Niek and I made an amazing trip to La Sierra Gorda ( details of where to go and how to do it to follow soon in a seperate post). Before we set off we were told about La Casita Ecologica, a collection of adobe houses built by a lady called Margarita. We tried to call but ended up just stopping by as there isn’t any phone reception there. Mexico is an amazingly welcoming place where you really just can drop by. Margarita invited us in, took us round her organic garden and sustainable adobe houses and told us how this all started.
I am writing this article as a woman in awe of another woman. She knew what she wanted and she just did it. Margarita loves earth and she wants to interact directly with it. One way she thought she could do this was by building herself an adobe house, so guess what, she did it.
In her extensive organic garden there are 6 adobe buildings of various shapes and sizes. She showed us her first attempt at using adobe, and the slide coming our of it just made me think ‘this is fun and I like it’. As we walked around the plot we spoke about sustainable building technqiues, water preservation and mostly about compost/dry toilets.
But it was when we sat down in the dining room for a chat that I thought this woman is just so cool. This is a big statement to make, but she made me believe that anything is possible. If you want it, you just need to do it.
She couldn’t find anyone to teach her so she watched youtube videos of Jorge Belanko and taught herself, starting with the little house with a slide. Then building by building she assessed what worked and what didn’t and figured out how to solve any issues.
She has taught other people in the area how to build in this way, which is both cheap and sustainable. She is still learning and has recently figured out a way to waterproof the adobe buildings. She plans to run a workshop soon to share this method and spread the word of handmade adobe building.
La Casita Ecologica offers very reasonably priced accommodation from 650 pesos a night (about $35) for your own house with afully equiped kitchen. It is cute, cosy and good for the environment. And you’ll get to spend time with a pretty remarkable woman.
youtube video from Jorge Belanko about how to build your own adobe house. It is in Spanish.
From one inspiring woman to another, check out the story of Lorena here. A self taught ceramicist in Baja California Sur.