You are all set to take your journey! You are probably already enjoying the jungle in Costa Rica. 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!
There are two bioregions that you will visit in Latin America. Central America is filled with centers to learn and play with likeminded individuals. South America will offer a well-known routes for backpackers, accessible indigenous culture and centers with interest in cooking & growing food. I’ve included recommendations from both continents for your journey!
Costa Rica is a great place to start your journey. It is safe, has beautiful nature & wildlife, and is very traveler & backpacker-friendly. You will find people who speak English without a problem and then you can ease into Spanish! While traveling in the country, I recommend taking busses to the regions you want to visit – they are reliable. There are also very cheap flights from the Osa Peninsula (Puerto Jimenez) back to San José if that’s how you want to travel. If you want to go to Panama and then take a boat to head further South, you should visit the Osa Peninsula for sure!
Finca Morpho – While in Costa Rica, definitely make your way South to the Osa Peninsula near the town of Puerto Jimenez. The entire NuMundo team stayed at this impact center for a whole month. It is a beautiful intentional community & permaculture project lead by a couple young families passionate about growing their own food, experimenting with superfoods, natural building, living in community and having fun on the beach. You have direct beach access, trails with primary forest, close access to the Corcovado National Park – one of the most biodiverse spots in the world – and I can guarantee you will see a monkey and give yourself a natural blue clay body scrub! You could also learn how to surf there.
Their mission is to spread the seed of permaculture using love, compassion and understanding for everyone and everything. And to tend the seedling as the idea of permaculture flowers into a beautiful new world by openly sharing all knowledge and skills.
Finca Morpho’s vision and values are to: Strive to achieve self-sufficiency and sustainability. Strive to Understand, Love, and Cherish all life. Understand and use the Co-Founders agreements. Share all information freely and openly.
Their farm goals are to produce as much food and abundance as possible through the guide of the Basic Permaculture Agreements and to educate and empower the people to take back the tools needed to create an abundant and fulfilling life for themselves.
They currently have lots of stays and work-trades listed on NuMundo – even one for a raw, organic food-oriented chef! Maybe something you could do!
VerdEnergia Pacifica – For one of the best cacao & chocolate experiences, I highly recommend VerdEnergia Pacifica. They are an intentional permaculture community and reforestation project in the mountains of Lanas de Puriscal, Costa Rica. They are a cooperative dedicated to ecosystem regeneration and sustainable lifestyle creation, experimenting with practices that serve our land base and withdraw legitimacy from the unsustainable structures and habits of our cultures. They aim to transform today’s convergence of global crises into opportunities to unite, educate, and co-create a more conscious, just, and abundant way of life for themselves and generations to come.
Verde has a super fun vibe – there are often many young volunteers and this project has reforested massive pieces of land. Their annual Permaculture Design Certification is an awesome way to upgrade your knowledge on permaculture.
If you are thinking of doing a loop and going back to Costa Rica, join NuMundo at VerdEnergia 17-21 February 2017 for a transformational leadership immersion in the Costa Rican jungle.
Discover your path, align passion with purpose, and take steps toward achieving your life goals. NuSeed is designed to set you on your path towards self-realization, and connect you to real opportunities to personal and professional growth. The seed is the beginning, and needs the right nutrients to nurture a new life.
Included: local organic food, practical workshops, networking, dancing, fun.
Nourish your body, mind and soul with local organic vegetarian food (included), practical educational content, and practices for inner balance. Below is the platter, come taste what the NuMundo network has to offer, and walk through this portal of inspiration and empowerment with us as we offer you the seeds to a new system and new way of life.
Life Design – Receive the tools to cultivate your inner garden. Leading facilitators will give you tools that you can put into practice in your everyday life to make real changes and increase well-being, productivity, and fulfillment. Find the place your passions and skills meet a real need. Each participant will receive personalized 1-on-1 life-coaching mini-sessions to connect you to opportunities to grow.
Entrepreneurship – There has never been so much opportunity and so many resources at our fingertips. Today, we stand on the shoulders of giants, and we can harness the vast knowledge and freely available resources to manifest our visions and bring our dreams to life. Learn practical tools for launching a business or non-profit, and connect to resources, mentors, and networks to take the next steps.
Leadership Development – Step into your potential as a leader, and take the first steps towards empowerment. Building an organization or a movement begins with building oneself.
Hands-on Permaculture – Permaculture is one of the most valuable and potent technologies accessible to humans today. It gives us the tools to plant and water the seeds of the new system. It is grounded in ancient indigenous traditions. It is more than growing food – it is growing and cultivating life. Be immersed in a living, breathing permaculture education center, and learn both hands-on techniques and their conceptual foundations from internationally renowned professional permaculture instructors and local experts.
Bioconstruction – Building with earthen and natural materials is an ancient technology, and is once again on the rise. Experience hands-on techniques that millions of indigenous peoples employ around the world, even today. The executive director of City Repair, the organization behind the revolutionary Village-Building Convergence will be there to share how to build a village even in the heart of the city.
Yoga – Yoga has been in existence for thousands of years, but has never been so popular as it is today. Yoga is a powerful practice that aligns mind, body, and spirit in the cultivation of awareness and presence. When we achieve this state of presence, we can bring it with us into each moment of the day.
Compassionate Communication – Learn heart-centered communication techniques to help you create the impact that you want in relationship. Become more in touch with your present moment experience and start to identify your projections while owning your own experience.
Networking – Make the connections to jumpstart your next move and advance on your path. Facilitated networking sessions will connect participants to exciting opportunities, like-minded community in your region, and revolutionary organizations that are planting the seeds of the next world. We will also offer an instructional session on professional networking.
