La Escuelita in the village of El Porvenir in the Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico is a non-profit and sustainable cooperative and wine school considered by many to be the spiritual center of the burgeoning wine country.
For the buildings and structures for the school, green architects Alejandro D’Acosta and Claudia Turrent repurposed materials related to winemaking: wine barrel staves, wine bottles, used irrigation hoses, grape vine stumps, used yucca mats from olive oil processing, as well as rusted box springs and miscellaneous discarded wood from construction sites.
Repurposing these used materials, sometimes known as trash, is a large part of their visionary and sustainable building practices.
La Escuelita, or the “little school,” was founded by Hugo D’Acosta, Alejandro’s brother, in 2004. His goal was to help aspiring winemakers hand-craft what are now considered some of Mexico’s finest wines. The school has helped to inspire a renaissance of wine-making in the Guadalupe Valley.
Friends in the photos above are Maori scholars Tharron Bloomfield and Michelle Erai from New Zealand. They’re teaching at UCLA, and this was their first trip to the wine country in the Valle de Guadalupe.
The mural is by the local artist Carlos de la Torre.
The guy on the left below is master basket weaver Abe Sanchez, great friend and familiar person on this blog, with Michelle and Tharron.