Integration and sustainable energy development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) – Lunch talk


Please join us for a lunch talk with Paola OLADE we will discuss about energy information systems and the challenges and opportunities for a sustainable energy future in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Tuesday, Apr 26 @ 12pm in the Environmental Hall (Room 2102)

Paola Carrera, information management coordinator from the Latin America Energy Organization Information (OLADE), will discuss the challenges, opportunities, and requirements of energy information systems that can contribute to the achievement of national energy goals in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Paola will present the role of OLADE in the transformation of the energy systems in the region and discuss its ongoing work and collaboration with organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), University of Sao Paolo, and the UN Development Programme’s Regional Bureau for LAC (UNDP) to implement strategic objectives on sustainability.

Co-sponsored by the Working Group for the Environment in Latin America and the Energy Initiative


Location: Environmental Hall, 2102 (450 Research Dr, Durham, NC 27708)


This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided: RSVP

“Tlalocan. Water Paradise” Film screening and lunch conversation with Christine Siebe



Please join us for a short film screening and lunch talk with PhD. Christine Siebe we will have a discussion about water scarcity and the anthropogenic effects on water and soil.

When: Thursday, March 31, 12 pm

Where: Environmental Hall, 4100 (450 Research Dr, Durham, NC 27708)

CHRISTINA SIEBE is a member of the working group on Soils and Environment, which investigates soil-water-air-plant interactions and their modifications by human activities. She has studied the effects of long term irrigation with untreated wastewater, changes in stocks and dynamics of soil organic carbon due to land use change, and the behavior of several inorganic and organic pollutants introduced to soils by mining and industrial activities.  More info:

Article:  Siebe & Cifuentes 1994 (Overview environmental impact WW irrigation Mezquital%2c Mexico)

About the film:

Title: “Tlalocan. Paraíso del agua / Tlalocan. Water Paradise” (BY ANDRES PULICO, 2016), 30MIN.


Mexico City was built on a lake, but today it faces serious water scarcity. This film leads us across diverse places that allow us to reflect on this contradiction. It’s also a journey through time, to the moment when a huge monolith representing Tlaloc – a pre-Hispanic aquatic deity – was transported to the center of the city. At the same time, the biggest lake of the valley was being drained.

Free lunch provided!

RSPV required:


Earth Day 5k

Thank you to all of the participants and volunteers that came to the Earth Day 5k!  It was a beautiful day and we had a great time!  If you were not able to attend but would still like to donate to the health clinic project in Honduras, please check out the project website.



(No title)


The Earth Day 5k fun run will take place on Duke University’s West Campus on April 21st starting @ 1:00pm (rain or shine). All proceeds from the race will go to a Health Clinic Expansion project in San Luis Planes, Honduras.  More information about this project can be found on the project website.


Online registration is closed but you can still sign up!  Just show up between 12 and 1 pm and we can get you registered for the race (see map below).  The registration fee is $25 (cash or check) and every cent will go towards the health clinic project.

Children 10 and under do not have to pay as long as the are accompanied by an adult.

Sign in starts at noon and the race will start at 1:00pm.  The course will officially close at 2:00pm.  Following the race, participants are invited to gather in the courtyard of the LSRC for refreshments and a prize raffle.  All participants will receive a free commemorative cup after the race!



The 5-kilometer route starts at the Levine Science Research Center (LSRC) and meanders around Duke’s scenic West Campus. Runners will pass the Duke Gardens, Cameron Indoor Stadium, and the beautiful gothic architecture of the Main Quad. In April, the trees on campus are in full bloom and it is hard not to appreciate the natural beauty of spring in North Carolina as a celebration of Earth Day (View route HERE).

Duke campus pic


All participants will be automatically entered into the raffle upon sign-in and must be present during the drawing to claim their prize. Prizes to be raffled include three $50 gift certificates to Bull City Running, water bottles (Klean Kanteen, Camelbak) and Duke swag!



Participants can park in the on street parking along Lasalle Street and Circuit Drive and walk to the sign-in table in front of the LSRC (see map below).


