked him as an outsider…an interloper…an emissary from the land of Commerce.  His cellphone rang…it was her.

Alright, enough playing around.  I’m here to discuss my personal experiences teaching ESL, English as a Second Language, and maybe relate a few experiences from trying to teach EFL, English as a First Language, if I feel like it.

wayra class 2First off – I had an interview to teach English at a Spanish Institute in the beach resort of Playa Tamarindo.  This is the dream gig of every teacher, and maybe some real people also.  What can be so hard about teaching English…especially if English is Your First Language?  And, who wouldn’t want to live in a resort community, getting paid to work in a place where people spend $400 a night or more just to have a place to sleep with an air conditioner?  And look at this classroom…open air, parrots flying about the campus, monkeys dropping in on class sessions, sloths sleeping in the roof supports – what could be better?

What could be better?  There are a few considerations to take into account.  Not everyone who knows how to speak English, even people with college or university degrees that imply they should know plenty about a specific subject, has the tools to pass that knowledge on to others.  Teaching is an art.  I know high school dropouts, surf bums, even criminals, who would make fine teachers.  And, in the same vein, I know highly intelligent people, or educated, people who suck at teaching.  I’ve met many of these people, enough of them as teachers in classrooms to make that statement with complete confidence.

So, just how should a language instructor prepare for such employment?  Here’s a short list.

 

1) Schooling – Most language schools will require instructors to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in some subject, and it need not be in the language they are to teach.  While negotiating for my job at this school I slowly became convinced the English classes weren’t going to be enough to support me.  I discovered they also needed a Social Studies tutor, an American History tutor, an Ancient History tutor, and a Science tutor.  I became those things.  Along with a basic degree, most language schools – and I mean most – will require an ESL, TEFL, TEOSL, or CELTA degree or certificate.  The Cambridge University CELTA is the gold standard.  They don’t come easy.  A simple internet word search will reveal dozens upon dozens of “online schools” offering cheap certificates with the other acronyms on them, or one can be found at the end of a short higher education course.  Easy enough.  The main point is paper.

 

English: An Italian immigrant makes an America...

English: An Italian immigrant makes an American breakfast aided by instructional materials from the YMCA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2) Paper, Paper, and More Paper – My ESL teaching experience came in Latin America, and Latin Americans love paper.  The general rule for resumes in the U.S. is keep it to one page, so the HR department people can make a snap decision as to hiring you or the 12,428 other candidates crowding to fill a position.  Not here, bucko…the more paper the better.

A three or four page resume, along with a photocopy of every degree, certificate, or good conduct award only adds luster to your qualifications.  I even included a “work well done” commendation from a library I worked in while I was suffering through grad school.  I would have discarded it long ago if I had recognized it for what it was.  It had a fake gold leaf border, and an official-looking stamp on it, so I mistakenly chucked it in with my other degrees…it was treated with reverence south of the Rio Grande.  I had no CELTA, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, or certificate of any other degree of competence attesting to my skill at teaching languages.

And, as any educated person knows, it’s impossible to perform even the smallest of tasks, such as boiling water, without large pieces of paper.

 

English: Jewish Children with their Teacher in...

English: Jewish Children with their Teacher in Samarkand. Early color photograph from Russia, created by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii as part of his work to document the Russian Empire from 1909 to 1915. Français : Enfants juifs avec leur professeur à Samarcande. Une des premières photos en couleur de Russie. Prise par Sergueï Prokoudine-Gorski, c’est une partie de son travail d’un document sur l’empire Russe de 1909 à 1915. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3) Teaching Experience – This is stressed by most prospective employers in the language instruction field, but there’s a first time for everybody.  But, some type of teaching experience – any type – comes in handy.  Do you have the personality for such work?  Students can be difficult.  Are you a good public speaker?  Fewer people are than think they are.  Can you adjust to the learning styles of “unique” students without losing the attention of the rest of the class?

