arely do you meet a woman who juggles as many things as Anne Menke does in her everyday life, let alone someone who does so with as much laughter and joy. Photographer, mother, hotelier, surfer, traveler, educator ? each one as important to her as the next ? and each one as rewarding. And interestingly enough, considering our interview is based on her role as one of our favorite photographers, it’s photography that takes a back seat to all the other important roles she holds dear.

Eight years ago, after Anne and her husband had moved to Sayulita, Mexico, it was time for her oldest boy to go to school. They didn’t want to send him to an expat school where he would interact with the same kids he would have had they stayed in Tribeca. They didn’t want him to disengage from the local culture. Yet they also didn’t want him going to the crumbling local school system either. Underpaid, undertrained teachers paired with lack of resources has made the public Sayulita school system less than ideal. So Anne, her husband and their best friends started the Costa Verde International School for theirs and local children whose education now comes first and foremost. But there’s more to it than that.

CVIS is a project-based completely green school. When I ask her what she means by that, she tells me about one of her favorite lessons, “If they’re studying percentages in their math classes, they learn it by making something good for themselves and good for the earth. When making a smoothie, what’s the percentage of protein that is needed?


It's the moments big & small, silly & serious, that make Anne Merke see her world beautiful.