Geo-community Is A New Word In Travel

It’s not often that you meet someone who has created a word.

Dr. Barbara Brodman, a professor of Latin American studies, hit on a word to describe a community that goes beyond “thinking globally, acting locally.” The typical environmentally sensitive project is called “eco-community” to indicate ecological concerns.

“I call my development in the rainforest of Belize a ‘geo-community’ because it includes the culture of the local people and the people who move to live in Belize.”

To address concerns of air, water and ground pollution, the community stores rainwater, develops much of its electricity from renewable resources and has a process for obtaining transportation fuel from non-fossil sources.

“But the local people need to be involved in the transformation that takes place when portions of a rainforest are developed,” explained Brodman, who maintains a web site at to address the issues of a “geo-community.” “Too often gringos bring in their own experts and don’t train the locals. Our project of ten homes will teach local workers to use special tools so that they can start their own businesses. Ecology is one-sided if the local people don’t participate in the economy.”

Brodman’s vision for her community combines buildings that are environmentally sensitive and culturally responsible.

The word appears to be a “neologism,” a newly created word — with 116,000 exceptions. A search on Google for the word without a hyphen, “geocommunity,” reveals that number of occurrences on the web from one source: a creator of a search engine that looks for data for the Geographic Information System or GIS community. Hence, “geocommunity.”

Brodman describes her Iguana Creek development as an experiment in “responsible living.” It is located in the Maya Mountains of western Belize.

The project is on 54 acres of a protected ecological preserve and “combines self-sufficient living with responsibility for the community and eco-system that supports it.” That’s where the Geo-Community comes to include training for local residents. Eco-tourists might consider visiting southwestern Belize to see the similarities between the dairy land of this area of the Mayan peninsula and the rolling hills of Vermont.

So, if you searched on the Internet in March 2007 for “what is a geo-community” with a hyphen, you would find a single instance, related to a real estate listing that Brodman arranged to publicize the project. Anyone wondering what the next new word is will quickly conclude that geo-hyphen-community is a rare new addition to the lexicon.

For more information about the project, please click on the links below related to travel to Belize. If you don’t speak English well, consider the free tutoring that is available online.

JK McCrea
Founder of these sites selling a home in Fort Lauderdale

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