Permaculture Design Course
Equilibrio Ecolodge – Nicaragua
January 18th – February 2nd , 2014
Join us at Equilibrio Ecolodge for a certified 16-day Permaculture Design Course (PDC) taught by Christian Shearer. Christian is the founder and current Managing Director of the Panya Project (www.panyaproject.org), a permaculture, natural building and sustainable living education center in Northern Thailand.
Christian Shearer is also lead designer and educator for Terra Genesis International (www.terra-genesis.com), an international Permaculture Consulting Firm. Christian sits on the advisory board for WeForest (www.weforest.org), and is working to help them with their goal to plant 20 million square kilometers of forest.
Joining us for the course will be a special guest: natural builder Taiga Marthens. Christian and Taiga are currently building an Earthship in Teton Valley, Idaho. The course will include a half day workshop discussing the benefits of Earthship construction as well as a visit to a completed Earthship house not far from Equilibrio.
This certified Permaculture Design Course will be held at Equilibrio Ecolodge, on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. The course will consist of a broad range of topics applicable to life anywhere on this planet, yet will be tailored to the needs of the students present as well as the location at hand. Participants will help to co-create the design of tropical food forests, permaculture-style gardens, natural buildings, water catchment and irrigation systems, work with swales and dams, as well as take part in permaculture activities on the hosting land.
The course will be conducted in the internationally accepted manner. The 72 hours of course work required to receive a Permaculture Design Certificate, will be covered over a two week period, mixing hands-on with plenty of in classroom studies, covering all major topics of Bill Mollison’s Permaculture: A Designers Manual. All students are required to be present for the full two weeks if they wish to receive the certificate.
1. Philosophies and Ethics underlying permaculture.
2. Basic permaculture principles.
3. Patterns in Nature and how to work with them in design.
4. Methods of design. How to go from a damaged piece of land to having an idea for how to move forward with it.
5. Climactic factors. We will cover all the major climates and how to work with them.
6. Trees, forests and why we want to mimic their systems.
7. Water: catchment, usage, importance, and conservation.
8. Soil, minerals, microorganisms, building new soil and preventing erosion.
9. Earthworks: how to shape the land to help it achieve the goals we are aiming for.
11. Natural Building
12. Alternative systems: community living and other ways of choosing to live differently that work well for people and the planet.
Each of these categories has subcategories and each teacher also has their own additions and certain topics that are stressed over others.
Who we are
Equilibrio is an ecolodge located in an organic farm in the town Salinas de Nahualapa, alongside the river, a 10 minutes kayak ride from the Pacific Ocean.
Equilibrio’s philosophy is rooted in permaculture principles: working responsibly with nature, growing food organically, building in harmony with the environment, and being active in our local culture: we founded and run Aprender since 2004. Aprender is an educational foundation dedicated to providing educational opportunities for our town Salinas de Nahualapa (www.aprendernicaragua.org).
Equilibrio hosts only one group at a time and we customize the experience for that group. For teacher trainings and courses, Equilibrio becomes a 22-acre secluded campus. The all-inclusive nature of the Retreats and Courses at Equilibrio ensures that everything is taken care of, leaving teachers and students to put their full focus into the teaching and learning experience.
Equilibrio offers guests six casitas: each within its own private area of the farm complete with fruit trees, wildlife, paths leading to your secluded gazebo, outdoor desks, painting easels, and hammocks.
Guest casitas feature a large bedroom with soaring thatched-palm ceiling, four beds, 180-degree open-air views, read-ing loft, walk-through closet, and indoor bathroom leading to your private outdoor garden shower. The casitas are scrupulously screened-in to keep insects out; yet, since the screens are virtually invisible, guests appreciate an unobstructed connection with the outside environment.
Exceptional ventilation combined with the shade of surrounding trees keeps the casitas fresh throughout the day and night. Tropical breezes blow most of the year and all casitas have multiple fans.
Equilibrio accommodates groups of up to 22 people in casitas at quadruple occupancy. Additional Guests are welcome to camp, either bringing your own tent or renting a tent from us.
Fruit Field Studio
This is an open-air 1,300 square-foot studio with fine wood floor and natural palm roof: surrounded by flowers, grasses, birds, butterflies, and fruit trees. This studio is fully equipped with yoga props, musical speakers, a dozen fans, and a mosquito net curtain system for evening classes.
Beach-Front Yoga Studio
Equilibrio’s presence on the beach is our beachfront Prana Shaki studio, which sits on a second floor overlooking Guasacate beach and the Pacific Ocean. Farm to beach transportation is a short canoe or kayak paddle away. Guests are welcome to study, relax, or practice yoga on the beach studio.
Relaxation and Studying Areas
River Side Lounge: It is also called the “Hang-out-torium,” as it is the perfect place to read in a hammock, re-lax, study, watch a movie on the big screen, or play music. This is also the place where the meals are served.
