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Ecovillage Design Course

March 20, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - March 28, 2020 @ 1:00 pm


Have you been dreaming of starting a land-based community project? 

An ecovillage neighborhood? A retreat center? A community-owned regenerative farm?

Let’s spend 9 days together deep in the jungles of Costa Rica turning your visions into an action plan!

In this immersive educational retreat, we’ll break down the steps of designing a regenerative community – from business plan to fundraising, to permitting and master planning, to infrastructure and earthworks systems, to attracting and uniting community. 

A community brunch at our ecovillage project Alegría Village

A community brunch at our ecovillage project Alegría Village

Come with your vision, and work-shop each aspect of your project with experts and fellow community builders from around the world. For 9 days we will live together in the off-the-grid permaculture center Punta Mona, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica – a living example of an ecovillage that has remained strong for 25 years.

Life at Punta Mona is simple and deeply connected to the Earth – we wake with the sun to the sounds of the jungle, walk barefoot on mossy paths, eat food freshly harvested from the land and slow cooked with love, and bathe in the waters of the Caribbean Sea.

This experience is part course, part retreat. Each day we will gather in our outdoor classroom to dive into a critical step of the ecovillage design process and we’ll have plenty of free time for yoga, reflection, mud baths, hammock naps, ocean swims and connecting with the community. 

The remote coast of Punta Mona

The remote coast of Punta Mona

Community Lunch at Punta Mona

Community Lunch at Punta Mona


  • Introduction to Ecovillages – What & Why?

  • Brief History of Civilization, Current Global Context, Challenges & Solutions 

  • Clarifying Your Vision Workshop

  • Ecovillage Ownership & Business Models

  • Funding Your Project

  • Setting Criteria to Find & Evaluate Land

  • Community Engagement & Local Involvement

  • Design Charrette Workshop

  • Infrastructure & Systems: Earthworks, Water, Power, Waste

  • Managing Implementation & Home Construction

  • Regenerative Economy & Commerce

  • Governance Models

  • Attracting Your People & Building Community

  • Conflict Resolution & Social Processes

  • Love & Relationships

  • Way of Council Workshop

  • Measuring & Managing Impact

  • Education & Innovation

  • Intergenerational Design


  • Punta Mona Farm/Botanical Tour

  • Punta Mona Ecovillage Immersion

  • Legendary Mud Bath Experience

  • Bonfire Sharing Circles

  • Morning Yoga

  • Ecstatic Dance

  • Cacao Ceremony

  • Community Meals

  • Remote beaches on the Caribbean Sea

Cacao ceremony at Punta Mona

Cacao ceremony at Punta Mona

We’ll start with a day to ground ourselves, refresh and set intentions, preparing our bodies and minds for our immersion into ecovillage design. Our course will include classroom discussions, workshops, one-on-one “office hours” with instructors, yoga, mud baths, beach time, cacao ceremony, bonfires, dance, and organic meals packed with superfoods grown on the farm.

Program Includes

  • 9 days, 8 nights of all-inclusive accommodation at Punta Mona

  • Three delicious vegetarian meals per day, made from ingredients harvested fresh from the land

  • Private or shared accommodation

  • Cacao celebration

  • Living as part of the Punta Mona intentional community

  • Morning yoga

  • Evening “office hours” with facilitators to dig into your community action plan

Program does not include:

  • Flight to Costa Rica

  • Transport from the airport to Manzanillo

  • Boat Ride to and from Punta Mona, from Manzanillo


Daily Flow:

  • 7:00am: Yoga 

  • 8:00am: Breakfast

  • 9:00am-10:15am: Morning Session 1

  • 10:30am – noon: Morning Session 2

  • 12pm: Lunch

  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm: Afternoon Session 1

  • 3:45pm – 5:00pm: Afternoon Session 2*

  • 6:00pm Dinner

  • 8:00pm Evening Activity or one-on-one “office hours”

*Some days, Afternoon Session 2 will be an independent writing prompt or group exercise



