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Learning Calendar: Costa Rica
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Salsa, Solstice, Sustainability
December 19, 2014 - December 22, 2014
Join us this year for an unforgettable solstice gathering! Set amidst the lush mountains of Costa Rica at a thriving Permaculture community, Salstice is the ideal way to welcome the new year with heart and eye-opening intention. Daytime activities include hands-on Permaculture workshops and sustainability panels while nightfall ushers in live Salsa, Reggae, and Alternative music by international acts and local favorites.
- Bamboo/Cob Construction
Interested guests will assist with harvesting and processing bamboo from a local cooperative farm to be used in VerdEnergia’s Ampatheatre build. Guests will also have a chance to participate in a hands-on cobbing “Permablitz” for VerdEnergia infrastructure. Led by Anne Goelz, Carlos Mora, Marie Roerich and Joshua Hughes.
- Forest and Watershed Restoration
Guests will be taken on a full farm “talk and tour” through the gardens of Finca VerdEnergia and Finca Shangri-Lanas, the newest addition to our acreage, to witness firsthand the destruction of improper land management and how land can flourish if managed properly. Led by Douwe Wielstra, Sara Czarniecki and Joshua Hughes.
- Music Workshops
Explore music from the perspective of it being the Earth’s most powerful renewable energy available and necessary in human existence. Participants of all musical levels will be inspired to sing, dance, play, and engage in a process to enhance and harness their awareness of the powerful, integral, and natural energy we call music. In-depth forays into songwriting, music theory, performance, and beyond will be led by internationally respected musicians Rob Wynia and Jose Conde.
- Producing and Preserving Clinics
Interested guests will be given a hands-on opportunity to learn about the process of fermentation in home brewed beer, wine, cacao, dosa, kimchee, kefir and kombucha. Guests can also join in a DIY crash-course on homemade soaps, biofuels and jungle medicine. Led by Chris Garrison, Caterina Stagliano, Douwe Wielstra and Joshua Hughes.
- Solstice Ritual
This meditative journey will begin at the darkest time of the year to explore our shadow side. As the light returns, we will call in what we want to manifest in the coming year. (2 hrs) Led by Chris Garrison.
- Conscious Connections Workshop
This experiential workshop will be an opportunity to deepen heart connection with others through paired exercises. Led by Chris Garrison.
- Divestment and Reinvigorating Cooperative Economies
How do we build our communities in ways that serve our local needs and not wall street profits? From the farms to the cities, our discussion panel will be offering dozens of practical solutions to some of our biggest problems: how to discover our own power and learn to withdraw legitimacy from broken systems while reinvesting our energy into opportunities for our families and neighborhoods.
– Led by Joshua Hughes, Stephen Brooks and Sara Czarniecki.
- Reforestation & Watershed Management Rural and Urban
Does losing a football field of trees every six seconds bother you? What are we doing about it? Why and how do forest and other watershed issues affect us? Come and sit with some talented leaders who are figuring out what to do and how it must be done. We will be teaching hands-on erosion control techniques, tree planting/loving and much more.
– Led by Douwe Wielstra, Rob Wynia and Sara Czarniecki.
- Community Mobilization
What does information really do to change the world? So many revolutions are unfolding around the globe. From ending the energy wars to taking control of our local drinking water, we must learn to resist effectively. This discussion will focus on coordinating communities to take the necessary action for ourselves and our planet.
– Led by Joshua Hughes and Sara Czarniecki.
- Ethics of Permaculture
Led by Douwe Wielstra, Sara Czarniecki and Stephen Brooks
- Jose Conde
Jose Conde is a singer, songwriter, arranger, multi instrumentalist, and producer based in Brooklyn, NY who leads the genre bending Latin band OLA FRESCA. Weaving the musical bridges connecting Cuban son, salsa, timba, and funk, Condes creative vision and energy has led the group to two world acclaimed, award winning, original albums have evolved the swinging, fearless tropical Latin sound of the band. And then to really confuse anyone who wanted to label him as a “latin artist”, in 2011 he made a solo self titled album that departed far and wide from the Latin stereotype with it’s diverse influences and colors from South Africa to Brazil to Peru, and rootsy rhythms and humor undeniably and soulfully Cuban, yet uniquely Conde. No matter what genre Conde’s music is cataloged in the constant underlying value is deep groove and rhythmic and lyrical smoothness that appeal unanimously to what the NY Times has described his music as “music for dancing and thinking.” Conde won a Kickstarter campaign in spring of 2014 and is currently completing the production of the 3rd OLA FRESCA album ELIXIR for Spring 2015 release. His band OLA FRESCA was the recipient of the BEST LATIN ALBUM IMA Award in 2008. For more info about Jose Conde and his projects please visit www.olafresca.com
- Caca de la Vaca
It’s not an understatement to call Caca de la Vaca a local legend. With chunked-up Roots rhythms and crusty vocals reminiscent of the best parts of Sublime and your favorite college-town Ska Punk and Reggae bands, Caca de la Vaca will keep your eyes red until the early morning.