Outdoor Gazebo: Hammocks and rocking chairs await you in the outdoor gazebo, just a short walk from your casita, though still within your private section of the farm. The open-air, palm-roofed gazebo is surrounded by dense vegetation and makes for a fantastic place to relax, study, meditate, watch birds, butterflies, and just take in the natural beauty.
Desks: Private indoor and outdoor writing desks are found in all of Equilibrio’s accommodations. Additionally, there are various desks scattered throughout the farm.
Wooden Platforms: You will find them in random places: upon a hill, under mangoes, etc.
Dock: a floating wooden platform ideal for reading, practic-ing yoga or studying, rocked by the gentle flow of the tide.
Activities On or Bordering The Farm
Bird-watching, Kayaking, Gardening, Canoeing, Archery, Well-diving, Volleyball, Bike-riding,
Slack-Lining (land / water) Rope-Swing (river), Hiking, Temascal (steam room), Massage*, Zip-Line
(two), Climbing Wall, Horseshoes, Frisbee Golf, Smash ball, Tree-climbing, Card Games / Chess / Board Games, play music, watch movies, River Jousting …. and more
Activities near the Farm
Strolling on the beach, swimming in the ocean, surfing, boogie boarding, snorkeling, fishing, bike riding, volcanic hot-springs, hike, horseback riding*, boat excursions* up and down the coast for surfing, fishing; walk into town, visit the library Biblioteca Los Tres Ernestos, visit nearby nature Chacocente reserve.
Excursions / Day Trips
Turtle watching (July – January), Exploring inland, visiting other farms in the area, Mombacho Vol-cano and Zip Line Trips*, Colonial City Granada Trips*, Bike-riding adventures, Ocean Boat Trips – Zodiac and/or Panga*, Remote Beach Picnics*
* Activities with an asterisk ( * ) are not complimentary. Contact us for a list of specific prices for these activities or if you are interested in other activities not mentioned here … in which case, we will try to arrange this if possible. We love a challenge!
Our Nicaraguan Staff
Equilibrio has been working with the same staff since its opening. Doña Delma Gurdian is our main Chef, trained in the US, she knows how to make magic, from vegan delights to fresh caught fish dishes. Yunis,
Elobanis, Fermin, Candelario and Ronald are the ones who know Equilibrio inside out. Take some time in your next visit to get to know them or ask for the famous Nicaraguan Dishes Cooking Classes!
All Inclusive Student Prices:
$ 1,200 (+ tax) includes: Tuition for the Course, 3 meals per day, 15 days of accommodations in Casita at quadruple occupancy.
$ 800 (+ tax) includes: Tuition for the Course, 3 meals per day, 15 days of accommodations camping with your own tent, fresh water shower.
Deposit payment and full payment policy:
– $500 deposit is required to reserve your space at Equilibrio.
– Remaining Price is due to Equilibrio Thirty (30) days prior to start of the course. Payments can be made via credit card, Paypal, or check.
Arrival and Departure:
Depending on your flight’s arrival and/or departure times, it may be necessary for you to spend a night at a hotel in Managua. If so, we can recommend hotels, with airport pickup. If you travel with friends we can arrange for private group transportation from Managua. Local Transport is also available.
Public transportation options from Managua
There is an “Express Bus” that runs between Managua and Salinas everyday except for Sundays. It departs from Mercado Huembes at 2:30 pm and arrives in Salinas at 5:30. You will need to take a taxi from Managua Airport to the Mercado Huembes, and make sure that you get on the right bus by 2pm. Please let us know if you are interested in this option. We strongly recommend that you never take a taxi service from anyone you do not know.
If your flight arrives at night (after 5:30 pm), we suggest that you either stay at a hotel in Managua or take the taxi service with our trusted taxi driver Walter to the city of Granada and sleep at a hostel in Granada . The next day you can either continue your journey with Walter or take a public BUS to RIVAS (one and a half hour ride), and then from RIVAS take another BUS to Salinas (two hour ride).
Please let us know if you would like to receive the Bus Schedule, and please take into consideration that the total travel time may vary depending on many variables.
Always allow extra time when traveling by bus in Nicaragua.
– a 100% Refund on payments applies if you cancel three (3) or more months
before (prior to) retreat starting date (Minus Processing Fees US$100). – a 50% Refund on payments applies if you cancel two (2) months or more before (prior to) retreat starting date. – a 25% Refund on payments made is given if you cancel one (1) month or more before (prior to) retreat starting date.
– No refunds are available for cancellations within one (1) month leading up to retreat start date. Where refunds apply, financial transaction fees will be subtracted from refund’s amount.
Contact us !!
Cell (505) 8962 8966—