Villagers in Loei have fought a decade-long battle against a gold mine that they claim has poisoned the land around them. Their ongoing protest to the mine has cost the community both time and money. But the efforts of a weaving cooperative has alleviated their financial burdens substantially. Last Saturday, villagers celebrated the opening of a new weaving center.
Living the life of a farmer in rural Isaan, Martin Wheeler became the poster child for organic agriculture and the sufficiency economy model. But much of the attention, Wheeler says, was misdirected. His farm which once grew rice and vegetables is now filled with sugarcane and grown with chemical fertilizer.