Several years ago I had some money to get rid of, so I did the only logical thing I could think of and purchased an acre of land in one of the most fertile places on earth, a developing community project in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. I've been pretty busy traveling around the world and writing books since then, but now I've finally returned to turn it into something habitable. I've never seen such beautiful views in all directions anywhere else I've been in the world.
While I have zero building experience, I've read a lot of books and am pretty damn good at figuring things out as I go along. My acre has many large stones and ficus wood. I've bermed out part of the hillside overlooking the valley, and plan to build my first dwelling in-ground out of stone and concrete, about 9 meters x 9 meters round. Materials should cost less than $2,000. Any labor I cannot do on my own is about $20/day to hire. Building codes are very loose in Ecuador, so that leaves me pretty free to build however I want. After the first house is built, I will focus on implementing gardens, walls, lakes, and planting fruit trees on the rest of the acre. I'll gladly document and share as I go.
In the meantime, if anyone wants to come down to Ecuador and partner with me on something like this or just say hello and hang out, I welcome visitors. Full pictures here: webpage
Peace from the Valley of Longevity.
Gregory V. Diehl