Barbarita Pichasaca

Barbarita Pichasaca, left, with an employee of the banking cooperative she founded in Cañar after several years in the United States. Photo by Bear Guerra for The New York Times.

For the 60,000 residents of Cañar, Ecuador, the costs of migration can be great, especially on children. But the benefits can be great as well: unprecedented access to education and jobs, freedom of movement and financial independence for women, especially indigenous women, whether they left and returned, or never left.

Homelands’ Ruxandra Guidi and Bear Guerra discuss the two faces of migration in Ecuador in an Op-Ed piece in today’s New York Times. Their reporting was supported by the International Reporting Project.


The public radio program Interfaith Voices has received a Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council for its “God and Government” series, which looks at the relationship between religion and the state in 14 countries around the world. The award will be presented at a ceremony on April 5 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The winning entry, a half-hour segment about the struggle over Islam in Egypt, included a feature story by independent producer Kimberly Adams and a discussion with historian Khaled Fahmy of the American University of Cairo and anthropologist Jessica Winegar of Northwestern University.

Interfaith Voices is a weekly religion newsmagazine created and hosted by Maureen Fiedler. Laura Kwerel is the senior producer and Jocelyn Frank is the producer and editor of the “God and Government” series. Homelands’ Jonathan Miller is a consultant for the project.


Host Bill Maher will talk population tonight with Homelands’ Alan Weisman.

Homelands co-founder and senior editor Alan Weisman will be on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher tonight at 10 pm EDT. Alan will be talking to Maher about his latest book, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

In Countdown, Alan proposes concrete steps for bringing human population growth back in line with the planet’s carrying capacity. He’ll share the stage tonight in LA with Amy Chua, Salman Rushdie, Andrew Sullivan, and Seth MacFarlane.

We are thrilled to welcome journalist Ruxandra Guidi and photographer Roberto (Bear) Guerra to the Homelands family. As our newest producers and members of our board of directors, they bring a wonderful mix of skills, experiences, and ideas to our cooperative.


Ruxandra Guidi

Ruxandra Guidi, a native of Venezuela, has reported throughout the United States and Latin America, for both magazines and public radio, and in both English and Spanish. She has worked extensively as a freelancer, and recently held staff positions at Southern California Public Radio, where she covered immigration and religion, and at KPBS Public Broadcasting, where she covered the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the Fronteras Desk initiative. Her work has aired on PRI’s The World, NPR, CBC, Marketplace, Deutsche Welle, NPR’s Latino USA, and Radio Ambulante, and has been published by Orion Magazine, National Geographic NewsWatch, The Atlantic, and others.


Bear Guerra

Bear Guerra’s images, photo essays, and multimedia stories have been published by Orion Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Le Monde, On Earth Magazine, NPR, Texas Monthly, and many others; they have also been exhibited widely. In the past few years he has worked on stories in Mexico, Bolivia, Haiti, Brazil, Panama, Peru, Turkey, and Thailand. He was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in Photojournalism in 2010. He’s currently a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

In addition to their individual work, Ruxandra and Bear co-founded Fonografia Collective, a multimedia collaboration that produces stories about human rights, the environment, and social issues. They have also co-produced a daughter, Camila.

Homelands Productions was founded in 1989 by Sandy Tolan, Cecilia Vaisman, Alan Weisman, and Nancy Grey Postero. Rux and Bear are the first new producer-members to join the group since Jonathan Miller signed on in 2005. We look forward to dreaming big and doing great work with them!

This slideshow, by Mote Tanabodee, was shown at Raul Ramirez’s memorial service in Berkeley on January 12, 2014. Raul was Executive Editor and News Director at KQED FM in San Francisco, and a board member of Homelands Productions.

The novelist Louise Erdrich has written a glowing review of Alan Weisman’s Countdown for her blog, Birchbark. She calls the book “urgent, eloquent, harrowing yet hopeful.”

Please read this book. Take your time. You will weep and yet be cheered.

The founder and owner of Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, Erdrich is a reader’s reader (she’s a writer’s reader, too!), and a passionate advocate for independent bookstores. Her latest novel, The Round House, won the 2012 National Book Award for fiction.


The “Food for 9 Billion” blog is now live. It actually has been for a little while, but we didn’t tell anyone. You can see recent posts about World Water Day, the possibility that the world population might not have to reach 9 billion, Ethiopia’s villagization program, and other topics. We hope to post once or twice a week. You can sign up for an RSS feed here.

We’ve also started a Ff9B Twitter feed. If you’re a twitterer, go thither!

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