Extremadura contains close to three-hundred thousand hectares of olive groves (283.416 ha) dispersed throughout the near entirety of its territory. This is to say that olive growing has formed an essential part of its economic, historic, cultural and social development.
In the Sierra de Gata, an Extremadura region located to the northeast of the community bordering Portugal, numerous olive trees converge forming a very peculiar landscape. A significant percentage of this olive grove is arranged on natural terraces, which were built centuries ago on the terrain of the steep slopes of the Sierra.
Around the villages, where the lands are rich in humus, the olive trees intermingle with lands dedicated to orchards and fruit trees. Here, one can find the beds of streams and rivers occupied by irrigated meadows with chestnut and walnut trees, surrounded by natural vegetation.
In the Ribera de Acebo valleys at the foot of the highest peak of this mountain range, El Jalama, important mosaics formed by orange trees, oaks, chestnut trees and last, but not least, olive groves coexist.
The olive-pine-oak-scrub-mosaic that exists here gives this region a high agronomic, ecological, landscape, cultural and social value.
Proof of the incalculable natural value found in this place is one of the Buddhist centers in the country, called Buddha’s Olive Grove, located in this region on the foothills of Mount Jalama. This center is a spiritual refuge where one can peacefully practice Buddhism, and where its founder, Philipe Camus, donated his farmlands in order to build the center. Camus is a wealthy French businessman who left it all behind to travel to India, where, thanks to the help of a Tibetan monk, was able to find himself again and reorder his life through meditation and hard work. While searching for his own paradise, where he could continue to grow and progress, Philpe found himself in the incredible natural landscape full of olive trees in Extremadura. This was the perfect place for him to unite his body and soul, to continue to grow and, ultimately, to live his dreams.