I had one young genius that would hum songs, doodle castles and dragons, nod his head rhythmically, make faces at other students behind their backs, and generally carry on like a lunatic.  He was driving me nuts…all my efforts and he was ignoring me.  I stopped my lecture and asked him a question about a point I had made a couple of ideas back.  He repeated what I had said word for word, adding his own interpretation of and thoughts on the subject.  I didn’t even remember what I had said.

But, he was setting a bad example for the rest of the class whose brains weren’t as compartmentalized as his…what would you do in such a situation?

Would you cramp his learning process, or let the rest of the students follow his example until the whole class ran off the rails?

Tough question.

 

4) Flexibility –  Besides dealing with unusual students, dysfunctional or non-existent classroom equipment, and dysfunctional or non-existent school staff or directors, can you adapt to often radically different climates, expectations, and local customs that may seem wasteful, useless, or at best, downright confusing?  How well would you deal with a job interview after slogging through knee-deep mud, a good drenching in a tropical downpour, with a stomach-cramping case of the you-know-whats?  Are you capable of restoring malfunctioning internet systems?  Can you eat something that makes you sick to look at, let alone eat?  Are you resourceful?

I was teaching creative writing for an at-risk-youth program, the kind where I had to disarm some students.  The classroom supplies – several broken pencils and a couple of run-dry magic markers – were handed to me in a Tupperware container.  I had to go to a local university, wander around the halls looking for un-guarded pens and pencils, and in the process found a packet of multi-colored binders, then discovered an unlocked supply room where I liberated several packages of computer paper, as well as four packages of lined-paper legal pads.  I took a trash bag out of a garbage can, emptied it, and tossed my school supplies into it as I made my escape, only stopping at the information desk, where I slipped a plastic container containing paper clips and thumb tacks into my Santa Sack of necessities.  Artful Dodger 101 is a pre-requisite for teaching in a Developing Nation.

 

Marie F.U.S.S.5) More Flexibility – So, let’s say your teaching gig is a flop…let’s say that you can’t handle the spoiled rich brats and their sense of entitlement, and their defensive parents who think their little darlings can do no wrong…and all their shortcomings and problematic behavior becomes YOUR problem…then what?  You’ve run your bank account dry moving to some shit hole of town in the middle of nowhere, and you’re getting hungry.  Can you talk your way into some alternative employment – at least enough to get bus fare back to a city, and air fare back to what you consider civilization?  Can you operate a boat?  Catch fish?  Guide Yak Tour Inc. customers up into the Himalayas?  Burn your resumes, degrees, and library service appreciation awards for heat or to cook Iguana over?  Handle an AK-47?  Sell your body on the dusty streets of an oil-boom town?

You might have to.

Ten Plagues Upon Playa Tamarindo

English: Second plague of Egypt. Frogs. Pictur...

English: Second plague of Egypt. Frogs. Picture from popular bible encyclopedia of archimandrite Nikiphor (1891 year). Русский: Вторая казнь Египетская – жабы. Иллюстрация из иллюстрированной библейской энциклопедии архимандрита Никифора (1891 год) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A wet season downpour drove me inside yesterday, and the usual internet problems left me with little to do besides…read books.

My latest acquisition is a Bible, courtesy of some Evangelicals who are trying to pester the loyal Catholic mobs to cast their culture aside, and slide into social anarchy before being redeemed by the Cult of Speaking in Tongues and Snake Handling.

I have read this book before, and know to skip Genesis…that first page always gets me, where God is a singular sky god for a while, then a plural land god when he says, “Let us make man in our image” before becoming a singular sky god again.

Bad editing and no consideration for continuity always drive me to close a book, or go directly to the end and find out what happened, allowing me to feel like I read it.  That’s been my approach in the past, go straight to Revelations, and read a few chapters in reverse order.