Indigenous Ancestral Wisdom – learn from wisdom keepers of knowledge that has been passed down for centuries about the properties of native plants for healing, nutrition, and more.
Music from the Tribal Future – An international lineup of sound designers will weave a sonic tapestry rooted in tradition. Grounded in the ancient practice of the trance dance ritual, ecstatic dance ceremony is a technology that has been utilized by our ancestors around the world to dissolve individual ego barriers, resolve interpersonal tensions, and strengthen collective community bonds.
Cacao: Growing & Making Chocolate – We are surrounded by cacao forest, and find ourselves in direct contact with this sacred plant. Why is this plant so revered by ancient and modern-day cultures alike? Meet cacao farmers, taste the cacao fruit, learn about the fermentation process, how to make chocolate, and sit in ceremony with cacao medicine.
Ceremony – Cacao ceremonies have been practices by Mayan and Aztec cultures for centuries, and this medicine is being adopted today by Westerners as we take the first steps away from an industrialized, disconnected, chemical-heavy society on our journey back to source of life. Sweat lodge ceremony is a mental and physical purification technology that was developed by many ancient cultures around the world. Elders will lead us through this sacred tradition back to the heart.
A lot of our team members have spend time in Ecuador, learning about permaculture and natural building. They have had beautiful authentic connections with locals. I’m sure you would love the climate and mountains too!
Permaculture Caimito – I definitely recommend this permaculture apprenticeship in the last remaining coastal jungle of Ecuador. Bryan, who you talked to, had a wonderful time there and learned a lot. You live and work alongside real farmers and it’s affordable. I’m sure you would brush up on your Spanish skills there too.
Sacred Sueños – This is a fun and dedicated center in Southern Ecuador that is a 2.5 hour hike up a mountain. They don’t have WiFi so it’s a great place to connect with nature and learn the basics of farming and permaculture. It’s a forming community on 90 hectares of beautiful but degraded land, located on a mountainside about a two hour hike from Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Its vision is to create possibilities for humanity to live within a functioning ecosystem.
Argentina is one of my favorite countries! I lived there for a year (mostly Buenos Aires) and loved it for the culture, accent, openness of people, and of course, drinking mate! It is definitely the biggest meat culture – every Sunday is spent with family and friends eating asado. I’m sure people will share their grilling skills with you! I highly recommend the Salta & Jujuy regions in the North of Argentina (maybe when you are coming from Peru & Bolivia) for breathtaking views of mountains and Quechua culture. If you go to Cafayate, you will find beautiful wine country and super affordable wine tours. Check out Río Colorado for an epic wild hike in the mountains overseeing vineyards. For an incredible experience with waterfalls, go to Iguaçu. It shouldn’t take more than a couple days and is totally worth it. In Patagonia, Go lo Lago Puelo! It’s a little town doing a lot of natural building, gardening, and there’s a lot of people living in community. Patagonia is known for meat & lamb asado cooking. There’s a lot of lakes and mountains. December time will be the summer, so it’s one of the best times to visit. It is greener on the Chilean side due to warm winds from the Pacific. You can start in Río Negro and head down to Bariloche, El Chaltén, and then El Calafate.
> Centro Umepay – I did my AcroYoga Teacher Training here and loved it! This beautiful center is located in the Cordoba mountains. There is a thriving community of about 30 people living on-site. It’s surrounded by a gorgeous river, a forest and mountains. They offer yoga, Aura readings, AcroYoga, vegetarian cooking, permaculture and cultural exchange. They have horses on the property! You can join them for a retreat or a work-trade. You would definitely brush up on Spanish there, there were very little foreigners.
> La Casa Mágica – This was an incredibly transformational experience for me. This is super magical! La Casa Mágica is located in Northern Patagonia (Luis Beltrán, Río Negro). There is a gorgeous river, fruit & nut trees, a garden, and a space for yoga, dance, music, clowning & more. They organize tons of affordable retreats (Argentine prices), there are mostly locals (brush up on Spanish) and they accept work-traders. Ask for Sabina & Cristian.
> Colombia Trekking & Cooking – Ciudad Perdida is the most epic hike in the country. There’s a Kogi-Wiwa indigenous tour operator in Santa Marta that is the best one to book. It comes out to just about $50-60 per day all inclusive. For cooking, check out Varsana. There are some epic structures to see, they are a friendly Hare Krishna community and their vegetarian food is mind blowing. You can cook and garden with them.
> Learning Spanish – Do it earlier in the trip rather than later, you will get so much more out of it! For an amazing Spanish school with homestay and cultural immersion, I recommend Hijos del Maiz (Nicaragua). It’s a bit of a trek from San José, Costa Rica, but 1-day bus ride totally worth it, also half the price of Costa Rican Spanish schools. In Bolivia, check out Sustainable Bolivia to learn Spanish, yoga and permaculture, possibly some work trade. They do a lot of community projects. Another highly recommended Spanish school in the heart of Peru is called Amigos. The main teacher is a young well traveled guy who loves to chat and cares about creating a great learning environment.
> Indigenous Wisdom in Peru & Bolivia – Reviveolution is a beautiful organization working with bringing indigenous wisdom to modern lives. The founder Caroline has deep ties with the Que’roos, Quechua and Aymara Nations. I had a very authentic and positive experience there. You should contact them to see upcoming retreats or volunteer opportunities. This is the trip I did from Cusco, Peru to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.
It was awesome connecting with you, I am wishing you a beautiful journey! Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need anything!