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Asociation Pita-Escuela del Rio Aguas

The AGAVE SCHOOL IS AN ASSOCIATION of environmental and artistic education, that proposes a series of activities

ranging from workshops and dynamics on recycling, music, sustainability or knowledge of the environment,

to practices with excursions to approach the uniqueness of the oasis where we live.

WE HIGH-LIGHT the specialness of the ecosystems of the Natural Park Karst en Yesos de Sorbas and the variety of species of fauna and flora that find shelter in this unique place, a true oasis that is threatened by the risk of the over-exploitation of water by the macro plantations of olive trees in superintensive cultivation.

WE INVITE YOU TO DISCOVER a respectful way of life, with which you can build a new educational paradigm. Our Agave House-Museum is a true example of a self-sustainable house with a special and warm atmosphere and a standard which is well adapted to the reality of the 21st century, with all the comforts of a home.

OUR UNIQUE WORK reflects more than 20 years of a life specially dedicated to the elaboration of a wide range of musical instruments and handcrafts made from Agave-wood, a true 100% sustainable resource obtained from the only desert in Europe. This material is beautiful, resistant, easy to process, with great educational value and endless posibilities….

WE FULLY BELIEVE in the enormous environmental, economic and social benefits that Agave projects can bring into arid regions, where we want to make a positive contribution to sustainable development.

WITH GREAT EMOTION and enthusiasm we are following related projects, which today offer hope, prosperity and a better quality of life to thousands of people around the world and we are working to incorporate different institutions and companies in Almería (and internationally) to diversify the type of products we offer (among others for the gastronomic sector).

For that, OUR SCHOOL ORGANIZES training courses for the integral use of the Agave and especially for the elaboration of its wood. We appreciate the diffusion of our project and we are always open to welcome people interested in visiting us, to get to know our work and to discover the virtues of this sacred plant which has such a great future.

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 FROM THE DESERT
An ideal tool for environmental education

THE MAGIC VILLAGE
 
Our star product, with its low demand for water, does not pollute anything and it reminds us of the magic of villages, which gets lost more and more every day. In addition, 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 STORE to discover our wide range of musical instruments and 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 2013 we celebrated the 20th 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 will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of this enthusiastic and unique project!”
 
By Timbe, 2017

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) in 1972. I’m an artist, musician and manufacturer of musical instruments and I have been in Almería province for more than 20 years, taking advantage of the Agave wood. I study the plant in all its senses and like nobody in Europe, over the years, I have become a true multifaceted teacher.

I grew up in a family where music and travelling took an important place, and as such, I first came to Ibiza (Spain) at the age of only one. Due to my father’s work in several countries, I got to visit and live on the African continent several times until I went schooling for a year in the kingdom of Swaziland at the age of 15.

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.

In February 2007 & 2008, I visited the projects of the NGO Edget Baandnet founded by my parents in 2006, a charity organization that supports vulnerable and disadvantaged children & youth, mainly in Awassa, Ethiopia. To 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 our orphanage in Awassa (Ethiopia), composed by my brother Mo Brandis, a great Jazz & Soul musician, songwriter, music producer & singer of the legendary band Incognito – UK.

One of my core projects is the founding of the Pita-School, a non-profit organization, recognized as a developement aid project for the “first world”. Offering a series of workshops and thematic routes, we invite you to discover a living example of a sustainable way of life, with which you can build a new educational paradigm, where 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.

I decided to write this blog to share this important information with my family, friends and the world:

www.bajolasespinas.blogspot.com

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. I felt the call of the agave and as I got more and more interested in the plant, of course I ended up at 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 now a member of the association. As I am living in one of the village houses, the Casa El Mirador, I am as well a neighbor to Pita-School.

A new world has opened for me. We are living in a self-sufficient house, have begun work on our ecological garden and would warmly welcome you to get to know our paradise.