Rancho Cacachilas is a solar-powered, self-sustaining adventure guest ranch located near La Paz in Southern Baja, Mexico, at the foot of the Sierra Cacachilas mountain range, which inspired their name. The restoration community has been set up on the ranch to restore land that was previously mainly cattle and goat ranching. Restoration of this land is critical to ensure groundwater recharge and improved surface water flows. This rural, coastal zone is experiencing nearby urban development with foreigners and Mexican citizens developing tourism projects.
Rancho Cacachilas manages its lands in a responsible way; cares for and quantifying its resources; and develops economic activities for the long-term. The values of Rancho Cacachilas are grounded in the principle that what they do can impact the lives of many people, and they are committed to leaving a legacy that respects and protects nature and at the same time, benefits current and future generations.
Ten years of demonstration projects in erosion control, fencing, and infiltration infrastructure have proven that we can recharge groundwater with simple tools and tactics. For more degraded lands that are in the purchase pipeline, we will need to revegetate. We are finally at a point where we think that our localized success on 40 hectares can be the “proof” to our neighbours that we can harvest water without a ton of financial resources and still maintain traditional lifestyles and livelihoods. Revegetation is not about trees, but instead creating water sources for natural regeneration. We have just completed an analysis that shows 70% dense vegetation on the ‘restored’ 40-hectare parcel, where the neighboring parcels without the intensive treatments are around 30% vegetation. We have a small team working on water management and biological studies, but over 50 people working on trails, erosion control, and check dams. We run a small STEAM team locally for 4-5 rural communities touching around 150-200 local families and their school age children. The STEAM team focuses on these topics around land and water stewardship every time they meet. We also support Ecology Project International, which has a local high school program/nature club that visits the ranch for scientific learning. Rancho Cacachilas partners with Ecology Project International, Sociedad de Historia Natural de Niparaja, and Andalé.
Educational courses and experiences
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