- 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.
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
About This Event
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Lila Li June 10, 2018
I stayed at the Bambu Guesthouse for 5 weeks as a facilitator for a yoga teacher training and had a wonderful experience. We loved the beautiful scenery from our room and even more so from our hammock on the balcony. Our morning meditations on the brand new yoga platform were very relaxing and peaceful, especially with the sunrise views over the lake. The staff were super helpful and they met our every need with positivity and friendliness. The food was healthy and delicious and sourced locally from the organic farm right up the road. I would recommend anyone who is looking for a nourishing personal retreat, or to dive deeper in permaculture and sustainability to stay at the Bambu Guesthouse. It's a fantastic experience!
Julia Forest June 07, 2018
What can we say? We love Colleen and Shad and the venue is the perfect amount of eco conscious vs comfort. We brought a group of students to Bamboo for a 1 month yoga teacher training and Shad went above and beyond to ensure that the space was ready to accommodate our group. The food was delicious, local and organic and the dessert was creative and freshly made every day. We enjoyed the community dinning experience. Rooms are kept very clean and have a lot of natural light. The staff is very friendly and approachable. What we especially enjoyed about our stay was the early morning meditations on the yoga platform. Thank you again for a beautiful experience! We look forward to returning again in November!
Stella Artuso June 04, 2018
I recently co-facilitated a 5-day yoga & meditation retreat at the Bambu Guest house. I'm so happy that my first yoga retreat in Guatemala ending up at this stunning location and space. My co-facilitator and I felt supported by Shad and Colleen during the pre-retreat leg work (organizing, promoting etc.) Once we arrived, I knew we made the right decision to lead our yoga retreat at the Bambu Guest House. We were a small group and we felt taken care of from the moment we arrived up until we ended our stay. We were welcomed to use the space like it was our own home and could not get over the view of Lake Atitlan (and incredible sunrises!). The Guest house is a clean space, has comfortable beds, (hot!) showers, and lovely hammocks located on each private balcony. All yoga props needed are available, which was so helpful for us (as not all guest houses will provide this). Shad got his bolsters locally made (and they are gorgeous!). The food was consistently delicious. Chefs are from the local community and always provided fresh, tasty and filling meals. Much of the food that is served is from the local farm and mostly organic. Shad and Colleen were quick to take care of any minor issues we came across. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is that I felt that it was a little noisy at times (dogs, tuktuk etc- but, really its all part of the charm of being in Guatemala :)
Kristine Vanderplas May 18, 2018
I stayed at the Bambu for a month while faciltating the Sacred Earth YTT with Awakened Spirit Yoga. The accommodations are comfortable and beautiful, the view of the lake is spectacular, the yoga deck is awesome and the meals were always a highlight. The staff at the Bambu went above and beyond to ensure that everyone in our group was accommodated for and comfortable. Located just down the road from Atitlan Organics we benefited from farm fresh produce and also the knowledge and expertise around permaculture. A beautiful community that is connected and committed to reducing their footprint and living in harmony with the land. This is an incredible retreat centre and I highly recommend a visit just for a meal or a longer term stay!
Neal Hegarty May 14, 2018
I absolutely loved staying at the Bambu Guest house, I've stayed there as a course participant and as a normal guest. Its a beautiful construction, has amazing farm to table food and great friendly staff. Most of all I love the family vide there, its just like being in a house. The library is full of great books, its a great place to chill and read, do yoga on the deck. Its also an amazing place to take a course, with a really great environment, super conducive to learning and fun!!
Oliver M Goshey May 13, 2018
Though this place is undoubtedly beautiful and unique, the real value is in all of the amazing courses that they offer throughout the year. Anyone interested in regenerative living, natural building and permaculture will find some of the best teachers and experts in the world here with real experience and gorgeous examples of inspiring projects all within walking distance of the hotel. On top of all of that, the farm to table meals are an absolute highlight. This a community that's really walking the walk in the way they build, farm, and interact with the community. Definitely worth coming back to a few times to make use of all the offerings and opportunities here
Isa Fortier May 13, 2018
The Bambu guest house, is a confortable spot to stay when you want tranquility, good vegetarien meal and meet people who have interest on permaculture. The Guest house is link with Atitlan organics an amazing permaculture farm who have 12 years of strong work. They now have a abondant and beautiful garden.