The Learning Calendar is Costa Rica’s largest source for sustainability education and wellness events. Visit the all new RegeneraVida platform to see or add events, or connect with a larger community of people passionate about living well.

Learning Calendar: Costa Rica

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Bamboo Building Immersion

January 26, 2019 @ 9:00 am - February 2, 2019 @ 10:00 am

Finca Morpho is proud to host its third natural building course with Rodolfo Saenz and Trey Abernethy along with guest bamboo artisan and designer Nils Hammerbeck.

This course is designed for those who would like practical natural building skills and hands-on experience working with bamboo. It would suit owner-developers, professional contractors, permaculturists, or anyone looking to build with regenerative and sustainable materials and methodologies. No prior experience or special skills are necessary. Just a reasonable level of physical fitness and willingness to learn.

The course starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 26th. We advise everyone to arrive by 4 p.m. on Friday the 25th. Dinner and selected accommodations for the 25th are included. The last full day of the course is the 1st and everyone leaves after breakfast on the 2nd.


We are also offering a week-long extension building practicum directly following the course. Come further your learning and practice with us at Nils new property where we will be diving into some cool bamboo projects!

Nils recently purchased raw land outside of Dominical and he will be building microstructure dreams starting in Jan 2019. These include a small container home with a bamboo roof, an outhouse bathing space, as well as micro cabins interspersed in the forested site. During the practicum, you will learn and practice a variety of techniques and assist in forwarding the bamboo portions of the design concepts. The focus may be on the entry gate at the top of the driveway, or it may be the bamboo support structure and roof, if the construction site is ready for that step. Either way, it will be interesting!

Check out the Practicum add-on in the bookable items below.

To learn more about Finca Morpho visit


In the lectures and hands-on workshops you will learn:

* Bamboo varieties, harvesting, processing and treatment, and curing methods

* Bamboo splitting, bending, drilling, pegging, lashing, fish mouths and other joining techniques

* Bamboo design, finishing, and maintenance

* Bamboo and hardwood pin and binder stick making

* Bamboo wattle and split panels

*Model Making

* Bamboo Dome Assembly

* Specialty tools for Bamboo Construction

During this week-long course, we will construct a small bamboo structure, completing the entire framing process from start to finish.

Daily Flow

7 a.m. – Yoga

8 a.m. – Breakfast

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Classroom Lectures/ Hands-on Workshops

12 p.m. – Lunch

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Siesta

1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Hands-On Workshops/Build

6 p.m. – Dinner

7 p.m. – Slideshows/ Videos

All food served at the course is 100% organic and vegan. There will be fresh coconuts available throughout the day and fruit snacks in between meals.

Additional information and travel instructions will be emailed upon registration.


Rodolfo Saenz

Rodolfo Saenz began his career as a craftsman over 30 years ago. He first learned to work with wood and later received training in a variety of techniques with bamboo from a Taiwanese Master, which led him into bamboo furniture design combined with hardwoods and various other materials.

Originally trained in conventional construction, he switched gears to natural building methods and design with a concentration on bamboo, cob, and earthen plasters. In 2010, he built his own house with natural materials and now has more than 25 years of experience as a contractor in Costa Rica. Rodolfo is passionate about sharing his skills and knowledge by teaching sustainable building and design and has over a dozen years of experience teaching courses. Learn more at

Trey Abernethy

Trey is driven by a deep love for nature and a desire to break free from modern industrial society. After 12 years of conventional construction in the US witnessing wasteful, toxic, and unsustainable methods, he knew there was a better way to build. While living in Florida, he began taking courses on cob and earthen plasters. In 2013, he moved to Costa Rica and continued learning about natural building, permaculture, and holistic living.The following year, he received his Permaculture Design Certificate and attended a week-long course on building with bamboo, cob, adobe, and plasters with Rodolfo Saenz.

Soon thereafter he joined the build crew for the Envision festival, learning from a range of experts on bamboo design and building. Trey continues to work on large-scale bamboo design and builds at Envision festival each year.

In 2015, he attended a 2-week earthen building course at Rancho Mastatal, which included the aforementioned materials, as well as lime, natural pigments, and paints, including tadelakt, an amazing waterproof limestone plaster technique from Morocco.After participating in and leading many natural building projects in Costa Rica, Trey is confident in his skill sets for teaching and empowering others to build with local and sustainable materials, in harmony with nature.                                                                                                                                                                                       

Nils Hammerbeck

Nils V Hammerbeck is a licensed architect in CA but left the regulation nightmare in 2015, and moved to Costa Rica. His multiple passions range from architecture and design to big art builds, to photography, but generally, enjoys splitting his time between the creation process in the design studio and the construction process in the field.

Fifteen years of going to Burningman taught him the value of participation and of big art community. During the recession of 2008-2010, he quit his architecture practice, got rid of all his overhead, and spent 3 years on the Bamboo DNA train with projects at Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, and Boom. This training led to leading high profile big art projects including BM Fractal Nation 2011, Symbiosis Trilobyte in 2012, 2013 Summer Solstice Wedding, Symbiosis 2015 Greek Amphitheater, and Envision’s 2016 Entry and Box Office.Nils will be presenting a slideshow of images from some of the major projects he has had the pleasure and pain to work on, as well as what he learned along the way: Live life with Passion, do it for the journey more than the destination, the relentless pursuit of money is a disease, we’re better as a team but letting go of the me is hard, pushing yourself beyond what you think is possible, being present in the Now, the importance of listening and speaking with integrity, being able to let go as the only person one needs to prove anything to is one’s self. We can also talk about design or whatever questions arise through the exchange.

Nils and Trey will also be demonstrating a boucherie pressure treated bamboo treatment system during the course. We will harvest and process a few Dendracalumus bamboo culms from the neighbor’s site and treat with the students. 

**Prices are from: $525 – $895 a person depending on lodging options**


January 26, 2019 @ 9:00 am
February 2, 2019 @ 10:00 am
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, , , , , ,


Finca Morpho
14km Sur de Bomba de Osa en la calla de Matapalo con puerton murado,
Puerto Jimenez, Puntarenas 60702 Costa Rica
USA# (479) 935-9735 | CR# (506) 8850-8498
View Venue Website


Trey Abernethy
(506) 8828-1085

Community learning calendar created and maintained by Upward Spirals.

We want to make your events more successful and make them available to larger audiences. This helps us get closer to our objectives of improving the efficacy of environmental improvement projects, and maximizing the reach of actionable sustainability information.

Learn more about our mission to empower people to use resources more efficiently so that natural systems can sustain all life abundantly.