Photos of La Dignidad by Kerry Appel

Tipi in Spring

My current home.  This picture was taken in May of 2009.

Note:  Right now you have to click on the images to see them.  I'm not very experienced at web page construction and I'm having some problems getting it right.)


Trial garden for spring of 2009.  I plan to build more raised bed gardens over the next few years in the area where you see the garden rows behind the raised bed in the foreground.  With this type of garden I can water it primarily with the grey water from the sink in the tipi.  In this garden I have planted Zapatista Mayan corn and red beans, Hopi corn and pinto beans, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, sweet red peppers, and chipotle peppers.

Storage Shed & Biodiesel
This is my storage shed and work shop with my biodiesel processor in front.  At the time of this photo there is 25 gallons of biodiesel "decanting" in the processor.

Solar and bus

Solar "power plant", biodiesel motor home bus, and 1600 gallon water cistern.

baby rabbits

Here are some of the new residents born this year at La Dignidad.  The rabbits here are a little too trusting of me I think.  The coyotes don't come too close because of my presence here and I think that the rabbits, who are reproducing like bunnies, are coming to see me as there protector and benefactor.  That's ok with me as long as they don't eat the plants in my garden.

This is the wilderness out here and there is a large amount of wildlife including large predators.  Personally I like to live and let live but some of the other residents out here (of whom there are only a very few) believe in killing the animals that they believe are dangerous, especially coyotes, prairie dogs, and rattle snakes.  In the many decades that I have camped alone in the mountains, the plains, the jungles, and the deserts of the US and Mexico, I have never been bothered by any animals.  Now humans? That's a different story.

On the south side of La Dignidad, beyond the fence posts that can be seen in the picture, is Pinon Canyon Manuever Site, a 238,00 acre area where the US Army trains young people to conduct "futuristic robotic style warfare against anyone in anyplace at any time".  The US Army is trying to take a few million more acres from the ranchers and other residents out here.  The residents of the entire southeast corner of the state are united in strong opposition to the army expansion but the US Army is using low-intensity-war tactics to try to divide the communities and to erode their opposition.  Well - I'm right here on their border and I don't plan to let them have my land and neither does anyone else out here.

Note: The smoke in the picture is from a controlled(?) burn that the army is conducting on an area where they will do live fire excercises, something that they originally promised that they would never do when they took this land from the ranchers in the 1980s.  Of course they made a lot of promises to the Indians in the 1800s and never kept any of those promises either.  I've never been able to figure out why anyone would ever believe a thing that the army says whether it's in regard to domestic policy or foreign wars.


Air force cargo planes buzzing La Dignidad.  I think that these planes are C130s.



Sometimes these planes, as well as helicopters, come over my property at approximately 100 feet above ground level.  They are huge and they fill the sky when they pass over that low.  I always run to get my camera to document their activities but, at that low of an altitude and at the speed that they are going, they have always dipped behind a ridge and disappeared before I can get my camera.  I doubt if it is proper for them to buzz residents at that altitude.  I know that it is disturbing and unsafe.