Foundations of Regenerative Design

Event Highlights

  • *Class is 1/3 practical, 1/3 lecture and 1/3 field trips.
  • * Begin with the Permaculture ethics and Principles, as well as the design methodologies, which form the foundation of Permaculture education.
  • * Move on to earthworks and water, where we learn how to reharmonizes the relationship between land and water.
  • * Learn composting, soil building, and other fertility techniques to convert you waste into Black Gold.
  • * Plant propagation, cuttings, grafting, vegetable planting will turn you into a true plant ninja.
  • * Hands-on practical work in the community. Give back and leave a lasting impact while learning practical skills.
  • * Integrated animal systems and holistic care. Chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits, and more!
  • * Field trips to Mayan Permaculture sites, including a 1,000-person, 400-acre Mayan Permaculture paradise.
  • * Lectures and group activities on social Permaculture, biological businesses, and Permaculture in
  • * Class is a balanced mix classroom activities presentations, hands-on work, and excursions and workshops.
  • * Kick off with an introduction to natural building modalities, revisioning of home activity, and working with the elements.
  • * Learn how to handle and build with several different traditional natural materials, including adobe, cob, rammed earth, bamboo, light clay straw, bajareque, and more.
  • * Lessons in building structures from foundations to roofing systems.
  • * Natural building walking tour of Tzununa and San Marcos with builder Charlie Rendall.
  • * Work on a variety of sites throughout the community, interacting with the local community and exploring a variety of way to incorporate natural building into any site.
  • * Learn how to enhance your space with natural plasters and finishes.
  • * Create and present your own natural building design project.


A typical day could look like this

7:00 : Breakfast
8:00 : Practical #1 -- Working with Adobe, Cob, and Rammed Earth
10:00 : Snack
10:30 : Practical #2 -- Bajareque Garden Wall
1:00 : Lunch & Break
2:30 : Community Tour to Experience Natural Building Systems
4:30 : Free Time
5:30 : Dinner
6:30 : Presentation : Exterior Wall Systems

About This Event

Explore regenerative design through the lens of Permaculture and Natural Building. Over two weeks, participants will gain a thorough understanding of regenerative design theory and practice through hands on practical work, dynamic classroom presentations and workshops, engaging group discussions and activities, and epic field trips. Week 1 focuses on Permaculture, from the guiding principles and ethics to strategies and techniques for site design, soil building, holistic animal management, integrated water systems, social permaculture, and much more. Week 2 is all about Natural Building and covers design process, site analysis, natural building modalities, a wide variety of materials, appropriate technology, and more.

For those who already have a background in Permaculture or Natural Building, there is the option to join us for just one week of the course.


Regenerative Design is a holistic design process which understands that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. By working with the patterns and tendencies of nature, we are able to create integrated, harmonious designs which meet our current needs while providing a sustainable foundation for future generations. This course focuses on the possibilities provided through Permaculture and Natural Building, both of which offer potent strategies and techniques for achieving these ends.

During the first week, we will explore the foundations of Permaculture. There are literally hundreds of definitions of permaculture and as far as we are concerned, they are ALL VALID. 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.

Week two is deeply focused Natural Building and how the structures we inhabit can be designed to unite us with the natural world, rather than separate us from it. We will explore the larger implications behind Natural Building, such as how our homes can aid in the reduction of waste through the use of recyclable and renewable resources, and how we can create homes that are healthy living spaces. We will also dive into the nitty gritty of working with various Natural Building materials and techniques including adobe, cob, rammed earth, light clay straw, bajareque, and more.

I just completed a Permaculture course at Atitlan Organics and it was an incredible experience! They are living and representing Permaculture and sustainable living in a fun, educational, and downright inspiring way! I am deeply grateful. -Nicola

What's Included

  • *All course facilitation, materials, and field trips
  • *Lodging at the eco-hotel Bambu Guest House
  • *3 Meals per day + snack, coffee, tea, and dessert
  • *Certification upon completion of Permaculture unit

What's Not Included

Transportation to and from the course

Venue Highlights

Atitlan Organics is a 10-year old, productive Permaculture farm. Over the years we have experimented with and implemented many different styles and strategies of Permaculture design, learning from our mistakes and our successes. The farm is currently home to chickens, ducks, a food forest, integrated wetlands, herb gardens, commercial salad and greens production, and a very diverse plant nursery and open-pollinated seed collection that is used to disseminate useful indigenous and exotic species throughout the highlands of western Guatemala. In 2019 we initiated a community Permaculture project in our village, working with local families to implement Permaculture solutions to improve nutrition, food security, biodiversity, soil and water conservation, public health, and local economic development here in Tzununa.


During the course participants will stay in the Bambu Guest House, a super beautiful eco-hotel in the indigenous village of Tzununa. Built from all local and natural materials, the Bambu embodies the principles of Permaculture and Natural Building. All guest rooms are big and bright, and come equipped with private bathrooms with hot water, wifi, comfy beds and balconies with hammocks and amazing views of Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes. The Bambu’s farm-to-table restaurant is supplied by Atitlan Organics and other local producers and serves 3 fresh, delicious meals a day plus snacks, dessert, tea and coffee. The Bambu Guest House proves that luxury and sustainability can go hand-in-hand!


  • Free Wifi
  • Sauna
  • Towels
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • Ceremony Space

Menu Types

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


Participants receive 3 delicious, vegetarian, farm fresh meals a day during the course, plus snacks, coffee, tea, and dessert. The Bambu Guest House's farm-to-table restaurant is supplies by Atitlan Organics and other local producers. Currently, Atitlan Organics supplies all of the milk, yogurt, cheese, salads, cooking greens, honey, coffee, chicken, taro root, pigeon peas, and herbs to the restaurant. The restaurant is run by three local and super talented chefs named Antonio, Reynaldo, and Rodrigo. They are amazing!


We are located 3.5 - 4.5 hours from La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. Public shuttles run several times a day from the airport or Antigua to Panajachel, the main town on Lake Atitlan. From “Pana,” you will take a lancha (boat) to Tzununa, about a 30 minute ride. Get off at the public dock in Tzununa and grab a tuk tuk (small three-wheeled car) to the Bambu Guest House.

Alternatively, you can take a private shuttle direct from the airport or your hotel to the Bambu Guest House.

We are happy to help arrange your in-country transportation. Just let us know your travel plans and how we can help.

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