Now, if you’re looking for some tough talking, action-packed, tightly written words with the power of a literary locomotive, that’s a good place to start.  I usually get bored by Kings or where everyone is begatting, so I’ve never read Exodus.  I should have, since that book seems to hold the secret to the Wet Season torments that drove me inside in the first place…the Ten Plagues that Moses allegedly brought down on the Egyptians.  If I go over them one at a time you’ll see what I mean.  “Fasten your seatbelts – it’s going to be a bumpy night,” as Bette Davis advised her entourage in the film “All About Eve.”  (Another Biblical reference…hmmmm).  Don’t let me digress…here are the plagues I missed in Exodus, but am living out now:

1) Plague of Blood – when it rain here in Central America, it rains.  And, since the roads are not paved and there are no ditches or water channels, they become rivers of mud…in the case of western Costa Rica, where the earth has a red tint to it due to iron and other volcanic minerals, the rivers running by my front door are Red as Blood.  Torrents of knee-deep water come down the hill behind my place, carrying boulders the size of bean bag chairs.  A good friend of mine has scars on his shins from sliding down one of these roads a couple of years ago…a good reason to stay inside.

2) Plague of Frogs – I heard this trumpeting sound the other night.  The lonely little EMS vehicle always parked outside the main market, I thought.  I’d never heard it, since it hasn’t moved in the eight months I’ve lived here.  But it sounded like geese…big geese, the volume of their calls bringing to mind visions of madness.  But, as usual, I was wrong.  It is the rainy season infestation of frogs, a friend told me.  He also told me if I wanted to see them all I had to do was go down to our pool, which they take over for the month or so they’re in their rutting period.  So, I went.  Frogs were in the pool, and around the pool on lounge chairs, puffing up and emitting a terrifying sound from their froggy mouths to advertise their sexual potency.  But they were hand-sized creatures, hardly large enough to emit so much noise, but what do I know…I retreated to my apartment building, toweled off, and slammed the door in case any of the croakers followed me and tried to slip in after me.

3) Plague of Lice or Gnats – hasn’t happened yet…but I know where the EMS vehicle is now.

4) Plague of Flies or Wild Animals – Wet Season does bring on an unusual amount of flies, and the animals are coming back down out of the hills.  The Howler monkeys have set up shop across the street and in the patches of jungle beside and behind my apartment building.  I saw a juvenile yesterday, hanging by his tail, using a tree branch like a switch as he tormented the dogs howling beneath.  I felt better after that, knowing I wasn’t the only creature suffering these plagues.

5) Plague of Pestilence – I forgot what pestilence means…and, everyone has their own definition, so I’ll let this one sit.  I’ve got enough to deal with already with Rivers of Blood, Frog Gangs and Switch-wielding Howlers.

6) Plague of Boils – there is usually a boil alert when water starts washing the sewage and garbage down from where the Nicaraguan and Columbian illegals have set up their shanty towns.  I already knew this…not plague worthy in my book.

7) Plague of Hail – I haven’t seen any hail yet, but the rain is falling so hard that a piece of the roof fell in not long ago.  Not a large piece of roof…just enough to damage an iron railing, or bust a head if anyone had been walking beneath it.  Fell on the steps just outside my back bedroom window, where I was reading Exodus…I think I should have stuck with the wickedly fierce prose in Revelations.

6588) Plague of Locusts – Locusts, Schmocusts…I have grasshoppers the size of magic markers coming in and out of my place all the time.  They take over the coffee pot when they please, and licked the cream my wife spilled right off the floor.  They crunch under foot when I step on them on my way to empty the garbage…a sound similar to when tap dancers toss sand on a stage before they start their steel-bottom shoed shenanigans.

9) Plague of Darkness – hasn’t occurred as of yet, but it would be a relief.  The Howlers shut up, it never rains at night, and it would be convenient if those frogs got run over by the drunken, brain-dead surfers that race around on the mud-slickened roads after a hard day of Flor de Cana rum and the head-high, right-breaking waves I hear crashing against the shore.

10) Plague of the First-Born – being a first-born, I don’t even want to hear about this.  I’m definitely staying away from this Old Testament mayhem…going back to the ferocious idyll of Revelations, thank you.  I’ve learned my lesson for the day.  And, if I end up going to Hell for any perceived insolence, I’ll go with the words of Mark Twain on my lips –

“Heaven for climate, Hell for company.”

