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ASC. PITA-ESCUELA del Rio Aguas

We are a CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ARTISTIC EDUCATION registered as a non-profit association, located in the heart of the Natural ParkKarst en Yesos de Sorbas, in the desert of Almeria (Spain). With a focus based on artistic creation, nature, sustainable living and music, we organize a series of activities in order to contribute to sustainable development. Our specialty is the Wood of the Desert.

OUR CENTER PROVIDES environmental education based on artistic creation combined with nature and music experiences. In the last decade, the experience of our work has prooved a positive impact on the creation of environmental awareness in our visitors, which makes us see our initiative as an important element in the development of a society that, as we believe, shall think in a sustainable and future-oriented way.

OUR UNIQUE WORK reflects a cuarter of a century dedicated to the creation of a wide range of high quality musical instruments and crafts made from the wood of the Agave plant, perfectly adapted to desert climates. This 100% sustainable resource is harvested and hand selected, once the plant has finished its life cycle and is completely dead, an aspect that makes it an ideal tool for educational purposes.

WE HIGH-LIGHT the specialness of the ecosystem found in the Natural Park Karst en Yesos de Sorbas and the variety of species of fauna and flora that find shelter in this unique place where we live off-grid and in harmony with nature. A true and green oasis that is currently threatened by the risk of the over-exploitation of water by macro plantations of olive trees in superintensive cultivation. Visit the website in defense of our water to find out more…

AGAVE-RELATED PROJECTS have great environmental, economic and social benefits in semiarid areas around the world and they offer hope, prosperity and improved standard of living to millions of people today! As a matter of fact, we are happy to welcome anybody interested in visiting our project, to discover and learn about the advantages of this sacred gift from the desert, considered to be one of the most promising crops of our times and the future.

OUR VISION IS to inspire others, help originate and promote educational training centers and cooperatives and build a network of Agave-Wood-Intusiasts around the world. We propose intensive training based on Agave wood workshops, ready to share our valuable knowledge acquired after many years of work and collaboration with a number of great instructers.

GET INVOLVED, make a diference and contribute to sustainable development! For further information contact us and start a conversation today!

Contact us

Asociación PITA-ESCUELA del Río Aguas
Los Molinos del Río Aguas, Buzón 88
04270 - SORBAS, Almería, España
Tlf.: +34/630 66 18 65 (Timbe)
E-Mail: pitaescuela@hotmail.com
Facebook: Pita Escuela

THE WOOD OF THE DESERT
An ideal tool for environmental education

THE MAGIC VILLAGE
 
Our village is made from sustainable wood from the desert. With its low demand for water it does not pollute anything. In order to remind us of the magic which gets lost in more and more villages today, these little eco-villages hide a magical secret inside of them: They can be squashed by hand and transform into puzzles …
 
An ideal tool for environmental education and perfect gifts for people who are conscious and respectful of the environment.
 
Visit our ONLINE SHOP to discover our wide range of sustainable Handicrafts
 

Our Story

IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS A DRUM
 
What began with the creation of a drum later developed into a much deeper passion in the integral usage of the agave. Since then, the ongoing research in this area has become a way of life for Tim Bernhardt (founder of the Agave School), who uniquely specializes in the use of the agave wood to give it new life in various forms and uses.
 
Visit our PHOTO BLOG and get to know more about the historical background of a pioneer way of living….
 
“On my first travel through Andalusia, back in November of 1993, I got to know Pedro, a Spanish artist from Valencia, who showed me how to make my first drum from the dry flower stems of the agave. My passion for this plant began when I got to know its unique lifecycle and the warm sound of my very first ‘Timbe Drum’. As I was mostly interested in woodwork, music & travelling, I thought that I had possibly found the perfect opportunity to combine my three interests into a way of living.
 
After returning to Hamburg in 1994, I decided to go back to Andalusia (Spain) to make more of these fabulous instruments! Ten years of drum-making followed in which I made about 250 Timbe Drums, some even used in professional recording studios.
 
See this TIMBE DRUM-MAKING VIDEO on Youtube! A story about the union between a sound body and the skin of an andalusian goat. The birthday of a musical instrument.
 
In the following years, I lived like the birds, spending sunny Andalusian winters in the south and fresh German summers in the north. In 1998, I organized my first drum-making workshop and started to pass along the knowledge that I had acquired thus far.
 
