Yes, I stole the title from Jasmine and Aladdin.  What can I say, Taos IS a whole new world to this born ’n raised Texas girl!

This is my second summer to come to Taos, and I’m still learning new things about the surrounding area and history that shaped it.  One of the greatest aspects about Taos is the opportunity to get out of the SMU Bubble found around the Dallas campus.  Being exposed to different cultures, ways of life, and people makes for an eye-opening experience you’re sure not to forget.

Campus on a typical lovely afternoon

Campus on a typical lovely afternoon

During the 2013 May term in Taos, I’m taking Sustainability and the Environment, CFA 3385, taught by Dr. Faith Nibbs. During our course we have been discussing the environmental movement throughout the country and different consequences felt in the Taos area specifically.  From the Hippie communes to the ecovillages in the surrounding areas today, Taos definitely has a culture that supports ecological movements and strives to maintain them.

Today we visited the Earthships, an ecovillage that has built some of its incredible structures around the globe.  This community lives in radically sustainable buildings made with recycled materials constructed in a surprisingly beautiful manner. More concisely, they live completely off the grid.  The people of the residences in this community survive with electricity from the sun and wind, water from rain and snow, heating and cooling from the sun and earth, and feed themselves with food grown with only their own resources in their homes!

The architecture and raw knowledge of the Earth’s natural cycles is absolutely mindboggling.  The research necessary to construct these homes is amazing, and the larger structures are truly remarkable artistic masterpieces.  They are quite luxurious with some priced in the upper millions.  This community is something I definitely recommend you check out, and I’m glad SMU-in-Taos afforded me the opportunity to be exposed to such a community in a learning field trip.