August at Rancho La Puerta - Rancho La Puerta
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August at Rancho La Puerta

“Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.” -Muhammad Ali

A cool evening breeze flows down through the folds of Mt. Kuchumaa and weaves into the oak grove that cloaks the arroyo. We walk the labyrinth here in twilight, reminding ourselves that often the first step of a journey is the most difficult. Change asks so much of us, doesn’t it: a change of scenery, change of habit, change of attitude? But then we shake the small pebble from our shoe at Rancho La Puerta and dance onward!


August 3 – 9

Hands-On Classes In Fresh and Healthy Mexican Cuisine with Deborah Schneider

Deborah Schneider

Deborah Schneider has travelled widely in Mexico, and is the author of eight cookbooks that explore her fascination with Mexican food and culture. She and Deborah Szekely co-authored “Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta,” which was nominated for a James Beard Award. 

Deborah offers two hands-on culinary experiences, 3.5 hours each, during which you will enjoy preparing your own meal along with fellow cooks. Classes take place at La Cocina Que Canta, our culinary center on Tuesday and Thursday at 4 pm. For more information and registration, please click here. 

As Executive Chef & Partner of the award-winning SOL Mexican Cocina and Solita Tacos & Margaritas restaurants, currently with six locations in California, Arizona, and Colorado, she continues to focus on the best in contemporary and traditional Mexican cuisine. Through her restaurant work and writings, Deborah has been influential in the Southern California farm-to-table movement and in supporting sustainable fisheries in California and Baja.

Her most recent book is “Mexican Instant Pot” (November 2018), and her other books include “Baja! Cooking on the Edge” (an adventurous trip through the foods and wines of Baja California, chosen by Food & Wine Magazine as one of its best cookbooks of the year), “Salsas & Moles,” “The Mexican Slow Cooker,” and “Amor y Tacos.”

For more information,  visit and 

August 10 -16

Designing the Difference You Want to Make in the World

Candace Gray

Candace Gray’s life mission has been leading people and organizations to reach their full potential, and she’s lived this mission while providing leadership in the nonprofit sector for nearly 25 years. After beginning her profession as a CPA in the corporate sector, she craved a career with greater meaning and fulfillment. She transitioned to the nonprofit field by working alongside a successful CEO in the real estate industry as he founded a nonprofit organization focused on an inner-city neighborhood in Dallas. Currently, she serves as a senior leader for a Dallas-based social services agency, serving nine cities in Texas and six international locations. She has traveled on assignment to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia. 

With Candace, you’ll engage in an inspirational process to envision and develop a plan for the difference you desire to make in the world, whatever your level of experience in volunteerism. 

Opening Presentation – Explore the Power of Your Unique Story

Who are you? What makes you unique? Your life experiences are a gold mine in which you will discover and evaluate how you can best make a difference. Inspirational methods include hearing the stories of other individuals who have discovered their purpose, as well as thought-provoking questions that can guide your own purpose and passion.

Workshop 1 – Connect Your Purpose with a Cause

Discover the intersection between your purpose, passions and a cause—all the indicators of where and how you should serve what has stirred your interest most.  Learn practical resources for researching causes and organizations. Explore possible roles that utilize your skill set, such as teacher, advocate, activist, giver, mobilizer, servant and encourager.  Learn to evaluate whether an organization is the right fit for you.      

Workshop 2 – Assess Your Current State

Of course your “season of life” can greatly influence your availability to be involved in a cause. Learn to better assess your current state through key questions such as: what is your season of life? How much time are you willing to commit? What changes will be required to make the impact you desire?  What resources are available to you?  Hear stories of how others have made a difference in their various seasons of life.

Workshop 3 – Design Your Impact

Complete your difference-making plan, which includes:  an impact-summary statement; immediate next steps; and short-term and long-term goals.  Finally, reflect on the five keys to difference-making success: serve authentically; serve with humility; be a team player; be a lifelong learner; and make thoughtful commitments. Then follow through! More.

August 17 – 23

The Magical Medicine of Exercise

Jordan D. Metzl, M.D.

Is exercise the best medicine for what ails you? Join renowned author and sports medicine doctor Jordan Metzl for his Ironstrength Workout and a handful of lectures teaching his latest approach to fitness and health. Open to all fitness levels. More.

August 24 – 30

Fiesta Mexicana

Elena Duran and Edgar Ibarra

Between 1934 and 1964, Mexico’s cinema was the epicenter for Latin American films. Celebrate the popular music of Mexico played by flutist Elena Duran and pianist Edgar Ibarra accompanied with film clips from the golden age of Mexico’s cinema. More.

Let one of our Experience Planners help you on your journey.