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Permaculture for Community Empowerment: A Permaculture Design and Community Development Course

Posts: 47
Location: Tzununa, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, Central America
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Permaculture for Community Empowerment

Join us for a unique Permaculture Design course which focuses on wellness, Permaculture, and regenerative community development as a path to create a thriving world for all. This cutting edge PDC combines the ecological understandings of Permaculture with the tools and wisdom of yoga, as it applies to community development to realize truly regenerative solutions. Using the convergence of self-care, earth-care, and community development we can design relationship-based systems which are sustaining to ourselves, the earth, and others around us. Come learn to leverage your potential to empower your life and the lives of others.

Taught by the amazing facilitators of Atitlan Organics and Awakened Spirit Yoga, this course awards participants both an internationally recognized certificate in Permaculture Design as well as a professional certification through Atitlan Organics and Awakened Spirit Yoga. In addition, yoga teachers qualify for 30 hours of continuing education credits with the Yoga Alliance. Perfect for: change makers who want to explore wellness as a path to more sustainable impact; farmers interested in exploring community wellness and community supported agriculture; community activists seeking a holistic model for change and broader impact; development workers who want to transform the ecological impacts of their projects; yoga teachers interested in creating an ecological foundation for their teaching and practice; and educators interested in integrating ecological and personal wellness into programs.

META THEMES: Permaculture philosophy & ethics / Design methodologies /  Aligning your everyday choices with your broader vision for a better world / Innovative and regenerative design as a path to empowering communities / Activating mindful leadership / Community living / Yoga and self-care as foundations that fuel regenerative change / Yoga and permaculture as synergistic approaches to creating meaningful impact in the world / Regenerative community supported agriculture / Practical regenerative living & more! / Daily Yoga Practice

*Permaculture: Ethics, Principles, & History

*Regenerative Design Methodologies

*Permaculture Design for Integrated Self-Care Strategies.

*Exploring Self as Ecosystem

*Meditation for Mindful Observation of Ourselves and the World Around Us.

*Yoga as a Creative Response to Change

*Creating Healthy Relationships of Mutual Support and Empowerment.

*Connection to the Earth as a Path to Wellness

*Evaluate Ecological Considerations in Program Design

*Hands on Learning, Practicums and Techniques

*Composting, Soil, and Fertility Building.

*The Mantras of Water

*Seed Banks and Plant Propagation

*Sustainable Animal Systems and Wetlands Integration.

*Sustainable, Land-Based Community Business Opportunities

*Design for Climate Change and Resilience to Natural Disasters

*Social Permaculture

*How to Bring your Permaculture Projects to Life

*Holistic Life and Project Design

*Foundations of Relationship Based Design

*Non-Violent Communication

*Visit Local Intentional Communities Utilizing Permaculture and Holistic Design.

*Visioning as a Powerful Catalyst for Personal and Global Transformation

*Invisible Structures and Community Based Alternatives

*Co-Create Group Design Projects Focused on Community Development

During the course participants will stay at 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 skilled chefs are able to accommodate almost all dietary needs The Bambu Guest House proves that luxury and sustainability can go hand-in-hand!


Awakened Spirit Yoga and Atitlan Organics are collaborating with Wellkind to implement appropriate grass roots solutions that respond to the needs of the community, are self sustaining, and require minimal resource input in order to improve wellbeing among the indigenous population.  Using the lens of permaculture and regeneration, program activities are led by youth from the community and will result in improved nutrition and local economic development for families and farmers, and ecological restoration and diversification for the Lake Atitlan region.  During your training with us you will have an opportunity to contribute to our collective vision for a kinder, more well and equitable world. Your participation in this project is one of the ways we hope to create a net positive impact through responsible tourism and regenerative community development in the village and surrounding areas.

This is the first Permaculture Design Certification course that we know of with a deep focus on community impact work and self-development, and which also provides continuing education credits with the Yoga Alliance.

Our unique approach presents a holistic framework for community empowerment. We have observed that most mainstream solutions value only one of the 3 crucial aspects of self-care, earth care, and community development, which leads to a fraction of a complete solution. Focusing solely on self-care leaves people desiring a deeper connection with their surroundings; focusing solely on earth care leaves one disconnected from their wider community; and focusing solely on community development can lead to burnout. Taken together, however, these three areas create the magic trifecta of healthy people, healthy land, and healthy communities.

Tuition for the course is USD $2,295 and includes all lodging, meals, course material and field trips. We encourage participants to register early to secure their spots! Those who pay in full by February 1, 2020 can use code EARLYBIRD to save $300.


Julia is an international yoga teacher, women’s health advocate, writer and closet artist who is passionate about health, environmentalism and yoga. She feels most at home wherever she rolls out her mat and finds inner peace and connection from a daily meditation practice. She created the Yoga Leadership and Permaculture Program, the first yoga teacher training program that combines yoga, mindfulness, permaculture and leadership to transform lives and communities.

With more than a decade of teaching experience, Julia believes that yoga comes alive when practiced in every moment. She shares wholeheartedly the many blessings that yoga has brought to her life. Her passion for yoga, social change, connection and community has lead her to share holistic yoga teachings in many countries around the globe.

Shad has more than 15 years experience in organic and commercial gardening and farming. He is in Permaculture Design and has over 9 years experience in holistic site development and homesteading. Shad originally set out to study mathematics and work in big business, but long ago had a change of heart. In 2010, Shad and wife Colleen founded Atitlan Organics Permaculture farm in the village of Tzununa. He can now be found dancing in his garden. Aside from all of this, Shad is an enthusiastic teacher who truly believes in the work he is doing. Human resiliency cannot be erased from the landscape and now, it is coming back with a gentle loving caress.

Kristine is inspired by the healing power of nature, the beauty in the world around us and the immense wisdom held in our bodies. Her life journey has taken her around the world, driven by the curiosity of human interactions and the eco-systems in which humanity thrives. She is a facilitator of movement, meditation and transformative experiences. Her yoga practice is informed by a deep listening to the body – accessing the wisdom held within to contribute to growth and healing. She is captivated by the potential of nature to heal and spends a great deal of time in the wilderness and working with the elements. Kristine co-created Temple23, a spiritual healing and events center in Toronto in 2015, and has moved on to pursue her wanderlust and desire to live in deeper connection to nature.

For over 14 years, Kristine has contributed to global community development with a focus on youth. She has supported the strategic planning and implementation of several large international projects and continues to explore the intersection of creativity and sustainable change – searching for the most effective approaches for healing ourselves, our communities and this beautiful planet we call home.

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