Rancho San Gregorio
Rancho San Gregorio is a picturesque and historic ranch located in a canyon on the western slope of the Peninsular Ranges on the Baja California peninsula, approximately eight miles southeast of the Mission San Borja de Adac. The historic ranch has two important springs that supply an abundant source of water that has always been vital to the inhabitants of the area. Many artifacts and cave paintings can be found on the ranch; some of the pictographs are as much as 11,000 years old. Since the end of the European colonization period some of the primary residents of the San Gregorio have been the Villavicencio family. The Villavicencio’s have a fascinating cultural history as direct descendants of the californios that pioneered the peninsula. . Their “original” rancho had a large garden that supported many kinds of fruit trees and vegetables to trade with other ranchos. The original buildings of the ranch were made of adobe over 100 years ago and are currently in a state of deterioration. Efforts are underway to preserve what is left of the old rancho as an important cultural monument to the cultural history of the californios.
So often in the world, human communities harvest the resources from their surrounding environments without consideration for the natural system of checks and balances that sustain those environments. As the outside world offers more exciting technologies and efficient ways to consume resources, there has been a sort of exodus from traditional ranch lifestyles. Our vision is to preserve traditions and methods that nurture mutually beneficial relationships between people and their environment, contributing to the ecological balance.
This new ranch, located just a short walk from the original location, supports the families, friends, and visitors that embrace this traditional way of life. New ranch buildings have been constructed from local materials such as various types of cacti, clay, and other organic material. We are harnessing renewable resources in order to achieve a self-sufficient and sustainable relationship with the local environment while maintaining connections to the global community. Electricity and Internet are currently provided via solar power and all of the community’s water is collected, not pumped, from the local spring and transported by a gravity driven system.
With our basic structures in place we have begun to look toward the future. We have began establishing Rancho Aguaje which is approximately a two hour hike from the main palapa at the new ranch. Our dream is to preserve this area and its unique flora and fauna for generations to come. Lastly we have started a long term ecological experiment on the effects of cattle grazing in the ecosystem. Our study area has been established and the baseline data has been gathered.
We at Rancho San Gregorio welcome all to come experience life at the rancho and can accommodate groups of up to 30 people. However, more infrastructure, community education, and the time and presence of caring individuals are needed to fully realize our vision of a balanced, interdependent, harmonic community. Come experience life at the rancho and see how these principles may guide you in your endeavors to improve your own community. We welcome your contributions, ideas, and skills and hope that your heart will also find a home here as ours have.