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April 2019 PDC at Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica

Posts: 51
Location: Costa Rica
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Hi all,

Scott Gallant here. I'm the lead instructor for the PDC at Rancho Mastatal. We are once again our spreading the word for our annual course and this year we expect the class to be better than ever! Everything you want to know about the class can be found here:


The past three years we have averaged just under 30 students per class with over ten countries represented in each class. For me this group size is perfect because we have a large and diverse teaching team. We've dedicated ourselves the last few years to diversifying our team. Not surprisingly it used to be a lot of white men, and this upcoming class will be taught by myself, Rachel Jackson, Laura Killingbeck, Alejandro Arango, and Durga (Natalie Vega). This is a serious course and we seek try and make sure students are the right fit for what we are offering, so below might help you determine if this is the course for you!

You are a good fit for this course if:
•You want to learn from instructors who work as professional designers and live on the sites they have
designed on a daily basis.
•You want to experience an established permaculture farm and education center, largely designed as a
didactic site and living laboratory for experiential learning.
•You are interested in a residential course. This means you will be living, learning, eating, and working
with your instructors, fellow students, and the Ranch community members every moment. It is an
intense and fulfilling experience, that builds quick bonds and lends itself toward networking and
community creation.
•You are able to sit in a classroom for approximately 4 hours/day. As a theory/survey course there is a
significant amount of lecture and discussion daily.
•You are excited to learn a large amount of information over a two week period.

You may want to look for another course if:

•You have other affairs that may routinely distract you from the course. Consider a weekend course
•You are looking for a retreat, vacation, or spiritual experience.
•You are not prepared to live in a tropical climate for two weeks.
•You are not prepared to disconnect from internet/phone to some degree. Both are available in our rural
community, but often present connection challenges.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:
•Understand existing global patterns of agriculture, economics, development, etc and how permaculture
design creates a paradigm shift toward new patterns.
•Gain an understanding of ecology and its process, specifically focused on soil, water, plants, animals,
and microorganisms.
•Learn and practice how to approach design problems through site analysis, client interviews, mapping,
drafting, etc.
•Learn how to identify broad landscape patterns and details and how they relate (scale, order, etc) and
create a context for design work.
•Learn and practice design methodologies and processes such as observation, pattern recognition and
application, the scale of permanence, etc.
•Be able to analyze landscapes across climates for successful human settlements.
•Have clear next steps and connections into networks and resources provided by the instructors.
•Be inspired about their ability to create change where they live.
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