Can I Install and Service it Myself?
Does it Conserve Resources?  •  
Will it Last Generations?
Will it Me Save Money?  •  Will it Increase My Leisure Time?

Can I Reduce and Eliminate my Debt?
Will it Increase My Self-Sufficiency?
Will it Increase My Self-Reliance?  •  Is it Easy on the Earth?
Will it Simply my Life? 

Cielito Lindo Ranch is a New Mexico based 501(c)(3) educational non-profit dedicated to researching, developing and testing affordable sustainable technologies. We share them our website, our newspaper “The Catron Courier”, and on-site workshops. We believe that a simple, active, sustainable lifestyle is healthier, happier, less stressful, and is good for the Earth.

We have to learn to live simply
to allow others to simply live.”
– Anonymous


CLR is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to:

  • Researching, developing, and testing sustainable technologies that are practical, affordable, and suitable for any person or budget.
  • Helping people through on-site workshops to adopt a simple, active, sustainable lifestyle, which provides leisure time to pursue creative endeavors.
  • Sharing sustainable living information by providing assistance created sustainably to low-income or needy people.
  • Provide sustainable systems to assist orphaned, endangered, rescued animals and their ecosystems and share that information with the public.
  • Encouraging people to create and play – to pursue their passions and live a balanced, happy, and productive life.
  • Strengthening and creating sustainable Local Economies.

Cielito Lindo is Spanish for ‘beautiful sky’ or ‘heaven’ — but the ranch is about more than the wide open skies of New Mexico. It’s about having blue sky dreams and taking the steps to achieve them. With workshops and retreats the ranch, we hope to encourage others to move off-the-grid and into realizing their creative dreams with practical steps for practical, green, healthy living. This includes:

– Sustainable Housing Tours & Workshops
– Solar and Wind Energy Workshops
– Weekend and Week-long Getaways
– Writing Workshops
– Dark Sky Astronomy
– Creative & Artistic Seminars
– Relationship Retreats
– Horseback riding and hiking


After years of study and searching for information on how to live better lives with less stress and a low environmental impact, CLR was founded to provide others with such information. The center is being developed in New Mexico—chosen for its clear skies, healthy environment, solar and wind capacity, open spaces, and flexible building codes that allow for alternate construction, such as straw bale, adobe, and other earth buildings.

While there are many individual resources that focus on specifics of the various aspects associated with “green” living—such as solar power, or wind power, or low impact building, or eco gardening, or positive career choices—there are few organizations where a holistic view is taken to look at an overall “sustainable life.” CLR is being created to provide just such a holistic view on all green living aspects mentioned, so that others can more easily find information on topics that might interest them or affect their lives. This includes looking at the value of using and developing local community/businesses, and how can one develop a balanced life that includes creative expression through writing, music, and art.

After attending a variety of workshops, reading extensively, and working on individual careers, this led the founders of CLR to start educating friends and family as to what they’d learned. Gradually, the idea formed to expand the casual conversations into share information with a non-profit center that could better exchange knowledge with a wider range of interested people.

Due to this expanded, holistic view, CLR strives to be an off-the-grid environmental learning center where participants can dive into a variety of sustainable subjects. CLR has been working for over six years experimenting with its own alternate power creation, waste management, and low impact building. A wide-ranging focus makes CLR into a clearing center for new ideas, innovative approaches, and practical research. It’s also a place to acquire hands-on skills with workshops from a variety of instructors who can share their experience and expertise.

Planned activities will include workshops at CLR as well as online classes, with the CLR website serving as an extension of the facilities and providing publications that help others navigate through the expanding information that is available about sustainable living topics, including:

  • Low Impact Building
  • Creative Expression
  • Alternate Energy
  • Healthier Living
  • Sustainable Gardening

In addition, CLR will develop facilities so that individuals can stay on creative retreats, and use the facilities to expand their own research into sustainable living.

Because CLR does not have one specific approach to “a better way to live,” this allows the facility to explore a range of topics that can help individuals shape their plans as to what will improve and sustain their lives within the precious resources we share.

Once you visit our ranch you’ll understand why that’s our name. Our unspoiled ranch is a quiescent natural paradise, the perfect place to create, to learn, to restore the natural balance to your life with our experienced instructors as your guides. Learn to live a sustainable, stress-free and happy life.

Our one-hundred and forty acre ranch is located in a remote part of the southwest corner of New Mexico — a one-hour and twenty minute drive to the nearest stop light, and even farther to the nearest fast food restaurant. Most people will never visit a place so free of noise, pollution, traffic or hassle.