This course will be led by community designer Kara Alter, who is a Co-founder (with Punta Mona owner Stephen Brooks) of the new ecovillage development project, Alegría Village in San Mateo, Costa Rica. Alegría Village is a 70 hectare regenerative community that includes a shared farm, communal yoga shala, pool, arts and co-working hub, advanced neighborhood infrastructure, education for children, a sub-village for elders and parcels for 120 homes. Kara is a Brand Strategist and entrepreneur, and has spent the last decade building global brands for companies such as Google, PayPal, Disney, Evite, and LEGO, and dozens of tech startups and non-profit clients. The startup she co-founded in 2014 has received over $7 million in VC funding (and now with a pivot has raised nearly $35M) & participated in the first class of TechStars Music in LA. Kara will draw on her business experience, as well as the process of building Alegría Village, to share real examples, strategies and considerations to make your community “startup” a success.

Kara is also a passionate dancer, artist, permaculturist and tree-climber, and has lived in, studied, and experienced many different types of intentional communities around the world. Last February, she led a group of students on an Ecovillage Design Tour through Costa Rica with permaculture elders Starhawk and Penny Livingston, and produced the jungle permaculture festival Roots Gathering at Punta Mona. This Fall, she is on an events tour in California, Colorado, and Costa Rica, leading discussions on “Designing Regenerative Communities”.



Punta Mona Founder Stephen Brooks will be joining us for a few days as a co-facilitator to give us an-depth look at the community of Punta Mona, their food forest and off-grid systems, and strategies for finding land and master planning.

Stephen has been living in Costa Rica since 1995, when he observed the problems facing small farmers and communities in Central America and Costa Rica due to mega-monoculture agricultural practices and loss of dynamic community. He strives to provide students, landowners, businesses and neighbors regenerative solutions and strategies to increase quality of life. Stephen is an avid and passionate ethnobotanist, plant collector, permaculture designer and educator, operator of educational environmental and botanical tours, and an ecovillage community builder. He has also co-founded the Sustainable Solutions Caravan, Kopali Organics, La Ecovilla, Tacotal Colectivo, Envision Festival, Z Verde, and most recently, Alegría Village.



Your Stay

All our guest rooms are hand-built from fallen trees and bamboo foraged and milled on our land. Most have solar-powered electricity, however we encourage you to give your eyes and body a break from artificial light during your stay and end your day by candlelight.

Our most popular accommodation is private or shared rooms in our main or back house. These rooms have 1-3 beds, open or screened windows, mosquito nets, lockboxes and often closet rods for hanging clothes.

Click here for more info on our accommodation options.


Experience the Punta Mona Community

For the duration of this course, you will be living within the intentional community of Punta Mona.

This is a co-created, co-living space, with shared meals, common hangout spaces and deep personal connection.

We have a permanent community of staff and volunteers who keep Punta Mona alive, tending to the farm, the chickens, our buildings, our kitchen and food, and the overall health and energy of our people.

We’re fruit lovers, seed savers, compost fanatics, organic chefs, natural builders, herb witches, writers and artists – and we look forward to opening our doors and hearts to you.

If you’d like more hands-on experience with the community during our course, you are welcome to participate in some daily tasks or meal preparation. Please let us know and we will happily find opportunities for you to integrate and care for your fellow students and Punta Monians!



Early-bird price for the full 9-day course: $1,725.00 US*

Special tuition is available for Central Americans. Please let us know in your application if this applies to you!

*Price is based on shared accommodation. Please inquire about private casita pricing.

To reserve your spot, please submit an application below and we will be in touch shortly!

Available for an additional price: Arrival and departure transportation, boat ride to Punta Mona ($10 shared boat, $50 minimum per ride), laundry service (outside of the farm), extra items from our herb shop and other treats sold by community members (bring your products to share)



March 20, 2020 @ 12:00 pm
March 28, 2020 @ 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Punta Mona Center for Regenerative Design & Botanical Studies
Costa Rica
View Venue Website

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