Permaculture Design Certification Course at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

About us

We're proud to host this amazing PDC, taught by Shad Qudsi of Atitlan Organics and Rony Lec of the MesoAmerican Institute of Permaculture! Shad and Rony have been working together on this course for 7 years, and their collaboration combines unique perspectives on Permaculture, regenerative living, and alternative paradigms. Join us for this dynamic PDC which blends contemporary knowledge with ancestral traditions, Permaculture Ethics with Mayan Cosmology, and gives an in-depth view of two different models of Permaculture (as an educational and research center--IMAP--and a working, for-profit permaculture farm--Atitlan Organics)! 

Using a great mix of field trips, practical work, numerous guest facilitators, and design practicals, this course provides participants with much more than just the internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate. It also provides the foundations for a new way to see the world. How to capture energy, become a producer, and respect and encourage diversity.

The course takes place across two different sites, the 1st week at the MesoAmerican Institute of Permaculture (IMAP) in San Lucas Toliman, and the 2nd week at Atitlan Organics. 

Event Highlights

  • Two weeks at beautiful Lake Atitlan!
  • All meals, snacks, course materials, field trips and course lodging across both sites included in price
  • Hands-on and thought-provoking Permaculture classes
  • Field trips other regional permaculture sites
  • Unique focus on Mayan Cosmology and ancestral traditions

Venue Highlights

Lake 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
  • Kitchen
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping


Over the years we have crafted an in-depth, dynamic curriculum that we are very proud of. We cover all elements of permaculture, from its guiding ethics and principles to hands-on strategies of garden bed creation and soil loss prevention; from invisible structures and fair share to the implementation of successful permaculture-based enterprises; from animal husbandry and care to natural building and sustainable technology. Your days will be filled with amazing insight and discoveries!

A typical day will look like this:
7:00 - 8:00 Breakfast
8:00 - 10:: Practical 1 (Ex: Earthworks and Swales, Respectful Animal Harvesting, Garden Bed Preparation, etc.)
10:00 - 10:30 Snack Break
10:30 - 1:00 Practical 2 (Ex: Plant Propagation, Water Systems, Natural Building, etc.)
1:00 - 2:30 Lunch
2:30 - 4:30 Review and Presentation (Ex: The Principles and Ethics of Permaculture, Entrepreneurial Permaculture, Invisible Structures and Community Based Structures, etc.)
4:30 - 7:30 Free time and dinner
7:30 - 8:30 Optional Movie

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


Retreat 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!


Lodging 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!


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 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.

Tags: central america farming guatemala latin america organic permaculture permaculture design certification permaculture workshop regenerative sustainability

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