We’re all about learning and sharing. We have a Learning Lab building, complete with all the tools and materials you’ll need to try out making your own bio-diesel, adobe bricks, and many other exciting and educational hands-on workshops.

We’re almost finished with our Lodge, which is a public building perfect for meetings, classes, or just enjoying a meal or coffee with class-mates or staff. It’s an experimental zero-energy adobe/straw bale hybrid and it’s meant to show-off — at least how it was made. Inside you can see exposed recycled steel trusses, adobe, and even straw bales.

Soon we’ll start on cabins based on our zero-energy “anyone can do it themselves” low-cost design. You, you and your partner, or small groups will be able to stay in these cabins for short or long-term stays.

It’s a remarkable place, filled with amazing technology and enthusiastic and friendly people. Won’t you visit soon?

23 Responses to ABOUT CLR

  1. Merissa Sass says:

    Oooh, you’re such an inspiration. I love this blog!

  2. Brenda says:

    I am eager to learn your information. Have 2.5 acres just outside SFe that would love to make sustainable and share that info with others as you are. Keep me posted about workshops and
    oppertunities to visit , help and learn.

    • admin says:

      Nice to hear from you, Brenda. We’re just starting to put together workshop schedules for 2013.

    • Jose Reyes says:

      Hello Brenda,
      I visited several Intentional Communities in California and Missouri. I am actually living in Albuquerque and working as an Adult GED Educator. I also help Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe and sometimes if I have extra time I do help Santa Fe Community Farm. It would be interesting to see where outside santa Fe is this land. Did you take some of those workshops with Cielito Lindo? have you done something on this land already?

      • admin says:

        Not sure we understand all of your questions, but Cielito Lindo Ranch is in Catron County–we’re about 3 hours away from Santa Fe. We’re just putting together workshops for 2014. And if you read some of our past blogs, you’ll catch up on all the work we’ve done to date with the passive-solar adobe straw bale lodge, the workshop barn, the solar and wind power, and the composting and gardening we’re doing. Thanks!

  3. Angelia says:

    Hi!! My name is Angelia, and I am 21 years old. I’ve been recently considering visiting/living in an intentional community! I would love to hear some more information from someone here at CLR. Thanks so much for taking the time to read, and may many blessings go your way 🙂
    Much love!!

  4. Michael H. says:

    Some years ago, in the 1990’s… I purchased 20 acres outside of Flagstaff, with the ideas/dreams of doing something similar. It was an on-going endeavor, and I almost made it to sustainability. Being a single man, with only two hands and a creative heart, I soon learned that it would not be possible to do much with the place, unless I had help. There were people in my life that had parcels near there, and I was an assistant to a friend who put in his flagstone flooring, in his (Earthship) building, but some things came rumbling through my experience all at one time, and it became impossible to continue on alone. My Ranch was finally sold for a good price, but my dreams were diluted down to a memory.

    Seeing your place was an inspiration. I may have to contact you further, to possibly seek a visit and/or an interview. I am a Degreed Artist (1990) and have other good ethics toward my views of Living and caring in this world.

    Thank you for the information.

    Michael in Arizona.

    • admin says:


      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Yes, it does take many hands to make this kind of loving possible.
      We’d love to have you out here and interview. You seem like just the kind of person who would flourish in
      community like this.

      Best to you,

      – Sam Palahnuk
      Operations Director

  5. carmine says:

    i have been looking for a simpler life style. are you strictly vegetarian, or do you eat meat, i see you eat fish. i do eat meat . my wife and i have been owning a home health agency. after many yeas (20+), we are tired of all the energy wasted on trying to keep up with all the demands made on us by IRS, INSURANCE COMP.,WORKERS COMP, DEPT OF HEALTH ect. my wife is a nurse NY licence. we take care of home bound people. that is the only part that gives us happiness. what happens when one that lives with you .and gets too old to help? maybe some one like us could help there ,and teach others to follow for future needed ones. we are 52 and 50. my son in law to be is in collage for green house management, i had a degree in photography my daughter is an artist in college and my son is the youngest 18 he took heavy equipment in B.O.C.E.S in ny. he is also interested in science. im not speaking for my whole family yet but do you think we would be of some use there? at the very least it would be my wife and my self. and how cold does it get there? im in catskill mts. where ny,nj,pa come togather at that point. i am very interested so i look forward to your response. ive been with the same gal since she was 15 and i was 17 very stable there. very open people. yearly go to woodstock gathering in bethal ny . thank you Carmine and Sherry please cc answers to my email.