Later…

 

A Mother’s Day Visitor

Cats are not popular pets in Costa Rica.  Dogs are the most valuable, since they also serve as security systems.  Cats, such as this little kitten, are often killed or fed to dogs to get them comfortable and used to killing and attacking.  Cats usually have the fear in their eyes, if you even see one, and avoid most human contact.  This kitten was hyper-vigilant and in fight-or-flight mode for about half an hour, but soon calmed down once my wife got to feeding her…making bed spaces in every room…and crawling around on the floor with her.

 

Kitty Not SureCamping Out

 

 

We had nothing to feed her but cheese, bread, and finally a plate of scrambled eggs.  My wife, being allergic to cats, has never had a kitten, and surely wasn’t prepared for this one.  She knew she was going to suffer swollen ankles, watery eyes, and probably a whopper of a migraine headache, but she was full of Oxytocin – the mothering hormone – and she played the role of mama cat for a couple of days like a trooper.  But, we immediately started looking around for a home, and in a small, spread-out community like ours, looking for someone to take a kitten called for a bit of social media mining.  Tamarindo has two different websites for socializing…Tamarindo Social Network and Tamarindo Garage Sale.  She got going with both of them, posting photos and going on and on about how cute, spirited and playful she was.  It worked.  A family from Playa Langosta, a few kilometers south of here, called and said they wanted her.  Since cats aren’t very popular, kittens are rare…and they WANTED HER !

 

Kitty Trying to Nap

 

Meanwhile, she had discovered the couch.

Her belly was as full as it had probably been in a while.

She was relaxed and safe in the company of her rescuers.

She still had more to explore, and she got to it in no time.

 

 

 

Kitty LovesI was so worn out from our pet rescue operation that I went in the back bedroom to take a siesta while one of the first rain storms of the Wet Season was whipping down out of the hills…the perfect sound to go to sleep to.

But, our visitor had other plans.  She discovered me – I think it had something to do with my wife putting her food dishes next to the bed.

After the kitten cleaned up her cheese, bread, and scrambled eggs, she discovered the bed, and then what beds are for.

It was a fun few days.  I’ve had cats all my life…my wife had never been around the craziness that a little minx like this brings into the lives of their humans.

 

Purrrfect

I have, and I knew that once I let her up on that bed my rainy afternoon siesta was over…she would be dozing off, and I would be nothing more than a back-stroking and chin-scratching machine.  So be it.  Thanks to my wife’s efforts, and the power of social media, our three-day kitten’s new family came and picked her up yesterday.  After the family left with the kitten I heard a sniffling sound…my wife who was going to pay in allergic reactions was having a small case of separation anxiety and feelings of loss.  That’s what saving a kitten and giving it a couple of days of your life will get you…and a few pictures.

Jatropha – The Little Bio-Fuel Fruit that Could…Scare the Oil Gangs

Costa Rica Arenol Hans Scott Char 063

 

 

I met Rogelio Murillo, a Costa Rican businessman operating a wind farm in the Vulcan Arenal area, and Hans Haeberer, a German engineer and partner in Clean Fuel and Energy for Latin America (C-Fela), when I moved to San Jose, Costa Rica a year ago.  They told me of a model Jatropha plantation they were involved with…Murillo contributing his knowledge of renewable energy, and Haeberer funneling investment and applying his expertise as an engineer.  The plantation was the brainchild of Eduardo Acosta, a Cuban who grew up in California.  The three are pictured above – Murillo, Haeberer, and Acosta, left to right.  The plantation has been featured on television programs on bio-fuels, and Acosta regularly updates his advancements in the propagation, harvesting, and processing of the plant for clean, sustainable use as a bio-fuel on his website www.greenacrescostarica.com.

Research has showed that oil from the crushed seeds of Jatropha make an excellent bio-fuel.  The plant has an advantage over other plants being used for bio-fuel production in that it not only tolerates, but grows well on dry, rocky soil unsuited to agriculture…such as the over-farmed, then over-grazed lands readily available in Costa Rica and nearly every Central and South American nation.  And, since most of the land they are purchasing, or interested in purchasing, is nearly useless to farmers or ranchers, it’s inexpensive…millions of hectares have been, or are in the process of being purchased.