In 2002, I settled down in Andalusia and became more and more interested in the botanical aspects of the agave and its multiple uses. After 10 years of drum-making, I started creating all kinds of different musical instruments and handcraft articles like lamps, masks and ‘magic villages’. Finally, I got to process each single millimeter of the flower stems.
 
Furthermore, in 2008, I began to settle in Los Molinos where I founded the Association Pita-Escuela del Río Aguas. The Agave school is the place where I now live. The project developes and continuosly doors open for new educational and musical colaborations.
 
On November 3rd of 2018 we celebrate the 25th ANNIVERSARY of that very first ‘Timbe Drum’, where it all began….
 
But what began with the creation of a drum, developed into a much deeper passion for the integral use of the Agave plant and my researches have become a way of life for me. Being pioneer in the specialization of the use of the wood of the desert, giving it new life in several forms and uses, I keep the passion, always develope new ideas and the story never ends…, and in 2018 we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of this enthusiastic and unique project!”
 
By Timbe, 2019

Our Pita-Team

Since the foundation of the Pita-School, many people have participated in the project to learn or to contribute with their respective skills. Some of them got more deeply involved with our Pita-Team and we are very grateful to everyone for making it possible for this association to continue to develop.
Tim Bernhardt a.k.a. TIMBE

I was born in Hamburg (Germany) and grew up in a family where music and travelling took an important place. My first visit to Spain (Ibiza) happaened at the age of only one and due to my father’s work I got to visit and live on the African continent several times. 

I’m an artist, musician, innovator and manufacturer of musical instruments. I have been in Almería province for more than 25 years, taking advantage of the Agave wood. I study the plant in all its senses and like nobody in Europe. I have worked with several master teachers and over the years, I have become a true multifaceted instructor.

After moving from Hamburg in 1993, I settled in Almería, southern Spain, where the agave plant has been cultivated and used like nowhere else in Europe. The making of my first ‘Timbe Drum’ was the beginning of a great passion and a long way to go.

In February 2007 & 2008, I visited the projects of our family NGO that was founded together with my brothers and parents in 2006. Our charity organization supports vulnerable and disadvantaged children & youth, mainly in Awassa, Ethiopia. Find out more about our projects, watch, enjoy & share our Video, subtiteled in 9 languages: We Don’t Want Your Money  More Information: LiveLoveAndLearn.org Also enjoy the video of the song ‘Live, Love & Learn‘, filmed in one of our orphanages, composed by my brother Mo Brandis, a great Jazz & Soul musician, songwriter, music producer & singer of the legendary band Incognito – UK.

Today, one of my core projects is the the Pita-School, an iniciative in which music plays an important role…

Listen to some of my compositions, recorded in our Music-Lounge: COME BACK / THE TRAVEL / THE FEELIN’

José M. García

Hola, my name is Jose. For many years now, I am connected in various ways with the opuntia (nopal) and the agave (pita) plant. I got to know Timbe in 2008, on an artesian market in San José (Almería), where I was hallucinating with the possibilities of the agave. A little bit later, I made a desert wood workshop with him in Los Molinos. This was the beginning of a great passion.

Due to my studies in the University of Alicante, I investigated a substrate obtained from the agave for the purification of water, what finally was one of the reasons for me to travel to Mexico. There, I got to know the traditional doctor from the Otomí tribe Don Miguel Trejo González, with whom I started working during the period of 8 months. In May 2011 Miguel visited the Pita-School to impart the first Workshop for Integral Usage of the agave and opuntia.

Traveling this path, I have discovered its many uses and traditional applications. I became aware of its enormous potential as a natural, social and economic resource for many people on the planet. That’s why I feel it is important to spread this knowledge, for the benefit of mother earth and its inhabitants.

Diego Chico de Guzman

Hi, my name is Diego. I was born in Barcelona and I had my first contact with this project in August 2010 while I was traveling through southern Spain, where I ended up at the Pita-School.

In the school, I got to know Timbe. I did my first intensive workshop with him, working with the wood from the desert. Together with other factors, the possibilities of this plant influenced my decision to leave my urban life and get started on a search for a higher balance in myself and my surroundings.

Nowadays, I find myself living in this oasis which is Los Molinos del Río Aguas and I am a member of the association. As I am living in one of the village houses, I am as well a neighbor to Pita-School.

Getting deeper into the wood-work, over the years, I specialized in mask-, Didgeridoo- and flute-making, but still there is a lot to learn…