Some time between 4 and 5 in the morning I am awoken by a loud bang. Toucans couldn’t be to blame. While I chopped fire wood later that morning I learned that the sound that I heard was a large fruit or gored that had landed on the steel roof of the shack in which I was chopping.
Living and working on Rancho Mastatal, I was constantly learning something new or being bewildered by the fascinating environment. Engagement between the ranch, its natural resources, and the community made a closed loop sustainable system entirely possible within the small mountain community of Mastatal. There was a serious sense of community that kept the ranch alive and in operation. Every chore was crucial and without everyones participation, the cycle of life could not proceed in the magnificent self sufficient way in which it did. Working with students and interns from all over the world provided a vastly multicultural community that seasoned the ranch with culture and tradition from all over the world.
Living sustainably requires an intimate relationship with your environment and community. I can not think of any better way to describe my experience this summer at Rancho Mastatal.