Personalized life-changing travel guidance
You are almost ready for your journey! The entire NuMundo team is excited to hear your stories as you embark on a new adventure. Refer to this guide for some tips on where to begin. These are the top centers who we think would be a great fit for you as a couple with a two year old child.
Teopantli Kalpulli is a beautiful and historical ecovillage in Jalisco, Mexico. On 70 acres of land, 150 community members live. The village bases most of their practices on Nahuatl and Huichol traditions of natural building and sacred practice. The heart of the land and place of prayer is the sacred Ceiba tree planted on top of an original kiva. The first Huichol sacred seed storage space that was built outside of a Huichol community exists on this land today and is used for storing musical instruments and sacred corn seeds.
The children of the village go to school in the community schoolhouse and each adult takes a turn teaching to share the responsibilities. Their gardens grow native plants like white sapote, corn, guava and amaranth and chile. The area of Jalisco, Guadalajara has been a market-place for Obsidian trade between North and South America since time immemorial. Obsidian was everywhere in the village beneath our feet. A member of Teopantli Kalpulli event built an Obsidian shining and polishing workshop, which sustains him financially.
Teopantli Kalpulli is most likely looking for support in expanding their infrastructure.
Centro Nierika is a retreat center which also has a permaculture gardening volunteer program as well as child care services. When the NuMundo team visited, we recall them having a Montessori school running. Nierika translates from the Huichol language into “sacred mirror and portal”. Experiencing beauty and sacred reflections opens a gateway to the divine. Their vision is to honor the path of healing as self-discovery and transformation for an individual, and to hold the sacred mirror that reflects each ones’ true beauty and highest potential.
Their team of holistic psychologists are world-recognized experts with over 20 years of experience bridging nature, psychotherapy and indigenous medicine. Located in a lush subtropical valley, their eco-retreat center is easily accessible from anywhere in the world since they are only 2 hours away from the Mexico City International Airport. Their center is a safe, ecologically and culturally-rich oasis neighboring a pilgrimage sanctuary site with a history that dates back thousands of years to Mexico’s ancient cultures.
Tepoztlan is a small city in Mexico that is surrounded by peaceful nature. It’s famous for its spas, meditation, alternative medicine clinics and a very traditional city center. It is a small town so you don’t need a car to travel within the city. There are a few options for high quality international schools in the area, so this is a great spot to explore and see what’s there. It’s definitely worth visiting Huehuecoyotl, an ecovillage in the area to feel what it’s like.
There is an archeological site at the top of a hikeable mountain (1.3 miles of steep stone stairs, around 45min-1hr climb at a good pace) that is also famous for its “good vibrations”. Bring water, wear closed-toed shoes, use a backpack to carry your things, take breaks while climbing and be especially careful if you have any medical conditions. The climb is tough if you are out of shape and/or not used to the altitude! It’s definitely worth the hike to reach the pyramid, El Tepozteco, and the wonderful views of the surrounding area. The site may be reached by walking down Avenida 5 de Mayo (in the direction away from where you entered the town). Continue until the street ends to the steps which mark the beginning of the trail. The hike to the top is free but it will cost 47 pesos to access the pyramid. At the top you will also encounter coati, also known as a tejón. These animals, members of the raccoon family, are curious and will attempt to open backpacks to find food.
Around the World List
Brazil – Piracanga – We highly recommend Piracanga, there are plenty of opportunities for rent still available from September onwards during the low season, there’s a little pre-school and a school for the grown ups too. They don’t typically take volunteers but this is an amazing ecovillage to rent a space in. Also, there are plenty of opportunities to rent beyond the retreat center, in the ecovillage behind.
Chile – PioPio – This community is right next to an eco-neighborhood that houses about 100 people, including families. Message Carolina at PioPio to ask about renting there.
Ireland – Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Scotland – Findhorn Foundation
Italy – Torri Superiore
Virginia, USA – Twin Oaks Community
Quebec, Canada – La Cite Ecologique
Missouri, USA – Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
Colombia – Aldeafeliz
Japan – Konohana Family
El Salvador – La Casa Organica
Check out Hijos del Maiz, a Sandinista community in the mountains of Nicaragua, with a Spanish school. It’s a great place to learn Spanish for a month and requires a very low budget. Accommodations are pretty basic. Another option would be to go to Lake Atitlan or Quetzaltenango in Guatemala for an immersive home-stay Spanish school experience.
> Costa Rica – If you’re in the country consider visiting La Ecovilla which could be a great potential spot to settle down in.
> Meeting People – Use Facebook Groups to find the latest events and meetups in the region you’re traveling in. For example: Spirit Events Sacred Valley for events just outside Cusco in Peru. Use keywords like “events, permaculture, expats, expatriates, healers” etc. Don’t be afraid to talk to other travelers in hostels ; ).
> Travel Insurance – I recommend World Packers for international travel & health coverage on your journey.
It was awesome connecting with you, wishing you a beautiful journey! Please keep us updated on your travels with photos and videos: Bryan@numundo.org.