Introduction to Natural Building
Houses and buildings are the "nuclei" of any site, through which the majority of energy and resources flow to be either wasted or maximized for best use. And yet, most permaculture courses barely touch on physical structures! We believe that your house and other structures deserve a LOT more attention as integral and essential parts of your overall permaculture design. That's why we've teamed up with Oliver Goshey of The Abundant Edge to offer the Natural Building Course, a one-week course founded in the permaculture principles and covering all things natural building. From stone to cob to natural plasters, you'll learn a wide range of natural building styles and technique which can be put to use in any climate or region of the world. Learn how to reduce your footprint and maximize your efficiency all while creating beautiful, durable structures! We like to think of it as "Permaculture for Zone 0."
Each day is split into two parts: a hands-on practical in which you get the chance try out different techniques in natural building, and a classroom session which delves deep into topics such as stone foundations, building with cob, and troubleshooting design flaws.
A dynamic adventure awaits. We can't wait to meet you!
- Full-on participation--learn to build a lorena rocket stove from scratch!
- Immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of Lake Atitlan
- Experience the local community in a way few tourists experience--every day you'll work in a local household!
- All-inclusive price covers not only the course, but all meals and lodging during the week at the swanky Bambu Guest House
- Come away with not only new skills, but a new perspective on sustainable living.
Venue HighlightsLake Atitlan has been called one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and in our humble opinion it is! At the Bambu you will re-connect with nature, falling asleep to the sounds of the nearby stream burbling past and waking to amazing sunrises over the lake. Nearby Atitlan Organics permaculture farm is a great opportunity to connect with Mother Earth and re-discover the harmony between humans and the natural world.
- Free Wifi
- Yoga Studio
ScheduleA typical day looks like this:
7:00 - 8:00 Breakfast
8:00 - 10:00 Practical 1 (Stove Construction and Firing/Intro to Plasters/Etc)
10:00 - 10:30 Snack Break
10:30 - 1:00 Practical 2 (Intro to Stone Foundations/Plastering/Intro to Earthen Floors/Etc)
1:00 - 2:30 Lunch
2:30 - 4:30 Review and Presentation (Site Design/Intro to Wall Systems/Roofs and Flooring/Etc)
4:30 - 7:30 Free time, dinner
7:30 - 8:30 Optional Movie
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free
Menu/CuisineRetreat participants will receive three delicious, nourishing meals (with dessert!) throughout the day as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, and tea, coffee, and filtered water throughout the day. Our restaurant is supplied by Atitlan Organics permaculture farm and other local producers to ensure the freshest meals possible. Trust us, your belly will be happy!
AccommodationsLodging is in shared but spacious rooms. Twin and double beds available. Each room has a private bathroom with hot water, wifi, a balcony with hammocks and seating, amazing views, and comfy beds!
DirectionsComing 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 or Q225 per person 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.