- Rob Wynia
What happens when a legendary Portland rocker goes solo? Rob Wynia has been described as “dark Americana, songs of love, longing and loss, with a heavy dose of blues and melodies that haunt,” and “darkly beautiful and unforgettable music. The fusion of alt-country, pop, blues and rock is hard to pigeon-hole, but easy to lose yourself in. The elegant blending of acoustic guitars, cellos, violins, church organs, and lap steel guitar moves seamlessly from simple and stark songs in the soulful tradition of classic blues to grand, near Rock Opera scaled production, all the while sounding effortless and natural. At the core of every song is Wynia’s trademark soulful voice, perfectly crafted melodies and stirring lyrics, carried by the heartbeat pulse of the drums.” Prepare to dance out your darkness to cathartic acoustic tunes brimming with hard-hitting lyrics.
Local favorites Targua take Roots Reggae to Funkytown and back, all the while providing a rich psychedelic tapestry of sound, texture and trancey beats. Bring your dancin’ shoes!
- El Combo
Locals El Combo blend Jazz with Reggae in an unforgettable and flavorful fusion!
>> Featuring a Q&A via video conference with special guest Derrick Jensen <<
“Derrick Jensen is the author of Endgame, The Culture of Make Believe, and A Language Older than Words. He was named one of Utne Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” and won the Eric Hoffer Award in 2008. He has written for Orion, Audubon, and The Sun Magazine, among many others.” Jensen has been interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! and a multitude of other reputable and groundbreaking radio shows and podcasts.
- Stephen Brooks
Punta Mona, Caribe Sur, Costa Rica
Stephen founded The Punta Mona Center for Regenerative Design and Botanical studies and is considered a world leader in tropical, sustainable agriculture and sustainable living techniques. In 2006, Stephen developed La Ecovilla, a 40 lot community and a world model for sustainable living and conscious community, with residents from 24 countries sharing the goal of living an intentional permaculture focused life. With the goal of creating accessible experiences that influence people’s lives, Stephen co-founded and co-produces the annual Envision Festival. Nearly four thousand people attended in 2014.
- Sara Czarniecki
Complete description coming soon!
- Douwe Wielstra
Douwe Wielstra is a tropical forestry engineer specializing in Permaculture. After studying in Holland in the International Agricultural college Larenstein in Velp, he spent 6 months in Kenya doing research in Agroforestry and 6 months in Honduras researching the biophysical elements for the declaration of a national park. Douwe is now the Garden Manager of VerdEnergia, desining and working on a Permaculture mixed crop system with focus on production of oil for biodiesel.
- Rob Wynia
Rob Wynia has a M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho and a graduate certificate in Environmental Hydrology. Besides his extensive experience as a musician, songwriter and live performer, he currently works for Portland’s Johnson Creek Watershed Council as an Outreach Task Force Coordinator, working with organizations and the public at large as they engage in watershed issues and activities.
- Joshua Hughes
Joshua went from occupying his state capitol to occupying farmland in order to focus his energy into the construction of sustainable infrastructure, to experiment and find realistic, simple and duplicatable solutions. VerdEnergia, the Permaculture impact center he co-founded, has been dedicated to educating, motivating and building solidarity amongst emerging leaders in the environmental/social justice renaissance. With over 20 years of work in the industrial recycling world, Joshua offers us a fresh and honest look at what is being done and what needs to be done to regenerate our land base and communities.
- Chris Garrison
Since 1996, Chris Garrison has led rituals and workshops to cultivate a deeper connection to oneself, others and the Earth.
