Medicinal plant education center in San Isidro de Penas Blancas, Costa Rica


Costa Rica

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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We are Katie, Eddy and Hana Ilana (our 7 year old daughter), we steward a home and property which is blossoming into a small guesthouse, the center for Embodying Herbalism (Katie’s medicinal plant education endeavor), a medicinal plant and flower essence farm and is our new family home in the Arenal region of Costa Rica.

    We are approximately 20 km south of La Fortuna in San Isidro de Penas Blancas, steps from the beautiful Rio Chachagua. My Dad, Dennis, also lives down here part time with us when he is not back in the States and our animal family includes 2 Kitties, 2 Dwarf Bunnies and 1 rouge Chicken so far 😊. We are a bi-cultural (Costa Rican/Nicaraguan and American) and bi-lingual (Spanish/English) family that likes to live close to Nature and enjoy life, Pura Vida. Katie is an Herbalist, Flower Essence Practitioner, Earth Centered Ceremonialist (see her website ) and Eddy is a Landscaper, Carpenter and knows everything you can imagine about tropical plants, farming and building as he grew up living off the land here. Currently, we are slowly but surely working on fixing up and making our place ready to host both guests as well as students in. In the near future we are hoping to collaborate with community both near and far and build more accommodations/learning spaces/gardens and purchase/steward more land to expand to accommodate even bigger dreams!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We live in the beautiful, mountainous Arenal region of Costa Rica and in a mixed Tico/Expat village & farming community. Our house is set away from the tourist center of La Fortuna, yet we are still close enough to visit on day trips. Staying with us you will definitely get to connect closely to Nature, learn about tropical and medicinal plants & herbalism, be immersed in family life, experience life in our small farming community and be able to practice your Spanish or English (we speak mainly English in the house, though Eddy is a native Spanish speaker). You will have a chance to enjoy the tropical beauty of the area and we are steps away from an awesome local swimming hole on the Rio Chachagua. We can also connect you with other incredible farms and projects nearby.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    We have a multitude of varying projects as we continue building this beautiful dream into manifestation. Depending on your specific skillsets, we will communicate and fill you in on what you may wish to be a part of. We prefer 1-2 (single or couple/friends) volunteers with a week-long commitment (there may be possibilities for longer term if we are a good fit). We are also happy to accept families, as long as we have clear terms. Work exchange is approximately 4 hours day/5 days week. We can arrange work time periods based on both of our needs and you will have ample time off as we consider that sacred for all. You will be intricately a part of our day to day family life and you MUST be accepting and good with children. Her life experience and safety is our top priority.

    CURRENTLY (March 2022) We need help with many physical labor projects right now, like building some tent plateforms, laying pathways for medicinal gardens, house renovations and tending and clearing garden areas. However there are definitely tech, meal prep, childcare, artistic and medicine making projects as well if physical labor is not an option for you.

    **Helping build tent platforms
    **House fixes and handyperson projects
    **Helping to lay pathways and design for the medicinal plant gardens and sanctuary spaces.
    ***Creating signs, artistic botanical name plaques for botanicals
    *The List is always unfolding :-)

    Kitchen help, meals
    Lite house and yard cleaning
    Food and medicine harvest and prep
    Help and interaction with our daughter
    Animal care

    FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN HERBAL MENTORSHIPS WITH KATIE: Please reach out as I have openings for partial trades/exchanges for this and we discuss terms if you are interested in a beautiful learning opportunity.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    We have a variety of options for accommodations, it does depend on the time of year you will be staying, the length of your stay and personal needs. We will always try and accommodate you to the best of our ability.

    You will either have a bed in downstairs main house (shared accommodation/shared bathroom).
    We have tents and air mattresses that can be set up on property or inside the back of the rancho (best in rainy season) and you can use the rancho bathroom (private) and main house shower (shared). Good option if you want more privacy/space.

    *We also have a private container house with one Queen bed, private bathroom kitchenette and living space that may sometimes be available during some months of the year.

    Breakfast: I will provide breakfast daily.
    Lunch: You will be responsible for your personal lunch. You will have full use of kitchen and can use our staple foods and condiments and often we can figure out together.
    Dinner: A collaborative meal that we pitch in together.

    Note: I can accommodate some food sensitivities and allergies, though please note we are not a Vegetarian household (we will be sensitive and keep everything separate if you are). Also, a good time to mention, we are ok with very light alcohol use (we like to have a beer after work) but any use or abuse of substances will NOT be tolerated.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The main house has many amenities like on-demand hot water shower, an oven, an enormous refrigerator, washer/dryer, and internet that you will have use of. We have decent Wifi and you will be able to get online most of the time. However, we do have to turn it off during storms and if you are downloading/streaming things like Zoom Conference Calls or Netflix only 1 person can do so at a time.

    We truly want you to enjoy your stay while you are with us. You will have ample time to rest/relax, play, swim in the river, swing in the hammock, Meditate, practice Yoga/Qigong/Dance/Movement in our rancho space, take walks, and commune with Nature. We are also in close proximity to visit amazing places nearby like: Two Little Monkeys Chocolate farm across the street, the Finca Luna Nueva Lodge, Brave Earth Community, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, and La Fortuna is the epicenter of adventure based tours in Costa Rica and abound with many epic hot springs and waterfalls! We can potentially help you with transport on your off time if it works within our schedules, or the local bus stop is about 1.5 km walk away.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have a mostly flat parking space that could potentially be used for a people traveling in campervans or small motorhome.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 499517621442