casita verde

Arriving at Casita Verde right before sunset feels a little like stepping into a different world. The jaw-dropping views over the unspoilt mountains that surround it definitely help, but the overarching feeling that hits you is that of absolute peace. The air is still and warm, there are birds singing in the trees and the activity in the community is mellow and relaxed. That’s not to say that those who live there are not hard-workers, you see maintaining an eco-centre from scratch is a full-time job in itself, and those who reside in its grounds throw themselves whole-heartedly into it. After being greeted warmly upon arrival me and my companion are asked to take a seat in the chill-out area to wait for Chris Dews, the founder of the project. Aside from wanting to be part of their weekly gatherings on a Thursday evening, I had come here to talk to Chris and get a real insight into what Casita Verde is and what they do here on the island.


When Chris does come out, the energy he radiates is palpable, and we started our evening accompanying him whilst he watered the fruit and vegetable patches that are cultivated on the lower planes of the site.  I wanted to get my head around what an eco-community meant to him, and also what projects Casita Verde is involved with.

“I guess that an eco community is a place where people with a similar feeling towards nature and the environment live and work together, for the mutual benefit of all“, Chris replied. “The main ethos behind the Casita Verde centre in general is to teach to the world a new form of behaviour towards the environment, reinforcing the conviction necessary to recover the lost connection between man and his habitat. Since many years now, Casita Verde opens its doors every Sunday for people to come by and visit us, eat healthy food and enjoy a lovely day out in the nature with family and friends. There’s a free tour of the whole centre, when visitors can see how an alternative lifestyle can be within reach of every one of us. Casita Verde also hosts a growing number of students arriving via our partner company ‘Greenheart Travel’ in Chicago, where there is the main centre of the now worldwide organisation ‘Greenheart International’. The students come to participate in our ‘Casita Verde Experience’ programme, designed to teach a certain level of eco-ability, especially to young people who are interested in helping to take care of our by now very fragile planet Earth.”

The concept that Earth forms part of each and every one if us and therefore we should take responsibility for her, is one that runs through everything Casita Verde does. Carlos, creator of the delicious homemade Aloe Vera juices available at the bar, said “If I get dirt on myself, then I wash. So when I see any rubbish thrown on the Earth, I treat it as though it is part of me and instinctively want to clean it”.

This appears to be the driving force behind many of their projects, Chris explains “Every Wednesday, we go out with our house team, plus other members and followers, to clean up local beaches, country roads and other natural areas with our ‘Ibiza Limpia’ campaign (see On Thursday evenings during the summer months, we make a benefit party, from 7pm until midnight, in order to collect some funds for our next Casita Verde project in Granada, where we will be developing the second Casita Verde eco centre from November of this year. Every Saturday, from 12 noon until 4pm, we participate in a local products market in a place called ‘Forada’, next to the Bar Can Tixedo, on the road between San Rafael and Santa Ines. Here we have a stand for Casita Verde, where we make juices and talk to the people about all our Greenheart projects in Ibiza and beyond. Some members of the Casita Verde home team are also involved in other island initiatives, like the Mar Blava Alliance (Alianza Mar Blava), set up to stop more oil explorations in the Western Mediterranean, as well as in the new Water Alliance (Alianza por el Agua de Ibiza y Formentera), which hopes to make everyone on the island more conscious about the use of this precious and extremely vulnerable resource.”


The love and respect that this community have for the island is tangible, and there does seem to be “something” about Ibiza that attracts like-minded people seeking an alternative way of life. I wondered whether this was an energy Chris had felt too, and whether that was part of the reason that this project was developed here first.

“I think that Ibiza and I chose to work together, since it has certainly given me the opportunity to develop my personal vocation on the planet. Having travelled many times around the world and seen many places destroyed by human developments, I finally found my home on this multi-national and multi-cultural island in the sun.

I believe that if we can work together with the local people, the local authorities and the foreign population, making collective effort to solve all of our social and environmental problems in Ibiza, we can then transmit this information to many other places around the world. For this reason, I believe that Ibiza has a very important role to play in the future of our planet and I’m very happy to be a part of the growing movement towards world peace and sustainable prosperity!”

Sitting  on the porch of one of the huts on the uppermost part of the eco-centre mountainside, watching the sun set perfectly between the two valleys and with the smell of home-cooked vegan paella wafting  up from the kitchen below, it is easy to see why this is some people’s idea of heaven. I could feel my own reluctance to leave growing, and wondered how those who really did want to get involved in the Casita Verde lifestyle could go about doing so.

“Anyone who wants to come and meet us, can come by on Sunday to enjoy our weekly open day, they can come and participate in our weekly clean-up events, visit us on the Forada market, plus join us on Thursday evenings for our weekly Fund Raising party. They can also come and help us work on the farm each Thursday, when we often invite people to join us for the day, as we work on various projects. This is more useful during the cooler months, since working outside under the summer sun isn’t such a popular idea. If anyone is interested to come and stay for a week or two, in order to get a better idea of alternative lifestyle techniques, they should get in touch with us directly and see if we have space on our popular ‘Casita Verde Experience’ programme, where depending on available accommodation, they can join the students from Greenheart Travel in return for a reasonable donation to the organisation. We’ll also be hosting a two week permaculture Design Course at Casita Verde during the last two weeks of September, so please check our facebook page for details about that one! (​ Another option is to get in touch by email and perhaps we can help out with projects in other parts of the island, in other parts of Spain, or in other countries, wherever we have useful experience and knowledge to share!”

So there you have it. I bid farewell to the peaceful vibes of Casita Verde with the chilled beats of DJ C floating out from the marquee where everyone had gathered, ready to drive back into the chaos that is San Antonio in the summer, but feeling refreshed and excited to see that such a lifestyle exists in our modern times, and right in the heart of our wonderful island.

bottle house