    • admin says:

      At CLR we eat local beef–we like to support local ranchers and farmers, and local beef is grass fed, no horomones and therefore actually high in omega fats. It’s great tasting, too.

      NM winters aren’t that bad. We get snow, and the temps can dip to negative numbers, but that’s usually for a short time. Once the sun comes out, things warm up fast. So winter days can range from in the 30’s to in the 60’s. Snow fall can be a few inches, or rarely we’ll get a few feet, but it melts fast.

      We recommend anyone interested in CLR plan a trip out to visit and just see if you like the place. If a visit goes well, then it’s time to discuss next steps. Do read the visitors information. It has lots of good detail.



  6. Ron Stoner says:

    Almost heaven? Cielito Lindo seems the (almost perfect) place away from all the craziness of this world. Living in this commercial world only makes us zombies sooner or later. There has got to be a better way of living than chasing the almighty $$$$. Glad to know that there are people out there trying to maintain a healthy and non-materialistic lifestyle and geared towards a better relationship with our fellow earth residents.

    • admin says:

      We actually regard CLR as getting more into the ways of the world. Too often it’s all the “stuff” that distracts from real living.


  7. Jan Hawley says:

    Is it possible to work on the alpaca ranch? Also, is it possible to take a bath rather than a shower? Thanks.

  8. jon says:

    I am interested in what you are doing and would love to visit/live on the ranch.
    the biggest block to that is that I am ill, having had a nasty brush with cancer.
    I only have the use of one hand and would be almost useless as a hand. I spent twenty some odd years as a mechanic before becoming ill. perhaps I could function as an instructor.

    how hot does it get in the heat of the day in summertime?

    • admin says:


      Thank you for your interest in our intentional community.

      We would love to talk with you about your abilities and how we might find a place for you here. I’m optimistic that some kid of fit can be found.

      The hottest recorded temperature on the ranch was 95 degrees farenheit.

      Since this conversation may touch on personal medical issues, let’s chat via email. You can reach us at CielitoLindoRanch@gmail.com

      Thanks for your message.

    • admin says:

      We have a document on the website about visiting the ranch–just click on the visiting item on the menu.

      We do recommend folks come out for a visit–winter is not the best time for this, so plan the visit for late spring through fall. We only have camping for guests right now. And let us know if you have more questions after reading the information on the website.

      Also, the area is very rugged and we do ask for those who live here to build their own homes–so I don’t know how that would work for you. We’re also a long way away (100 miles or more) from medical facilities. That–and the altitude–may be too much for you.

  9. Robert Tuite says:

    Can you tell me a little about the yearly climate
    At the ranch. Is the weather comparable to
    Albuquerque for instance. What is the elevation?
    How far to the nearest major medical facility?
    Nearest Family Medicine practice. Does the
    Ranch ever get completely snowed in for instance.
    Can someone live in a mobile home on the ranch
    While building a home? If yes, is there a time limit
    For building a residence. It looks beautiful
    And I’m looking for a place to ‘retire’, but still be
    A very active member of the community. That’s quite
    A few questions. If the answers are on your website,
    Please just point me in the right direction. Thank you.
    Rob Tuite – Vero Beach Florida

    • admin says:

      We have a document on the website about visiting the ranch–I think that’ll answer all your questions. Just click on the visiting item on the menu.

      We do recommend folks come out for a visit–winter is not the best time for this, so plan the vistit for late spring through fall. We only have camping for guests right now. And let us know if you have more questions after reading the information on the website.

  10. Walt says:

    With an early retirement window opening up this Summer, I have been researching off-grid, sustainable living. I stumbled across your website tonight and have been quite impressed. You totally get that it is not just alternative energy or building design or organic gardening or living in harmony with the land — it’s all of those things. In addition, you get that interdependent living is a higher calling than independent living. Finally, as a career educator, I really appreciate that you are actively learning as you go with the intent to share your pearls with the world. I am inspired! Keep up the good work. I hope to visit this coming Summer. Be well. Walt

  11. Jan Hawley says:

    How do you stay warm in the winter? Do you use kerosene heaters or just fireplaces? Thanks.

    • admin says:


      Much of the heat comes from the solar mass — specifically adobe bricks which heat up during the day. When that’s not enough, we have a kiva-rumsford fire-place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *