Join us at Equilibrio Ecolodge for a certified 16-day Permaculture Design Course (PDC) taught by Nick Tittle and Brecht Deriemaeker of Surplus Permaculture Design (www.surpluspermaculture.org).
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. As part of the course, participants will help to co-create designs for real world projects that include elements such as food forests, permaculture-style gardens, natural building, water catchment, earthworks and irrigation systems. All will have an opportunity to take part in the existing permaculture activities on the hosting land.
The course will be conducted in the internationally accepted manner, but will go far beyond the scope of many PDC’s. The 72 hours of course work required to receive a Permaculture Design Certificate, will be covered over a two week period, mixing hands-on activities, group work and walk-and-talks 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.
Brecht and Nick have managed the Panya Project, Permaculture Education Centre in Northern Thailand, since 2011. During this time, they co-facilitated more than twenty courses and practiced permaculture exten-sively. They are also co-founders of Surplus Permaculture Design, an international Permaculture Designers Cooperative and have consulted for projects in China, Thailand, Guatemala and India.
1. Philosophies and Ethics underlying Permaculture
2. Basic Permaculture principles
3. Patterns in Nature and how to use that in holistic design
4. Methods of design. How to apply permaculture design tools and strategies to your design problems. How to increase your chance on a successful design by following a well de-fined design methodology.
5. Climactic factors and strategies. We will cover all the major climates and how to work with them.
6. Trees, forests and Forest gardening. How to mimic natu-ral forest systems to create an abundance of food, fiber and fodder.
7. Water: catchment, usage, importance, and conservation.
8. Soil structure, minerals, microorganisms, building new soil and preventing erosion. Learn to work with the soil food web to create a healthy ecosystem and regenerate degraded land.
9. Earthworks. How to shape the land to help it achieve the goals we are aiming for.
11. Natural Building. How to build structures with materials available on-site.
12. Alternative systems. Community living and other ways of living differently that works well for people and the planet. Bioregional organization, community development, alternative economic systems, permaculture as aid.
Each of these categories has subcategories and each teacher also has their own additions and certain topics that are stressed over others.
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 prin-ciples: working responsibly with nature, growing food organi-cally, 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 cus-tomize 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 five 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 sur-rounding 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 20 people in ca-sitas at quadruple occupancy.
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.
Equilibrio’s presence on the beach is our beachfront Prana Shaki studio, which sits on a second flooroverlooking 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.
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 vege-tation and makes for a fantastic place to relax, study, medi-tate, 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.
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, vol-canic 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 activ-ities 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
Price: $1,500 price for the 16 day PDC course. (17% tax non included)
Includes: Tuition for the Course, 3 meals per day, 15 nights of accommodations in Casita at quadruple occupancy, solar hot water shower.
Breakfast and dinner buffet style at Equilibrio.
Lunch with a Nicaraguan family (traditional simple Nica food)
Deposit payment and full payment policy:
– $500 deposit is required to reserve your space at Equilibrio.
– Remaining 50% of Retreat Price is due to Equilibrio Thirty (30) days prior to start of the retreat.
Payments can be made via credit card, Paypal, or check.
Depending on your flight’s arrival and/or departure times, it may be necessary for you to spend a night at a hotel in Ma-nagua. 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 Merca-do Huembes at 2:30 pm and arrives in Salinas at 5:30. You will need to take a taxi from Managua Airport to the Merca-do 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 ser-vice 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 RI-VAS 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 cancelations within one (1) month leading up to retreat start date.
– Where refunds apply, financial transaction fees will be subtracted from refund's amount.