Costa Rica Sustainable Travel & Living Experience
Winter 2014 dates not yet set.
Sometimes it's good to get away from your normal life to
gain perspective. Some people choose to go and sit on a
beach. (literally or metaphorically speaking) The outcome of
this way of travel may be a fleeting tan line and an equally
fleeting memory. If this is what you want from your time
spent on vacation you should stop reading now.
However if you want to DO something, I mean really learn
something that may take you to the next level in life while
doing something to give back then you should take a look at
Our basecamp is on the Nicoya peninsula in an area known
as a blue zone, one of the areas of the world in which people
commonly live to over 100 years with continuing active and
healthy lives. According to NatGeo Nicoya is the BLUEST of
them. What is this fountain of youth?
There is no magic elixir. (though they say the water that we
drink and bath in may have something to do with it...)
Living well is an action. Our society tends to separate
wellness in to a science. The reality of the people in Nicoya
is that there is more to being well and happy than that which
can be measured. They DO wellness.
This course is just one way to explore wellness and
sustainability. What you take from it is what you put in. Our
core focus will be:
Permacultural style living and food production
Apame Ecopark (means "it's green in the native Chorotega
language) is a revitalized ranch at the foothills of a nature
preserve corridor near Guanacaste. Ranches in Costa rica are
made by stripping the land of it's native vegetation and
planting trees that are good for lumber, while cows grow fat
by stripping the plants beneath.
Apame bought this 152 acre former ranch and so far have
replanted over 1000 Native trees and shrubs, most of them
edible or utilitarian in some way, and many of them
There are several trails through the woods leading to various
micro-ecosystems and native replantings. Also, an
aquaponics facility grows organic fish and vegetables for
home and market, while recycling water and nutrients in a
closed loop system.
We will be "voluntourists" by assisting Apame in various
tasks relating to care and growth of the sustainable
agriculture and technology practices on site.
Traditional cultures and skills of the Neotropics
When the colonists moved in, the natives got pushed out. For
this reason there are not many original cultures left in Costa
Rica, however there are some and we will visit them to learn
from them. They have much to teach about the native
Also, Spanish lessons and Costa Rican cooking classes will
be a part of each day.
Eco-travel and adventure
Sustainability and wellness can be done anywhere. Why go
to Costa Rica? Caving, Kayaking, Surfing, Neotropical hikes
and nature studies... We'll spend a part of each day
exploring and learning outdoor skills offered by this amazing
Not the least of which we will spend a portion of each day
exercising our bodies. In addition to the outdoor skills we
incorporate a holistic program which includes mind-clearing
Tai-Chi martial arts practice and yoga to start off the day,
combined with cooking, eating, and drinking with the
amazing waters and local tropical and organic vegetables
From your host at Apame, Richard Blasoni
I want to welcome you to Apame!
Our farm is situated inside the Biological Corridor “Cerros de Jesus” in
which 90 Acres of it are in extreme protection. There are several Chorotega
(decendants of the Mayan people) burial mounds on site that we care for.
We have the first large scale continuous flow aquaponic system in
Guanacaste as well as organic farming, exotic fruit cultivation,
reforestation with native endangered trees, alternative energies, bio-fuel
production with multi-purpose trees such as Moringa, gourd tree, etc.. We
are also producing black soldier flies and algae for natural feed for the fish
in the aquaponics system.
For transportation we are working on a system to produce biodiesel for
vehicles utilizing black soldier flies to separate the protein from the oil.
For you, we are building guest cabins out of recycled plastic bottles. Our
toilet system is "humanure" which utilizes sawdust from the local saw mills
to compost it all in to fertilizer for our fruit trees.
As you can see, we have a lot going on and will welcome your help! While
you are here you should also take part in our sea turtle monitoring
program, beach clean up and take this opportunity to visit other local
I want to teach you all about what I've learned via trial and error over the
years, so that you can take some of this knowledge back home and apply
it where you live. Most people live in a straight line. We need to show them
that we live in a circle, and what we're doing wrong now will come back to
bite us in the future.
Visit us on Facebook to learn more.
Sample Daily Schedule...
Morning: Wake up and exercise, help cook a traditional
breakfast, do some work around the center. Learn about
native plants and animal species. Spanish lessons. Care for
Afternoon: Lunch. Adventure off the ranch to cave, paddle,
skin dive, hike, explore, or take part in a cultural immersion
activity. Free time in the afternoon.
Evening: Help cook traditional dinner. Spanish. Group activity
or free time.
A note from your trip organizer, Greg Weiss
I have led several travel trips to Ecuador and Peru over the years, requiring
massive logistics and coordination. We always had a great time, but have
had an occasional glitch here and there due to the nature of adventure
For this reason, this our first group trip to Apame is considered a pilot
program to work out any glitches if there are any. For this we are doing
this first trip at cost. It's a great opportunity for you, me, and Apame as
they get their guest services up to speed. You should like camping and
volunteer work. At the end we'll all have learned something!
Cost: $749 includes everything while on course, shuttle to
and from the airport and travel to several sites along the
way. This does not include airfare or food purchases while in
on your own or in town. You may stay longer and travel on
your own, however no additional shuttle services are
included to and from Apame. (about 1.5 hour taxi to airport)
The aquaponics facility
A formation seen while caving near Apame
Young jaguar rescued by our hosts
Sea Turtle Monitoring Program