The intention of the Intro to Permaculture course is to bring the knowledge of permaculture to a wider audience by providing an empowering, functional, and affordable introduction to permaculture, through lecture, hands-on practicals, field trips, and group discussions.
The course includes lodging at the swanky Bambu Guest House and includes all meals, snacks, coffee & tea. The total cost of the course is $575.00. You may purchase the full-price ticket now, or simply the $200 non-refundable deposit. The remaining $375 balance can be paid online or upon arrival in cash or with credit card. More details will be sent upon registration.
Atitlan Organics has been offering the Introduction to Permaculture Course for over four years now and has trained well over 500 people from around the world. The course is great for both beginners interested in learning something new and for seasoned permaculture practitioners alike.
What is Permaculture?
There are literally hundreds of definitions of permaculture and as far as we are concerned, they are ALL VALID. Part of respecting and valuing diversity and self-regulation means tolerating ideas or interpretations that one may not agree with. That being said, we have our favourites.
While we spend a lot of time in the garden and working in nature, permaculture is applicable to all aspects of life. A more technical approach to permaculture suggests that we mimic nature and natural patterns to design and implement ecosystems that meet our collective needs. A deeper definition considers the whole of human culture and suggests that permaculture is a tool for designing new ecological culture, considering the whole of the earth in all of its strategies. Whatever definition works for you is cool. We like to say, it doesn't matter what you call it, just so long as the work gets done!
The course is jam packed with al kinds of activities. Basic format is as follows:
- Sunday evening includes group introductions, a short lecture, a movie clip, and an activity
- Monday is dedicated to the Permaculture Principles, Ethics, Definitions, and basic theory and philosophy. The afternoon includes a thorough tour of the Atitlan Organics, through the lens of the principles of design.
- Tuesday through Thursday follow the same format. In the mornings we split into our smal work groups for one of three practical activities. Each morning we rotate so that each group performs each job. The afternoons are lecture, video, and other group activities.
- Friday is a big day, starting at 6:30AM with a private boat across the lake. We eat breakfast in an open air local market and then embark on our field trip to explore a number of different Mayan permaculture sites. We arrive back at the guest house by 5pm.
- Saturday is a big brunch at 9AM, followed by individual presentations on how each person will apply the permaculture design principles in their own life.
Get connected to your food. From seed to the table!
Work closely with various animal systems!
Harvest and process coffee and other local products!
Get lots of real hands-on practical eperience!
Learn how to propagate plants the easy way in our interactive nursery.
Studying Permaculture in Central America offers amazing opportunities to learn from indigenous cultures, rich natural patterns, and enormous diversity. Permaculture in Central America is representative of the edge effect or Edge Valuing Principle of Design. As one of the world's centres of biodiversity, Central America attracts people from all over the world interested in learning through nature. Permaculture practices can be seen in action via the surviving indigenous traditions that are common in Central America. Studying permaculture in Central America offers designers great opportunities to learn from diverse groups of people in incredibly diverse natural settings.
Lodging and Food
Atitlan Organics works closely with the Bambu Guest House, which is a five minute walk from the farm and the place where the participants stay for the duration of the course. The Bambu Guest House is a beautiful natural building boasting bathrooms and balconies in each room, comfy beds, wifi, super hot water, and amazing views of the lake, mountains, and rivers. The Bambu Guest House is proof that natural building can be clean and luxurious. Lodging is shared, but private rooms are also available for an additional charge.
Permaculture Design Courses have always been known for their excellent, organic, locally grown food and our weeklong course is no exception. The Bambu Guest House has a farm-to-table Restaurant that serves up delicious and filling plates mainly composed of Atitlan Organics and other local farm products. Currently, Atitlan Organics supplies all of the milk, yogurt, cheese, salads, cooking greens, honey, coffee, chicken, taro root, pigeon peas, and herbs to the Bambu Guest House Restaurant. The restaurant is run by three young, local, aspiring chefs named Antonio, Maricela, and Petrona. They are amazing!
All food, snacks, coffee, tea, and frescos are included in the weeklong permaculture course, as well as lodging for the duration at The Bambu Guest House. Three meals a day are served, buffet style, as well as coffee and tea throughout most of the day and two daily snacks as well. Basically, you are well-fed and well-kept. It feels soo nice! If you are interested in private housing, please mention that to us when you write.
Travel and Logistics
The course always starts on Sunday afternoon. Participants are expected to arrive by 4pm, but are welcome to come and check in at the Bambu Guest House any time throughout the day. Once the course starts, all food, lodging, training, and travel is covered and included in the cost of the workshop. We often travel on local pickups, which makes all excursions fun and exciting. Adventure travel for sure! The intensive ends Saturday a noon, following a big brunch, student presentations, and goodbyes. We can help arrange shuttles to/from the airport, Antigua, or anywhere else for that matter. Just let us know if you need this service. Upon writing us to express interest, we will send an FAQ and a food allergy questionnaire. We can accommodate all requests including vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, etc. We will also send the Permaculture Course Note Packet, which is an amazingly fun, illustrated notebook that contains most of the course curriculum in abbreviated forms.
Coming from Antigua or Guatemala City, you must travel to Panajachel, which is one of the three big towns on the lake and takes about 3-4 hours by shuttle. To get to Panajachel, you can take a tourist shuttle from Antigua for roughly Q100 per person and for Q225 from Guatemala City. There are also private shuttle options that will you take you straight to our door in Tzununa. We can help make arrangements with any of this, so just let us know if you want some help.
From Panajachel, you take a boat (lancha) at the public dock. Tell the captain that you are going to the town of Tzununa (zoo-new-nah) which is three public stops from Panajachel. This costs roughly Q15-20 per person.
Get off at the public dock in Tzununa and take a tuk tuk (little three wheeled car), tell them you want to go to El Bambu. This costs Q5 per person.
When you get to El Bambu, go through the gate and up to the main building.
As noted, we are in the quiet, little town of Tzununa. From the guest house you are less than a 10-minute walk to the lake and less than 20 meters from beautiful rivers. You are a 45-minute walk or a 10-minute tuk tuk ride away from the town of San Marcos La Laguna. This has many places to eat, drink, practice yoga, etc.
We can help you get to the lake from Antigua, the airport, or from anywhere. Just contact us and we can arrange a shuttle for you.