Léon is a young adventure ecologist with an entrepreneurship degree. In 2015 he discovered permaculture and it changed his life. He loves nature and life, every time he see destruction or an extinct animal by human development he suffers and wants to do something to stop it.
Leon imagines a way of living with balance between animals, nature and humans. When he found permaculture he was able to answer all his questions and doubts about the way we have been developing in the planet and how we can change it. He believes that all the changes start with ourselves.
He doesn’t believe in the system, he wants to be part of a change where we can apply permaculture and interact with nature in a harmonious way.
He was living in a sustainable community called Los Guayabos at Guadalajara Jalisco.
He took the Rex 5 at Sierra Gorda, a PDC at East End Eden and a Sustainable Living Tour of California on 2016, he’s next stop is Rancho Mastatal.
Hi, I’m Juan, I’m an anthropologist from Bogotá, Colombia, where I spend most of my time working with indigenous communities in projects related to intercultural health systems, food security and ecosystem management. I’ve always been passionate about understanding the relationship between people and nature and I’m interested in helping communities learn from each other and make decisions that contribute to the wellbeing of their families and the ecosystems they depend on.
I hope that the experience of being an apprentice at Rancho Mastatal allows me to have a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities for living sustainably that are available today, so that eventually I’ll be able to adapt them for myself and others in a way that promotes ways of life that are more respectful of people and nature. I love growing plants, trying new foods and taking long hikes in the forest, so I’m looking forward to exploring Mastatal and learning as much as I can from the jungles and people of Costa Rica.
Kelley was born and raised in Washington State, USA, where she has lived in both Seattle and more remote areas. She studied environmental science and English literature at the University of Washington, which has led her into a career of various, dynamic jobs in the environmental field. Kelley is coming to the Ranch after working for 3.5 years at a salmon recovery nonprofit in WA, where her primary role was to facilitate lessons for youth & adults about water quality, habitat restoration, macroinvertebrates, ecology, plants, stormwater, salmon, low-impact development, and more. She also worked for many years at a YMCA camp where she ran an equestrian program and taught environmental education, worked on the Elwha River re-vegetation project, taught marine science on a boat, was part of an Olympic National Park trail crew, and moonlighted as a cocktail waitress on a charter boat in Seattle.
Kelley first came to the Ranch on a study abroad trip in college, and is very excited to return almost a decade later as part of the 2017 apprentice team. It has been a life goal of hers to work on a permaculture farm and to also live in Central America for at least a year; she cannot be more thrilled for this amazing opportunity! She is excited for every aspect of living at the Ranch (even the bugs!), and is looking forward to taking a break from teaching and experience being a student herself again. Kelley loves the abundance of tropical fruit at the Ranch, all the critters, reading books in hammocks, and hiking the myriad of trails surrounding the Ranch.
Marissa is fascinated by regenerative agriculture, natural building, ecology and anthropology. Her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science led her to study her inner and outer landscapes in Guatemala where she pursued a PDC from the Institute of Mesoamerican Permaculture (IMAP) and a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. For the last 3 years, Marissa was a Garden and Sustainability Educator at Alta Vista School in San Francisco. There, she facilitated hands-on projects with her students including a living roof, earth benches, seed library, and a natural built playground structure. It brings her a lot of joy to participate and inspire others to be involved in the seed-to-table process because it cultivates a strong relationship with the earth’s cycles.
Not only does Marissa enjoy growing plants, but she also is a creative flavor wizard in the kitchen and loves to cook, bake, ferment and make chocolate for her community! She discovered her interest in building when she used power tools for the first time at AVS and felt empowered to build with available resources, rather than buy conventional products. Additionally, Marissa has visited many eco-villages and sustainable demonstration centers around the world, which has inspired her to live a regenerative lifestyle at Rancho Mastal.
During her apprenticeship, she intends to soak up knowledge and develop skills in farming for small scale production, natural building, permaculture design, seed saving, and managing a sustainability education center because she want to offer these skills to regenerative land-based projects.
Connor Harron was born on a small organic farm in the heart of Cascadia (Pacific Northwest) USA. Although currently working on his PhD at the University of California-Irvine in Social Ecology, Connor has spent much of his adult life living abroad, working as a farm hand, cook, bartender, and activist in countries around the world. He is a lover of all things outdoors. Whether it is hiking or backpacking, mountain biking or bike touring, diving or surfing, Frisbee or slackline, Connor is always ready for an adventure or just goofing around.
Connor first fell in love with Costa Rica in 2010 while studying tropical conservation as part of an 8-week immersion service-learning program through Western Washington University. He has been seeking ways to make it back ever since. Today, Connor’s work focuses on better understanding the potential for permaculture to help rebuild local food sheds and on utilizing sustainable agricultural practices to empower vulnerable communities with the skills needed to meet their nutritional and economics needs. He envisions permaculture practices and biodynamic farming as potential pathways out of severe poverty for the over 500 million small farmers struggling to make ends meet around the world. Connor plans to help the ranch wherever needed and to learn as much as possible about homesteading and sustainable living during his time in Costa Rica. He plans to take the knowledge gained and incorporate it into the sustainable garden education programs he is currently supporting in California, Mexico, Uganda, and Swaziland.
If he’s not rummaging around in the garden, Connor can be found playing a game of ultimate Frisbee, cooking/fermenting the local produce, enjoying a fresh pot of coffee, or organizing the crew for a weekend adventure.