Marissa Taylor comes to Rancho Mastatal as an apprentice with a varied background and rich life history. She has gone from a barber in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada to an international development professional for the world’s largest NGO working with and/or living in more than 30 countries. As a barber and young mother she learned the value of building diverse skills sets, as well as, developing a deep curiosity of people and their stories (she has heard some crazy ones!). After a few years, and as her son got older she decided to go to McMaster University to get her Masters, as she had always been interested in Health and International Development. There she learned about the social determinants of health and the causal relationship they have to infectious and chronic illness. It was here her passion for alternative medicine was born, during her Master’s she co-author a textbook chapter with her professors and mentors on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. However, it was her first internship in India working for and international NGO that brought her fully into the world of international development. She later became a Project Designer, Partnering and Resource Development Specialist mainly working in Africa and Asia. On her last assignment based in Cambodia, her desire to once again submerge herself into a new experience of a natural medicine, healing through food and more generally a new way of living more environmentally conscious. This brought her to leave her job and join the Mastatal Team. As an apprentice she is keen to learn more about Permaculture Design, Food Processing and building a sustainable community environment. So far, she has found the ranch to be a place that provides a great course structure, encourages group and independent learning, as well as, a living ethos that balances work, rest and play.