Film Screening with WGELA: Cerro Rico, Tierra Rica

WGELA is hosting a screening of “Cerro Rico, Tierra Rica”, on Thursday, March 21st in Love Auditorium at Duke University.  Refreshments will be served starting at 5:30pm and the screening with start at 6:00pm. Joining us will be Juan Vallejo, director of the piece, who has agreed to participate in a discussion and Q&A after the screening. This event is free and open to the public.

Film synopsis:

Cerro Rico, Tierra Rica is a detailed observational mosaic about two distinct mining communities in southwestern Bolivia – an elegy to the landscape of the altiplano (the high plateaus of the Andes mountains) and a valuable ethnographic record of manual labor in the region.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Cerro Rico (Rich Hill), an enormous conical mountain that towers over the city of Potosi, provided half of the world’s silver and sustained the economy of the Spanish Empire during colonial times. Most of the mineral wealth of Cerro Rico has been depleted, but today more than ten thousand miners still work on the slopes and tunnels of the mountain looking for zinc, tin, lead, or a good vein of silver. Bolivia has recently discovered it contains half of the world’s lithium reserves in the Arctic-looking plains of the Salar de Uyuni, also in the Potosi region. These reserves are, for the moment, completely untapped. The parallel histories of these two sites help create a compelling portrait of mining life in Latin America – and makes us wonder if Bolivia will finally be able to harness these mineral resources for itself and for its own development.


Salsa Dancing Class

Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., 1601 Kent Street Durham, NC 27707 
Interested in learning some new moves to bust out on the dance floor?  Love Latin music?  Want to celebrate Spring Break a few nights early? Then join us for Salsa lessons with an instructor from Fred Astaire Dance Studio! The Kent House is graciously opening up their dance floor (a.k.a. living room) for this event. Open to everyone!
Contact: Rebecca Schoonover,

Coffee Talk with Ernesto Mendez

The Working Group for Environment in Latin America (WGELA) will be hosting a talk about coffee production in Latin America on Thursday, November 29th at 5:00pm in the LSRC room A247.  The speakers will be Ernesto Mendez, associate professor of agroecology and environmental studies from the University of Vermont, and Kim Elena Loenscu, sustainability manager for Counter Culture Coffee. 
Dr. Mendez will be discussing his work on the interactions and tradeoffs between food security, environmental conservation and coffee production for smallholders and cooperatives.  Ms.Lonescu will present a brief overview coffee sustainability issues in Latin America as well as projects that Counter Culture has sponsored and collaborations they are involved in currently.
The presentations will be followed by a coffee tasting of some of Counter Culture’s delicious Latin American coffees and a short panel discussion by the speakers.  Food will be provided!

Latin America Internship Panel

5:30pm-7:00pm, Tuesday, Oct 30th, 2012 at A158 LSRC, Duke University

Interested in doing your internship in Latin America in the coming summer? Come and join the internship panel with WGELA and check out the resources we prepare for you. You will be meeting with our great panelists, Rachel, Susan and Tena, who all spent a wonderful summer in Latin America, while enjoying the fabulous Latin American food. This panel should be a best start for your internship search!

Marina Campos: When forest conservation meets human rights-The Rainforest Foundation’s approach

5:30-6:45pm, Monday, Oct. 22nd, 2012, Physics 130

For over 20 years the Rainforest Foundation’s mission has been to support indigenous and traditional forest peoples in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights. We argue that recognizing the rights of forest peoples is one of the most effective strategies to maintain standing forests. In this talk, Marina will discuss the effectiveness, as well as the opportunities and challenges that this approach provides for the conservation of tropical rainforests.

ALSO, that same day- October 22nd– we will be doing an informal coffee hour with Marina, 12:00-1:30pm in LSRC A109. This will be an opportunity for students to drop in and talk to Marina about her work at the Rainforest Foundation US, rights-based conservation, her experience with REDD+, or her previous work on climate change with the Brazilian government.

Latin American Sustainable Wine Tasting

Wednesday, October 10, 5:30-7:30pm, LSRC A156
April Schlanger, owner of Sip Wine in Cary will be coming to campus to present on organic Chilean and Argentinean wines.  We will sample 4 reds and 4 whites from each region and will have an assortment of cheeses served alongside for snacking. The event is FREE but there will be bottles of wine for sale after so bring cash/credit card if you are interested in taking some of what you sample home with you!  Space is limited so get there early.