It doesn't get closer to nature than this: Benito Hernandez of San Jose de Las Piedras, Mexico has been literally living under a rock -- a huge one at that -- for the last thirty years, making his home out of sun-dried brick and cement, raising a family of seven with his wife, Santa Martha de la Cruz Villarreal.
Located 50 miles (80 kilometres) from the border with the United States, the town's residents eke out a living from harvesting Candelilla plants in the Coahuila desert, which produce a wax that is used in anything from cosmetics, candles, polishes, adhesives, anti-corrosives, plastics, matches, to integrated circuit boards and lubricants.
Hernandez first discovered the enormous 131-foot (40-metre) rock 55 years ago when he was merely eight years old, and continued to visit the rock every three to four months, eventually deciding to make it his permanent home.
Check out the video report from the International Business Times:
As there is a law in Mexico that allows one to claim ownership of land after a long period of settlement, Hernandez was able to legally call the rock his own after twenty years, but not before chasing off other would-be residents.
Nevertheless, amenities are basic here as there is no running water and an inconstant supply of electricity. The family manages with a simple woodstove for cooking and heat and a nearby spring is the only place to find water. Six of the family's children have since grown up and moved out to houses nearby, but Hernandez has chosen to stay in his self-built home, even though it is difficult in winter as there is little to harvest, saying:
It gets very cold here and we struggle to get food. We have to work hard here on the Candelilla (fields). That’s the only job we have. That’s what we live from.