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Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture Design Course2022-08-25T11:09:42+00:00

Permaculture Design Course

January 23 – February 5, 2023
Machuca Valley, San Mateo
Costa Rica

Permaculture is a philosophy and practice of ecological design that doesn’t tell you what to do – it teaches you how to think. In the study of Permaculture, we challenge the current paradigm of where our food and water come from, the way we are constructing our villages and towns, and how we live our day-to-day. Our Permaculture Design Course graduates have gone on to become change-makers all over the world, designing their own land projects, founding eco-communities, redesigning their businesses, spearheading policy change, and continuing to teach the permaculture principles and ethics.

The Permaculture Design Course is the foundational curriculum to all regenerative practices. This 2-week course covers all the basic principles of the earth sciences in relation to human impact, reviews bioregional strategies for ecosystem rehabilitation and resilience, concepts in environmentally appropriate home design, and tools for individual and community development.

The course covers strategies for all ecosystems, while hands-on projects will be location specific. The PDC teaches pattern recognition as well as evaluation tools for impact. Rooted in the Core Ethics and Principles of Permaculture, these concepts can be applied to all areas of life, including wellness, business, education, spirituality, the arts and of course food production.

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Course Topics


  • Ethics & Principles
  • Site Analysis and Assessment
  • Base Mapping
  • Design Process & Methods
  • Zones and Sectors
  • Urban/Suburban/Rural Permaculture Strategies

Horticulture and Regenerative Agriculture:

  • Perennial Agriculture
  • Polycultures and Plant Guilds
  • Food Forests and Edible Forest Gardens
  • Soils and Compost
  • Propagation Techniques and Plant Care
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Small Animal Care

Ecological Design:

  • Rainwater Harvesting: Catchment and Storage
  • Alternative Energy and Appropriate Technology
  • Greywater and Aquaculture
  • Climate Appropriate Design
  • Adaptive Strategies for Housing and Agriculture
  • Earthworks

 Social Permaculture:

  • Alternative Economies
  • Facilitation & Decision Making
  • Ecovillages & Community Design Process
  • Collaborative Group Dynamics

Hands On, Field Trips & Activities:

  • Compost Making
  • Gardening
  • Plant Propagation Practicum
  • Site Observation
  • Tours of Tacotal and Alegria eco villages
  • River Time
  • Fires & Cacao
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Facilitation Team

Sarah Wu is a passionate educational curator, facilitator and mentor dedicated to adult learners of all backgrounds. A representative for Mother Nature as a writer and teacher of Deep Ecology, Therapeutic Ecology and whole systems design through the lens of Herbalism and Permaculture. Sarah Wu has 22 years studying the science, art and craft of Planetary Eclectic Herbal Medicine. Her foundation is in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Wise Woman Tradition, actively practicing clinical herbalism in the Neo-Tropics for 12 years. With 28 and counting, 75+hour Permaculture Design Courses in her portfolio, Sarah teaches full length and specialized Permaculture courses and workshops tailored to community dynamics, event production and holistic health. Sarah is the friendly Village Witch, co-founder and producer of Envision Festival, where she curates the educational offerings and founded the unique Herbal First Aid Clinic Training. She founded and produced Medicines from the Edge: A Tropical Herbal Convergence, dedicated to bridging the eclectic healing traditions of Latin America, produced the Permaculture Plaza and Village Witches at the Oregon Eclipse, is a regular faculty member at the Punta Mona Center for Regenerative Design & Botanical Studies, is a faculty member of the Permaculture Women’s Guild and a regular contributor to organizations such as NuMundo and United Plant Savers. She has studied with numerous leaders in the Western Herbalism renaissance, such as David Winston, Rosemary Gladstar, Paul Berger, and 7Song and has worked in relief efforts in Guatemala and at Natural Doctor’s International on the island of Omatepe, Nicaragua.

Eduardo Terzidis holds three degrees as a Mechanical Engineer and was determined to use his knowledge to bring positive change in the world, focusing his academic researcher developing airborne wind energy systems. Feeling detached from what was happening outside of the research bubble and seeking to “live the solutions,” he set off on a journey of self-discovery, to understand how to be of service to the planet. This journey brought him around the world, visiting more than 20 countries, working with several ecovillages, institutes, Yoga retreats and renown teachers.

This experience brought Eduardo to his extensive knowledge as a Permaculture Designer, facilitating the creation of many regenerative projects including CSAs, intentional communities, institutes and agricultural organisations as well as Permaculture Design Courses. Moreover, he works extensively on self and spiritual growth, participating in many retreats and connecting to a regular practice of self discovery and growth. From this space, he offers transformative experiences for individuals and groups.

Tuition, Location & Other Info:

SAVE $350 off all tuitions if you deposit before November 1, 2022


$1675 USD for double occupancy glamping tent

$2175 USD for single occupancy glamping tent (very limited availability)

$1300 USD Bring Your Own tent

We ask for a $300 non-refundable deposit to hold your space, with final payments are due in cash USD on the first day, with the exception of European students who can deposit to Eduardo directly.
Special Tuition for Costa Ricans, please email us for info.
We are sorry but this does not apply to those living as residents, travelers nor “digital nomads” in Costa Rica.
All course content, classes, activities and materials, lodging in shared Glamping tents and all meals.
Not Included:
Flights and ground transportation
Libertad, San Mateo, Alajuela
Costa Rica
MachuCampo is a private riverfront sanctuary glamping campground situated directly beside the Machuca river. Tranquil and lush, nestled in nature on 3 acres of land, with easy to follow trails and rock staircases that create access to the toilet house, kitchen, laundry and parking.  Experience living on a food forest farm in a tent village immersed in dense jungle with pools and waterfalls, monkeys, tucans and a myriad of other wild creatures, Machucampo offers an ideal atmosphere for inner quests and connecting with nature. The song of the river caresses your soul…everywhere you look there is nature’s beauty and embrace. MachuCampo is an experiment in how close and integrated we can live with the natural world while taking care of our human needs and comforts in the simplest most satisfying ways.

Just an hour west of the San Jose International Airport, Machucampo is easily accessible by car, taxi and bus, no 4×4 needed. Students can either hire a taxi for $50 or take the bus to Orotina and from there taxi to the location.

On the grid, yet away from it all, the space is comfortable, relaxing, inspiring and accessible.

Laundry service off site, limited cell service, yet there is wifi in the kitchen.

For More Info please email Sarah


Costa Rica and Current COVID-19 Policy

Costa Rica, while open to tourism is still suffering the effects of COVID-19.

While a COVID-19 test is not required to enter the country, all participants are required to email us proof of a NEGATIVE ANTIGEN test 48 hours prior to arrival to Tacotal, and we ask that all participants also practice social distancing and all social responsible practices before coming. You can get a COVID-19 test at various clinics around Costa Rica for $50. Look up labs like LABIN. If you are landing in Costa Rica and coming straight to us, then you can submit your test from your home country.

All deposits are non-refundable in any case of illness, country closure or any other personal reasons, yet, if you have paid the full payment, you will be reimbursed all except the $500 deposit minus all service fees.