Hi, we are ...
Hi! we are Paul, Marina, Tessa and Sebastian.
Although originally Dutch, Paul and Marina met on the Costa del Sol in 1994 and have been at home in Southern Spain since 1989 and 1978 respectively. We jokingly call ourselves Holandaluzes but our heart feels it's more than a joke.
Our decision to turn our family home in Mijas, into a natural living & wellbeing retreat came about, shall we say naturally, as we could no longer ignore the fact that the world at large started making less and less sense.
In 2018, our children moved on and we were ready for our next adventure together. It turned out that everything we had been studying and learning in our free time over the last 20 years, could now be applied in practice.
What does it take to live more in contact with the earth and the seasons? To grow our own food? To limit our waste? What are we willing to give up? What will we not live without? Far from virtuous we consider our journey a pragmatic one where finding our balance is becoming a continuous exercise. And yes we want to harvest joy, always.
Depending on where you are on your own journey you will consider us anything in between extremists and imposters. It is not our intention to tell anyone what to do or how to live. We do want to share what we have discovered and hope it may, at worst: trigger your curiosity and at best: inspire you to do something similar.
Marina (53) has an international background where hospitality and wellbeing always played an important role.
Paul (61) has had a medical profession and now paints portraits and is an avid permaculturist.
Our children Tessa (22) and Sebastian (21) were born in Spain and are now discovering the world and themselves and contributing to BtLT with their own talents (see 'teamwork').
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So why Back To La Tierra?
When we decided to come back to our home in Mijas in 2018 after 7 years abroad, we were not only coming back to just a house. La Tierra has been a special place for us ever since we saw the finca for the first time in 2006 and bought it, head over heels. It felt like a place where we could do all the things that made sense to us. Coming Back to La Tierra was a conscious choice, to move back to the earth. Back to the soil. To the roots of what life was really all about.
It occurred to us that maybe more people would want to experience that feeling and that creating a spot to welcome those longing for a more natural way of living we could actually have our cake and eat it. We all need a little Back to La Tierra now and then.
See for yourself. Back to la Tierra will give you whatever you are ready to receive.
Teamwork & who does what?
We are great believers in DIY which resulted in creating this web site & logo etc ourselves (and pretty much everything else on site). The reason we do it ourselves is because we prefer to invest in trees, shredders and lovely linen for our guests (see: choices & balancing).
- Marina writes for the website, arranges social media, the journal and member mailings because she loves to find those calming moments of inspiration behind her laptop. She makes sure you find us, that your room looks warm and welcoming and she offers a morning Joyga practice to start your day in the most wonderful way.
- Paul is happiest digging the soil, building sheds, planting trees and painting portraits which is why he chose to introduce himself in this video recorded in 2018. He also loves to show you around in the garden and share his insights and experiences on our permaculture journey in a workshop or course. (Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for dates)
- Tessa has a real flair for knowing what works online and she is informing Paul's art followers of his latest pieces and arranging art work and exhibitions beautifully.
- Sebastian used to be a great observer of everything considered irrelevant in ordinary school life and now turns out to be an incredibly valuable permaculture asset and eco-builder on site.
And a special thank you and recognition to all our (HelpX) volunteers who have contributed, are contributing and will contribute to Back to La Tierra and our lives in so many ways! They are all planting their own tree and have to promise to come back to see it growing.