Many of you have asked me why I have not posted as frequently as I normally have. Well, there is a reason.

About five years ago I began the production of a documentary about the first sustainable house in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The house is totally independent from the electric, water and sewer authorities. It derives its energy from the sun, it harvests the rainfall for its water needs, and recycles all human wastes. The house is called La Casa Ausente, or The Absent House, in English.

As time went on, the film grew and evolved to become a documentary about the sustainable work of Architect Fernando Abruña Charneco. A disciple of Buckminster Fuller, the DaVinci of the XX Century, Abruña Charneco has designed many sustainable buildings by doing more with less. He also designed the first sustainable public school in the island, and now is about to exhibit the prototype of a solar-electric car. Parallel to this work, Abruña Charneco has engaged in futuristic architecture, designing for the next century, and subverting the concept of housing that modern society has embraced for centuries.

The documentary has been a labor of love. I have financed the entire production. When I was teaching at Miami Dade College, I would use my free summers to work on it. I have also had a lot of help from friends and participants. The documentary is almost finished now. It is about 52 minutes long and it is in the late stages of post-production. This means that I still have a few things to do, like hiring an artist to record the voice-over, get money to pay for the worldwide rights to use archival footage of Buckminster Fuller, do the basic color and contrast correction, produce and record the musical soundtrack, create the subtitles in English, do the end credits, pay Google for the rights to use their maps, do the sound mix, and a few other loose things, not necessarily in that order. For example, currently music is being composed for the documentary by two great musicians and friends of mine: Steve Roitstein and Roberto Perera. Both are basically doing it for our friendship and for the love of the project.

But back to the reason. In the last couple of weeks I created (from scratch) the official website for the documentary. I created it to inform the hundreds of participants that the project is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, that the end is near. The other reason is financial. I ran out of money. But I am determined to finish the project by December of 2012. Soon, I will be launching a campaign to raise money for the last few things I mentioned.

So the website is one way to familiarize new folks with the documentary, and to rekindle the enthusiasm of the over-two-hundred participants who contributed to the project, before I ask them, and you, for money through a well-known crowd-funding website. I will tell you more in October.

The website is in my mother tongue. The English version will be released in a week or so. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, regardless of your language of preference, visit the website, take a tour through all the spaces, explore the links, enjoy it, spread the word, support it, and send me a note about your experience.



  1. HI prof, I’ll be in PR from Nov 16 to Nov 20. I understand on Nov 19 is a holiday in PR or at least that’s what my brother told me. hehe! Let me know if there is any tours. Cheers!

  2. I might go to PR next week. I still need to confirm it. I’d love to visit “La Casa Ausente”, is it possible?

    1. Author

      La Casa Ausente is the house of the architects who designed it. They live in it. However, once or twice a year, they conduct special educational tours of it. When would you go to Puerto Rico? When you confirm the dates, let me know and I will find out if there is an organized tour during your stay. Best wishes.

  3. I know several voices if you are looking and also consider some of the online fund sourcing that’s out there. Go Earthdude

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