In the whitewashed Spanish village of Alozaina, about 40 minutes from Marbella, is a very special center, called Casa de Pepe Bravo. The center takes in the socially unfortunate, helps them, and teaches them the crafts and skills needed to work productively. If you live in the area, it’s a place you must visit!
We had the opportunity to have lunch there today — a delicious couscous (OK, not Paleo, but today was my cheat day!) — after which they gave us a tour of the center, which basically amounts to a huge old, restored Andalucian home with the following facilities:
- An arts and crafts workshop
- A carpentry workshop
- A pottery shop
- An industrial kitchen, where artesanal olive oil, honey and jams are made
- An artesanal museum
- A large living area
- A large, rural accommodations area where guests can come for a relaxing weekend in the countryside
The center operates an attached store, called Arte de Mis Manos (“My Handmade Art”), where they sell basically all of the products produced in the center, including woodworks, pottery, food products, teas, you name it! The store is open for three hours each morning during the week, and can be opened on request for visitors arriving during the weekend.
It’s a great center, working for a great cause, and producing some of the best quality products in the regions. What they need now is marketing! 🙂 So if you’re reading this, and live in the area, be sure to plan a visit soon. It’s worth your while! Here’s a couple links to the location, followed by a video and some photos:
Here’s a video of Pascual (who lives with his wife and children at the center), giving us a demonstration of his pottery skills. The stuff he makes is amazing!
And here are some photos we took during the visit.