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Honduras and the magnificent Copan

old-copanSituated in the southwestern part of Honduras, Copan is considered by many one of the most spectacular Mayan cities. Discovered in 1570 by Diego Garcia de Palacio, the ruins of Copan were not excavated until the 19th century.

As it exists today, the Mayan city of Copan is composed of a main complex of ruins with several complexes encircling it. There are five basic group of attractions: the acropolis, the tunnels, the ball Court, the Hieroglyphic Stairway, and the Great Plaza.

The acropolis is divided in the west court and the east court. Temple 11 is located in the west court. It was built on top of several other structures; a small tunnel descends into the interior of the structure, possibly to the tomb, but it has not been excavated yet. Temple 16 is located between the west and east courts. It is the highest part of the Acropolis and the final version of a number of temples built one on top of the other. The earliest version of the temple is nicknamed Hunal, then there are Yehnal, Margarita, Rosalila, and Purpura, each representing a different phase. Rosalila is notable for its excellent state of preservation, including its highly elaborate painted stucco decoration.

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San Blas, Panama


The islands of the San Blas archipelago are scattered along the Caribbean coast of Panama, from the Gulf of San Blas almost to the border with Colombia. The San Blas Archipelago consists of 378 islands, 49 of which are inhabited by the fierce and independent Kuna Indians. Although the flight from Panama City takes only 20 minutes, a trip to these islands will take you back 20 centuries. The Kuna Indians administer the islands as an autonomous province with minimal interference from the national government. They have maintained their economic system, their customs, language and culture, with their distinctive dresses, legends, music and dance and thus have prevented the development of traditional tourism. The islands' economy is based on coconut sales, and fishing.  The facilities are few and simple, just like the food. 

Surrounded by some of the oldest reefs of the world, the islands offer great opportunities for snorkeling, especially between April and June.

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The eco friendly houses made out of coffee residue in Colombia

casas hechas con ciscoThe army command in Aruca and the association of Maiporè Soacha, a 62 house complex in Ricaurte have something in common: their walls and floors are made of coffee.

“We have been testing new compounds to replace wood for several years and we came to the conclusion that the best one is a kind of PVC made with the fibers extracted from cisco, leftover coffe husks,” explains Jorge Medina, a professor at the University of Andes, and the brain behind the project. His research started four years ago, when the company Maeco y Colciencias decided to fund the project. “The initiative was created to solve the problems created by the rainy season in rural areas”, says Alejandro Franco, manager of Woodpecker, a company created for the project.

The houses are built with blocks of this material that are then assembled like legos. These modules are so light that they can be easily installed and transported to remote areas. Thanks to the help of various ministries and NGOs in Colombia there 900 classrooms, 90 houses and 5 wineries built with this ecological solution.

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Coppola's Resorts in Belize

belize -_coppola_lodge

When Francis Ford Coppola visited Belize in the 1980s, he fell in love with it, so he bought the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge. Later in 2001Francis and Eleanor Coppola also acquired a beachside refuge called Turtle Inn. Both the Turtle Inn and the Blancaneaux Lodge are luxury resort hotels, but while the Turtle Inn is a 25 room seafront hideaway, the Blancaneaux is a 20 room hotel tucked away in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.

Both resorts are committed to fostering best practices in ecotourism and sustainable travel. As a matter of fact the two Coppola's properties have joined forces with STEP (Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification Program), which represents the gold standard for companies striving to be environmentally innovative and socially responsible, and the Sustainable Tourism Program, dedicated to helping businesses develop practices spanning sustainable tourism, climate and education.

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Coral species resistant to climate change

Acropora hyacinthus_daThe temperature rise of the ocean waters caused by climate change poses a threat to corals. However some scientists from Stanford University in the USA, claim that at least one species of coral could develop heat resistance and survive in the face of climate change.

A study found that some corals can adjust their internal functions to tolerate high water temperatures 50 times faster than it would take only as a result of evolutionary change.

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