Meet Caballo Loco!

If you ask the good people of Todos Santos about life-time resident Jorge Luis Marquez Gonzales, you’re likely to get nothing but blank stares. If you ask the same folks about Caballo Loco, you’d better pull up a chair as you’re likely to get a stream of riotous stories about a favorite son.  Among other things, Jorge “Caballo Loco” Marquez Gonzales is a horse trainer, an international motorcycle gang member, a turtle protector, a Profepa agent, an illegal trash dump investigator and the producer of some of the best compost in town. Composting is a job he embraces with the same passion he brings to horse training – with many of the same components

Recalls Jorge, “About a year and a half ago I started working with Felipe Jimenez in his gardening and waste collection business. He was sending me to the dump with all this garden waste, but I knew that was not the best solution since the organic waste is such a big factor in the fires there. Felipe and I talked and we agreed that it would be much better to bring it here.” “Here” is where Jorge lives and keeps an array of horses, burros, dogs and motorcycles. And now, large piles of compost. Jorge picks up all non-palm frond organic garden waste from Felipe’s clients, as well as horse manure and sawdust from his friends and neighbors. His horses obligingly enrich the sawdust with their waste, which in turn enriches the garden waste when Jorge mixes it in. He then adds horse manure to provide nitrogen, and water to provide oxidation. Once the leaves in the waste start to wilt, he covers the pile with plastic. In the heat of the summer he has the black gold of compost in 2 months. In the winter it takes about 4 months.

“When I started doing this compost project I really wasn’t thinking about anything other than keeping the garden waste out of the dump, so as the compost became available I was just giving it away to the neighbors. But now that I’m producing 300 sacks of compost a month, I’m selling it for 250 pesos a bag. I sell all the compost I make and it’s still not enough. There is huge demand for high quality compost.”  Caballo Loco-branded compost funded his most recent motorcycle purchase – a Harley Davidson 883 – with a leather saddle emblazoned with the words “Caballo Loco” for the seat. It’s a beauty.  Jorge has expanded his composting empire to include kitchen waste, which includes all food waste except meat, bones and some fats. He also accepts fish waste which is processed separately.  He anticipates turning out his highest quality compost yet. 

Protecting the health and safety of living beings is simply the way Jorge rolls. He spent 10 years successfully working to save the turtle species that nest upon our shores in Todos Santos and Pescadero.  After that he became a community agent for Profepa (Profepa is the enforcement arm of the Mexican environmental protection agency). As part of that job Jorge often finds trash at illegal dump sites. He goes through the trash to see if he can find evidence of which household it came from. If he’s successful, he’ll take the trash back to the owners and provide instruction on proper household waste management techniques with them. If they seem particularly recalcitrant, he’ll fine them, but his goal with each household is education and changing habits.  In his role as a field agent for CIBNOR (Center for Biological Investigation for the Northeast, one of the most important scientific research centers in northern Mexico) he helps conduct blood analyses for the farmers working in chile fields to track cancers associated with pesticide and fertilizer use. 

But why “Caballo Loco”?  “When I was a kid my parents didn’t have enough money to buy me a horse, so I would go to the huerta to ride the horses that roamed loose there. I have always had a way with horses and learned my training techniques directly from the horses. My grandparents were Yaqui Indians in Sonora so my energy with the horses, my approach with the horses is definitely Indian. I never hit them, I never hurt them, I never yell at them. Now people bring feral horses to me from the Sierras that they say cannot be trained. Horses that won’t even accept being put on a rope. When I tell them I can do it, they expect it will take me weeks or months to make the horse rideable. The fact is it never takes me more than two days to safely be riding even the wildest horse. This is why I am Caballo Loco.”

And now for some exciting news!

December 1st 2022 Caballo Loco Composta will be starting a new organics pickup subscription program in Todos Santos. There are different subscriptions from door-to-door pickup to central drop off locations. Keep your food scraps out and yard waste out of the dump and turn it into nutrient-rich soil! They are open for enrollment now with pickup service beginning December 1st. For now this service is limited to 30 subscribers in Todos Santos, with the hope to grow in number and expand to Pescadero in the future. Anyone in the community can purchase their beautiful compost as well, with members receiving a discounted price. 

Contact them via WhatsApp +52 612-213-5872 or email Monthly subscriptions starting at 300 MXN | $15 USD. Register here:


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