Prices are all-inclusive. (Includes access to our beautiful facilities, spring-fed swimming pool, yoga/dance studio, breathtaking views, jungle trails and multiple waterfalls, three meals a day and access to all workshops, events and entertainment. Transportation, beverages, and snacks are available for purchase.)
Daily rates are available (for residents only) upon special request.
Guests must pay a 50% non-refundable deposit upon their online registration. The rest is paid in cash upon arrival.
- Camping Package (Tent not included)
$245 per person
Costa Rican Residents – $145 per person
— Two-Person Tent Rental (Limited availability)
- Dormitory Package (Limited private space available)
$345 per person
- Double Occupancy Private Room Package (Limited private space available)
$500 per person
- Single Private Room Package (Limited private space available)
$600 per person
Getting to Salstice
It is absolutely essential that you RSVP with us before you come to Salstice.
After you have RSVP’d, it is essential that you coordinate your transportation with us.
- There will be a farm-direct shuttle at noon on the 18th from the SJO Airport. The cost is $27 per person through Paypal. If you want to take this shuttle, you must reserve your space.
- A second farm-direct shuttle can transport guests from the last stop of the 9:30 bus in Puriscal on the 18th ($3.00). The cost is $10 per person in cash. Guests planning on taking this shuttle must be on the 9:30 bus from Puriscal. If you want to take this shuttle, you must reserve your space.
- A third farm-direct shuttle can transport guests from the Bar Caballo Blanco at 2:30 pm on the 18th. Guests can get to the Bar Caballo Blanco from the 12:00, 1:00, or 1:30 pm buses leaving from Puriscal (~$3.00). Guests need to be sure to get off the bus at the Bar Caballo Blanco and not ride these buses to their last stops. The best way to do this is to communicate with your driver and pay attention to your surroundings. The Bar Caballo Blanco is about an hour’s ride on the bus.
- The cost is $10 per person in cash. Guests planning on taking this shuttle must be on the 12:00, 1:00, or 1:30 pm buses leaving from Puriscal. If you want to take this shuttle, you must reserve your space.
- Guests can also take taxis from Puriscal ($60-65) to VerdEnergia, though we recommend taking our coordinated shuttles.
Getting to Puriscal
If you are already in the country or are somehow unable to make the direct shuttle from the airport on the 18th, you can grab one of the other two shuttles, but you have to be in Puriscal. Here’s how to get there.
San Jose to Puriscal
Once you arrive at the airport, you can get on a bus from the airport that will take you to downtown San Jose. Once you arrive in San Jose you will need to take a cab to the Puriscal Terminal. This should cost about $4. The Puriscal bus terminal has a bus departing every 30 minutes for most of the day. The ride should take about an hour.Make sure you allow yourself enough time to catch the Puriscal bus and the bus to the shuttle pick-up at the Bar Caballo Blanco in San Martin. Travel in Costa Rica takes longer than it does in the north!
Puriscal Bus Schedule
In Puriscal, most buses leave from the block that the hardware store Macho Cruz is on, in front of Horocho’s Carniceria. Several buses run from there to San Martin daily. Buses to Quepos also pass San Martin and leave from the Banco Popular, which is one block south from the old church. Be sure to tell the driver you need to get off at Bar Caballo Blanco in San Martin.
Bus schedule from Puriscal: (Remember to keep the Pura Vida attitude, sometimes the bus schedule is subject to change due to things that defy prediction!)
- 6:00 am to Quepos
- 9:30 am to Salitrales (good to take for the 10:00 am shuttle)
- 12:00 noon to Tulin (good to take for the 2:00 pm shuttle)*
- 1:00 pm to Quepos (good to take for the 2:00 pm shuttle)*
- 1:30 pm to Tulin (good to take for the 2:00 pm shuttle)*
- 3:00 pm to Mastatal/Zapaton (4:00 pm on Sundays)
* Guests need to be sure to get off the bus at the Bar Caballo Blanco and not ride these buses to their last stops. The best way to do this is to communicate with your driver and pay attention to your surroundings. The Bar Caballo Blanco is about an hour’s ride on the bus.
VerdEnergia will coordinate shuttles from the finca to the bus stop (heading to Puriscal) on the morning of the 23rd.
A small departure shuttle will also be available for a few guests in the late evening of the 22nd.
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