Immerse yourself completely in a permaculture lifestyle in the Southern Highlands of Costa Rica.


Costa Rica

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 Min stay requested: 1 month or more

  • Description


    We offer a sanctuary of learning with a variety of features and experiences in rainy tropics. You will leave inspired and energized, knowing that you are not alone in your quest to make a difference.
    We, Kristy and David, are couple from the Pacific Northwest, now in our sixties, with a wide variety of work history and experience, dedicated to healing and evolving consciousness to live in harmony with nature. For the past eight years, with help of more than 150 work exchange volunteers and locals, we are evolving a degraded cow pasture into a permaculture demonstration site.
    With much to show but further to go, the work is never done.
    We have a strong work ethic, feeling the urgency to be part of a planetary shift into restoration of ecosystems. We are early to bed, and early to rise with mission and passion. This is an environment that can be a cocoon to explore permaculture concepts and consciousness with documentaries, a library of good books, pure healthy food grown on site, and a feeling of working hard toward something important.
    Not a party place. The vibe is serious, but with rewarding meaningful fun.
    It's rural and rustic. Getting to town means catching a bus after hiking 1.6km up the hill or riding the hilly 12k on a bicycle. There is no car. We sometimes call a cargo taxi, but if it can be done without fossil fuel, that's our first choice.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Animal Care

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Every day there is something new to learn. We are organized in planning our projects, but random things come up so we stay flexible. We have been told by visitors that they learned more in an hour here than anywhere else on their whole trip. We're still learning, and expect to learn from you too.
    San Vito is a bustling little town close to Panama where most people speak Spanish. There is also a sizable indigenous community and a Saturday Farmer's Market.
    For those interested in internship opportunities, our project offers a Permaculture Design Certificate and a wide variety of mini courses.

  • Help


    In 2020, we have two openings for pure work exchange (no money exchanged):

    One for someone strong with some construction experience who can work well with tools.

    And someone to provide help around the house, gardening, harvesting, and processing food.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    Rise at dawn to birdsongs, close to nature in a comfortable bed. Live permaculture with solar power, solar kitchen, wood-fire rocket stoves, hu-manure toilets, and a hot shower when the sun shines. It is rustic and open to the elements. Mosquito nets are provided, as are bedding, towels, laundry, boots, and work clothing.
    Volunteers working a solid 25 hours a week will not be asked for donations or fees. You will work hard and eat well.
    This is a beautiful spacious setting, but you will have limited privacy. Meals are prepared and eaten together. You will have your own space, but you are living with others, so it's a good exercise in community living.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Please apply ONLY if you:
    • Are responsible, energetic, have construction, childcare, kitchen experience, a positive attitude and have a sense of purpose toward doing your part to save humanity on the planet.
    • Are in good physical shape, clean, organized, intelligent, creative, fun, multi-skilled, a problem solver, adaptive, not afraid to get down and dirty, free of addiction and drama, independent, caring, communicative, and able to work on a team.

    Volunteer projects include:
    • Build, maintain, repair, construct, care for animals.
    • Build soil, compost, weed, plant, propagate, harvest, and garden
    • We live a distance from town, so everything gets cooked independently or as a group, in a well supplied kitchen. We co-create nourishing and delicious slow food in a wood fired rocket kitchen or on parabolic solar cooker, induction stove, and solar dehydrator. Kristy is on a Paleo diet, dairy and gluten free. David tolerates more variety, and is fine with vegetarian. Vegan is more challenging for us to accommodate, unless the avocados are ripe.
    Our typical day starts around 6, with coffee, tea, or right now we're really into coconut/cacao/ golden milk. Our banana coffee smoothies have been named "crack" by one of our volunteers.
    We usually sit down for a breakfast around 9am.
    We work after breakfast through until 2pm, taking breaks as needed, but from 2 to 4pm is siesta/personal/quiet time.
    At 4 pm we meet up in the kitchen to share preparations and a community meal. If we're not too tired, we have a huge collection of documentaries to watch, books to read, guitars to play, and art supplies.
    This year, we are creating musical puppet shows, focusing on the petals of permaculture design.
    We're usually in bed by 8:00 and like it quiet.
    We work the weekdays, and try to take off on the weekends. You can organize times to take off, we are flexible. We can help you figure out short or longer trips to explore more of southern Costa Rica.
    Everything has been in flux during the plandemic. Beaches have hours, or are closed if they think there is an outbreak, travel restricted, bus schedules restricted, parks closed, you can't play soccer with friends at the local school. Masks are required in taxis, busses, in businesses, around town. Lots of businesses are closed or with restricted hours.

    Contact for volunteer application form through our website with lots more information.

  • 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

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    No more than 25 hours per week

Host ref number: 887735139771