Costa Rica Arenol Hans Scott Char 184European companies, lined up by Haeberer, have small-scale production machinery based on a model developed by Acosta, one he put together from a bicycle and spare parts, as well as a cooking stove fashioned specifically for Jatropha oil.  Acosta, along with C-Fela, has been addressing the problems encountered by others who have attempted to utilize Jatropha in the past, difficulty in seeding, harvesting, and the toxicity of the wild plant.  Planting Jatropha in conjunction with Coyol Palms, Bamboo, and other bio-fuel producers have made for more bio-diverse plantation planning, and when possible, are arranged in what Haeberer calls “bio corridors” providing migration routes and living space for wildlife, some species on the endangered list.  The day I visited Green Acres Costa Rica we found Acosta photographing Scarlet Macaws, a once plentiful species, now threatened due to loss of habitat.

The media in the United States has generally lined up against Jatropha as a viable source of bio-fuel:

A 2007 article in the New York Times warned that cultivation of Jatropha on a scale broad enough to make bio-fuel production financially attractive would infringe on fertile land currently producing food crops.  A March 2009 article in Time Magazine focused on the Myanmar government‘s efforts to encourage Jatropha cultivation, and raised a warning that decreased food supplies were inevitable.  Another Time article, from October, 2009, claimed the Kenyan and Indian governments were being bamboozled by shady speculators pushing farmers into Jatropha farming with little reliable information that it could work, leading them to certain devastation.  A 2009 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found  that a natural breed of Jatropha used more water per gallon of biofuel than many other biofuel crops. This study was later contradicted in a letter from other scientists who claimed PNAS’s findings “too simplistic” in their calculations of estimated water consumption.

Then, there’s the plain greedy and larcenous.

A March 15, 2012 article in Bloomberg Businessweek gave several examples of the dangers of investing in Jatropha plantations.  In 2006, BioShape, a Dutch company approached the Tanzanian government with tales of jobs, economic aid and fortunes to be made if they would allow the company to create and operate Jatropha plantations among 11 rural villages.  Tanzania allowed…BioShape logged the land…2006 became 2010…BioShape’s telephone, disconnected…a spokesperson for Eneco, a Dutch backer of the project, declined to comment…attorneys from the Lawyer’s Environmental Action Team, advocating for Tanzanian workers who were left unemployed, and jungle-less, claimed, “The company was not interested in Jatropha, they were interested in timber.”  Jatropha took the blame for the failure.

The same article related accounts of Worldwide Bio Refineries – seven men connected to the company convicted in a British court for fraudulently claiming to be producing biodiesel from Jatropha, as well as Sun Biofuels, a British company, and Viridis, both who failed to hold investor confidence.  Viridias shifted its operations to mining, making it a safe investment.  Gem BioFuels and D1 Oils (in a joint venture with BP) also proved unprofitable, citing lack of investors.  Tales of theft and disappeared investments have their effects.

Where profits are involved, every organ serves a purpose…it seems media outlets, many owned by corporations which are also heavily invested in the oil industry, seem to be serving theirs.  So it goes.

But, there have been recent successes with Jatropha-based bio-fuel, the flashiest, an Aeromexico flight between Mexico City and Madrid, Spain,in August of 2012.  The airline industry is the one that will benefit the most, and the quickest, from the use of bio-fuels utilizing Jatropha.  Boeing is quietly involved, financing and supporting research and development of Jatropha oil.  Cuba recently used Jatropha-based bio-fuels in an experimental automobile, reporting the engine to be in better condition after using the bio-diesel than it was before.  So, it seems that the countries that have the most to lose – those whose economy is based on petro-chemical fuels, are lined up against Jatropha, while those not dependant on oil-based economies are busy refining the cultivation and utilization of other options.

The energy and environmental future of the world could be decided in Latin America on plantations that look like this…

Costa Rica Arenol Hans Scott Char 098