Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lighting the World through Bliss

I was reading a new (to me) blog this morning, written by a woman who lives alternately on a boat and in San Carlos, Mexico (a lovely seaside town at the edge of the desert in Northern Mexico). It's a great blog, well-written and insightful. The writer seems full of life and love for the life she lives in Mexico.

But what caught my eye this morning was a brief mention of the BoGolight. And because the BoGolight seems like such a fabulous idea, I wanted to spread the word (and credit my source).

The BoGoLight company was started by a man who was a diplomat for 20 years. It is his mission to improve the lives of the less fortunate through eco-friendly technology. His first project is the BoGo Light. It's a solar-powered flashlight that last up to 20 years, charges in 8 hours and provides 4-5 hours of light. The rechargeable batteries last for 2 years and replacements are available worldwide. For us, it is a great camping or emergency flashlight.

But the best part is that very time you buy a BoGo light, the company sends one to an organization to help someone less fortunate. Mostly, they seem to be focused on Africa, but I notice they are also sending them to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why is light so important? You can read on the website how providing families in Africa with a cheap and reliable source of light saves them up to one-third of their income that is usually spent on kerosene, their usual source of light. Having light allows the women to cook without kerosene fumes and allows the children to study after working in the fields all day.

If you are at all interested, check out the BoGo Light website to learn more. And then buy one! Everybody wins!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Luis Barragan

You may have noticed that my postings have slowed down lately. This is partly due to being tremendously busy, but also partly due to running out of good websites to talk about.

So I'm starting a new series. I'll still be highlighting websites about Mexico that are written in English, but I am going to be focusing on famous Mexican people, either living or dead. Just people that I find interesting that call Mexico their home.

I'm starting with Luis Barragan, one of the first Mexicans that I became aware of, strangely. I fell in love with photos of his homes... there was something about a hot pink wall next to an orange wall that just blew my entire conception of space. I loved his willingness to break the boundaries of convention with color. Only later would I realize what a patently Mexican trait that really is.

The main website about this famous architect is offered by his foundation and is available in German, English and Spanish. It features a biography, where I learned that he was born in Guadalajara in 1902 and realized his first project in 1927. He traveled to Europe and the US during his life, but spent most of it in Mexico City. He was awarded the very prestigious Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1980 and he died in 1988.

He is known for his very original style, which is both modernistic and distinctly Mexican. He is without a doubt the father of Mexican modern architecture, and is known around the world. He was one of the first architects to use color in his work.

If you are interested in his work, you will enjoy the Foundation's website. One of the best features is in the Visitor's Guide section, where they map out all of his works in Mexico City and Guadalajara.

Another good website for information about this gifted architect is the Pritzker Prize website, which has a comprehensive photo gallery of some of his work, as well as the text of his acceptance speech.

Do you have any famous Mexicans that you are interested in? Let me know... or just visit here regularly to learn more!