Personalized life-changing travel guidance
Your journey begins! The entire NuMundo team is excited to hear your stories as you embark on a new adventure. Refer to this guide to light your way. If you happen to leave before February, we would be happy to celebrate with you at Cosmic Convergence and the Cacao Convergence. Your suggestions below begin in February:
I think the best way to get your feet back into the travel-game is to participate in a small and intentional gathering of likeminded individuals. One of the most biodiverse regions of Costa Rica is the Osa Peninsula where you’re bound to see macaws and monkeys on a daily basis. Metamorphosis Gathering is a new gathering hosted on a sustainable farm along the beach. Metamorphosis Gathering weaves new relationships into our lives by focusing first on connecting with our authentic selves, in order to network with existing communities that will guide us in morphing our dreams into reality. Intertwining the permaculture principles and practices with facilitated processes for transformation, they aim to share knowledge and teach life skills towards creating a more regenerative, natural way of life.
This event welcomes and honors elders that have many years of practice in their respective fields. There will be five elders each holding space to share their wisdom with us on Mind, Body, Spirit, Emotion and Vibration. Each one holding its place in the harmony of the whole as we each do our part in humanity’s collective transformation. To meet your budget needs, you could join as a volunteer. I imagine you might be able to get an even better deal if you come earlier, before the gathering to be a general volunteer. Just know that their beach is a little rocky, it’s not the pristine sandy beach you may be used to. Also, the environment is very casual and has a young spirit to it. The land project where this event is held is Finca Morpho and they are typically very flexible about staying or volunteering before or after their events, just send them a message inquiring.
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. This center is probably your best budget volunteering option in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is surprisingly just as expensive as the states.
Just a few days after this gathering is the annual Envision Festival that most participants will probably go to. If you’re ready to party, this is your destination: Video
VerdEnergia Pacifica is 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 ourselves and generations to come. VerdEnergia Pacifica has a fun vibe and they still get work done in a less structured way. We suggest this center because they are flexible about volunteers coming for any period of time and it feels like you’re living in paradise in the middle of nowhere. Many of their staff and volunteers will also be at Envision, you can meet them at the Dosa stand and if there’s a sushi stand, that’s them too. This is one of my favorite communities I’ve ever visited, I would put this center on the top of your list.
Punta Mona, started by the founder of Envision, is an 85 acre off the grid, beach front, family owned, environmental education center, botanical collection, permaculture farm and eco-lodge, dedicated to regenerative ways of living.
Punta Mona’s mission is to provide an alternative to the destructive land use practices taking place throughout Costa Rica and the world. They are dedicated to teaching environmental awareness through conscious, positive and creative solutions to the dilemmas facing the modern world centering around Permaculture principals. They have a solid community vibe and run their volunteer programs two months at a time and you’ll have to cover $400 per month which is reasonable. There are many fun events to explore at Puna Mona, however most of them are not during the winter months.
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 – My top recommendation for Ecuador would be a short-term volunteer stay in Caimito or a long-term apprenticeship. This is the last remaining coastal jungle of Ecuador and it’s incredibly biodiverse. You like in a small village of Ecuadorians who farm all day long and they have implemented some regenerative practices. There’s access to a beach that feels like your own private beach, shared mostly by the community of people you are working with.
Apprenticeship Details: Classes and work will be held in the morning from 7.30 a.m. to 1.30 pm approximately. In the evenings you will have free time to support community processes, teach English to children and women in Caimito, go to the beach to relax, learn how to cook the local cuisine, etc. In addition, Spanish classes are offered. To give you an idea of the scope of what you will learn, hands-on, here are the topics that are covered during your apprenticeship:
MODULE 1: INTRODUCTION TO PERMACULTURAL DESIGN
MODULE 2: MANAGEMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF SOIL’S FERTILITY I
MODULE 3: WATERSHED MANAGEMENT AND RESTORATION AT A FARM LEVEL
MODULE 4: BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION, NURSERY MANAGEMENT AND REFORESTATION
MODULE 5: TROPICAL PERMACULTURE DESIGN
MODULE 6: MANAGEMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE SOIL’S FERTILITY II (MICROORGANISMS)
MODULE 7: DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT OF ECOLOGICAL FAMILY GARDENS
MODULE 8: ECO-CONSTRUCTION
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. This is another sweet gem of a center that we highly recommend.
My favorite go-to and up-to-date travel resource is wikitravel.org where you can easily find out how to hop around Peru. The best landing spot is diverse city in the mountains, Cusco. You can visit Machu Piccu and explore the nearby Sacred Valley in Pisac. From there you can easily take a bus to visit the jungle in Puerto Maldonado or make your way towards the jungle in Pucallpa. Another direction you could go is south towards Arequipa to see Colca Canyon which is even larger than the grand canyon in the US where big condors fly free. Nearby is the man-made floating islands of Lake Titicaca. Alternatively, you could just fly deep into the jungle to Iquitos. There is a large concentration of traditional Peruvian healers (often using ayahuasca) in Iquitos but be warned that some centers are fairly commercial and not all shamans are safe to practice with. We suggest sticking with the safest option, Temple of the Way of Light.
Our good friends in Peru have started a project deep in the depths of the Amazon jungle. You’ll have close encounters with the animals who live here and locals as you support their research and development of a demonstrative permaculture center.
Las Piedras Amazon Center (LPAC) brings people together for research and conservation, within Peru’s Andes-Amazon biodiversity hotspot. Visitors to the Amazon Center support the continued protection of important Las Piedras river rainforests, in the face of rapidly increasing deforestation and forest degradation.
Alianza Arkana – A unique way to engage with herbalism, plant medicines, indigenous people and permaculture is off the beaten path in Pucallpa, Peru. The wellbeing of life on Earth depends on the resilience of the Amazon Rainforest and its people. Community alliances for regeneration are essential to growing this resilience. Alianza Arkana creates mutual relationships with communities in the Peruvian Amazon to cultivate sustainable solutions and creatively confront the array of eco-social challenges we face today.
Alianza Arkana is always seeking new volunteers and collaborators to join them in the Peruvian Amazon, to get involved in the areas of permaculture, regenerative solutions, intercultural education and eco social justice. They work closely with Shipibo people, indigenous to the Ucayali region where they are based. Volunteers and Interns stay both in their permaculture live/work site in the centre of Yarinacocha, and in local Shipibo communities.
Pio Pio is a cultural and sustainability demonstration center that exists to revitalize the concept of community by providing an inspiring space to foster collaboration, cultural exchange and environmental stewardship. While there may not be much information about them online, they offer a small hub of community living. Our good friend runs this center and it’s a sweet spot for living affordably and learning natural building from local experts.
The Manzano team is a family and a learning community, self-organized to create resilience, practice a sustainable lifestyle, and organize networks in our region. Our intention is to be a regional center with international links, leading the transitional path to sustainability for individuals and communities. We are a center for research and development of good practices of sustainable living, including energy, water, trash, food, construction, gardening and forestry.
They are one of the most well-developed permaculture centers in Chile and is a great place to network and find related projects in the area. They are on the northern gateway towards Patagonia, so if you’re headed to Patagonia this is a great stop to go on the way. They have an affordable volunteer program as well.
> Learn the Language – A 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.
> Backpacking – My favorite down-to-earth and straight forward backpacking list and guide is Travel Independent.
> 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.