Updated: Aug 11, 2021
Driving off-road between cactuses (and probably getting lost) you can reach Cactimar, an eco-ranch on the Baja coast thirty minutes outside La Paz, Mexico. Let's explore the property and get to know this eco-project!
Run by a strappy french couple with a darling, adventurous toddler, the ranch has a stable of horses and goats, a pack of dogs, permaculture gardens, compost toilets, guest lodgings, and even a resident turtle.
The project was established in 2014 when the family realized they were overwhelmed by city life. On a daily basis they host guests, care for their animals, and maintenance the property. But they're realizing a need for change.
Upkeep of the ranch is a daily task, and the family is trying to solve to issue of labor with work trade for accomodations. Jean-Christophe, the owner, shared his adventures building greywater systems and a bit of a jungle to provide shade for his vegetables -- squash, tomatoes, herbs, and leafy greens -- to grow. The buildings on the ranch are simple and efficient, using upcycled palettes and palm leaves for thatching, The results are very DIY and a great example of what amateur building can accomplish.
The life of modern materials is short. Use once, throw away. Reclaiming materials is a noble effort, and sometimes results in surprising and quirky spaces. Rather than junk it, our French family from Cactimar permanently parked their RV in what has now become a kind of office and coworking space. They built a patio around it that connects to the main house. Somewhat visible is the outdoor patio and kitchen area, which looks dreamily out onto the sea.
The infrastructure impact on the land is minimal, and the palapas incorporate natural found materials for building. Sustainable building methods are an important consideration in construction of any ecovillage project, and should be evaluated both for long term durability and present availability. This project presents just how feasible it is for anyone to learn how to build eco-structures and off-grid projects.
Read more stories like this in the ECO-LOGIC Magazine