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Permaculture for the Herbalist's Path

Posts: 47
Location: Tzununa, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, Central America
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This unique course melds two broad interdisciplinary studies, exploring the impact the health of our environment directly has on our personal well-being, specifically working with and alongside medicinal plants. This 31-day course will cover regenerative lifestyle & design, integrated wellness and herbalism, community and social awareness by working with living plants and living people to cultivate resilience.


Topics Covered:
Permaculture for the Herbalist’s Path includes a full 72+ hour Permaculture Design Certification course and an 80+ hour Herbal Studies course! We will be delving into many topics during our month together including:

Meta Themes: Anatomy & Physiology, Global Materia Medica, Botany, Phytochemistry, Mycology, Biology, Deep Ecology, Triple Bottom Line Business, Education Alternatives, Slow Food, Economics in Agriculture, Alternative Energies, Community Development, Herbalism in Action, Herbal First Aid and more!!

Full Curriculum:

The World Situation in regards to environment and health care  

What is Permaculture?: Ethics, Principles & Characteristics / What is Herbalism: Ethics, Practice and Community

Ecological System Basics & Bioregions / Human Ecology: Constitutions, Energetics and Basic Anatomy & Physiology

Design Methods & Map Reading / Patient Intakes and Basic Analysis

Climates, Elements & Microclimates

Zone 0: Bio-Architecture

Zone 1: Home Garden

Zone 2: Fruit Tree Forest; Animals & Orchards

Zone 3: Field Crops & Large Animals

Zone 4: Harvest Forests

Zone 5: Forests

Soil Science / Human Micro-Biome

Earthworks / Musculo-Skeletal System

Water Management / Genito-Urinary System

Plants to Trees & Trees to Forests / Bronchial-Pulmonary System / Windbreaks and Wind Corridors  

Patterns in Nature; Context (culture, climate, etc.) / Patterns in Health and Disease

Wildlife Management & Integrated Pest Management / Pathophysiology

Ethical Investment, Land Ethics and Access, Incomes from Acres / Medicine Making

Suburban & Urban Permaculture / Free Clinics, Street Medics and Herbalism as Activism

Ecovillages / Invisible Structure Models

Design for Disaster / Preventative Medicine

Workshops and Field Trips:
Tour of Atitlan Organics Permaculture Farm and food forest

Sharing circles and group activities

Compost making, biofermentation, and micro-organisms

Medicine making

Wild crafting

Plant spirit medicine meditation

Permaculture design group project focused on wellness

Garden design

Bio-char workshop

On-site analysis

Field trip to Quix’aya (“Heart of Water”), a self-organized Maya Permaculture-inspired community.

Field trip to the Fungi Academy

Plant meditation and lunar celebrations

Temezcal (Meso-American sauna)

Cacao party and Plant Prom!

Located on the shore of Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan highlands, Atitlan Organics is a 10-year old productive Permaculture farm. Since 2010 we have been cultivating edible greens, fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, chicken, ducks, dairy, honey, and medicinal plants. We firmly believe in Permaculture Principle #3: Obtain a Yield and we supply Lake Atitlan’s best restaurants and shops with our Permaculture greens, eggs, and chicken.

We are also deeply engaged with our local community and last year partnered with Wellkind Guatemala  implement Permaculture strategies and design to create a lasting positive impact in our community. Projects focus on the diversification of local coffee plots, the installation of Permaculture kitchen gardens, & natural building home improvements. You can read more about our Community Service Initiative here.

Course participants tap into all aspects of Atitlan Organics, learning both about the daily work of a fully-functional, productive Permaculture farm and how to use Permaculture design within the wider community to serve the needs of many. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to work alongside local farmers and families engaged in this work and experience life in a typical Mayan village. And it all takes place on the shores of the most beautiful lake in the world!

We have teamed up with the Bambu Guest House to provide accommodations during your  stay in Tzununa.  The "Bambu" was opened in 2015 as a site to house our permaculture volunteers and students. As such, it was founded out of a deep commitment to meaningful and sustainable living.

You will settle into the rhythms of nature during your stay at the beautiful naturally-built hotel nestled into the mountains surrounding Lake Atitlan. Wake to the sounds of running water from the nearby stream and enjoy sunrise over the lake and volcanoes from your balcony; nourish yourself with organic and farm-fresh meals made with love by the warm and attentive kitchen staff; stretch out on the beautiful new deck; hike 15 minutes to the farm at Atitlan Organics to check out Permaculture in action; unwind with a hot shower and catch up with loved ones over wi-fi (or chill out with a book from our extensive library); and if you're lucky, catch a nighttime volcano show from Volcan Fuego.

Lodging is shared in light and spacious rooms, each one equipped with a private bathroom with hot water, a balcony overlooking the lake and volcanoes, and wi-fi. Communal space includes a comfy open-air lounge and dining room and a breath-taking yoga platform. Three vegetarian meals per day are provided.

To Learn More and Apply, Please Visit the Atitlan Organics Website! This course always fills up early. Please don't wait to reserve your spot!
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