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Course Calendar

Rancho Mastatal hosts workshops, courses and groups during all times of the year. Most but not all of these are mentioned below. They include but are not limited to activities in natural building, organic gardening, sustainable agriculture and agro-forestry, community growth, permaculture, yoga, environmental and ecological research and studies, green education and outreach, conservation and preservation, and wilderness medicine.

The schedule below helps keep interested parties and prospective visitors abreast of what is happening here throughout the year. Although space is often available, special events, workshops, and group visits can and do limit space. Please contact us prior to your visit for up-to-date details on availability and current goings-on.

This calendar is subject to change and is updated as often as possible.

For payments to Rancho Mastatal using PayPal, go to our Accommodations Rates page.

We are open and able to host small, ecological weddings, business retreats, conferences, and family reunions and getaways.  If you would like to have us host your event or use our facilities, or need more detailed information about anything below, please contact us directly at

prev 6 mo
Course Calendar

next 6 mo

  Sustainable Summer   July 2 - July 9
  Costa Rica Birding Club   July 11 - July 12
  Hawaii Pacific University   July 16 - July 23
  United World College Social Entrepreneurship Class   July 31 - August 1
  Medicine Making for the Homestead   December 29 - December 31
  Greenwood College School Sustainable Living Class   January 2 - January 9
  Eastern Iowa Community College   January 11 - January 18
  Wilderness First Responder Certification Course   January 20 - January 29
  Timber Frame Construction Workshop   January 20 - January 29
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Course Details

Sustainable Summer - RM and Sustainable Summer

Event Dates: July 2-July 9, 2014 Register Here

Sustainable Summer
What is an environmental leadership program? Our summer adventures in sustainability are for students age 15 to 18. Travel to Latin America with us this summer and study concepts such as organic farming, renewable energy, and sustainable development while also exploring a foreign culture. Sustainable Summer is a unique opportunity to join other environmentally-minded teens on a study abroad program in Latin America designed to help today’s high school students become future environmental leaders.

Costa Rica Birding Club - RM and CR Birding Club

Event Dates: July 11-July 12, 2014 Register Here

Join the Costa Rican Birding Club for this weekend of birding at Rancho Mastatal.  For more information about this trip, please contact Lyn Statten.



Hawaii Pacific University - RM and HPU

Event Dates: July 16-July 23, 2014 Register Here

We're looking forward to receive Prof. Angela Costanzo and her students once again at RM.  For more information about this course, please see here.   

United World College Social Entrepreneurship Class - UWC and RM

Event Dates: July 31-August 1, 2014 Register Here

We will be receiving a group of students from the United World College of Costa Rica as part of a class on Social Entrepreneurship. 

Medicine Making for the Homestead - Stephanie Haney and RM

Event Dates: December 29-December 31, 2014 Register Here

Ranch-instructor and acupuncturist Stephanie Haney will be teaching participants about Medicine Making for the Homestead.  This 3-day workshop will give an overview of traditional medicine-making techniques, including preservation, processing, and a variety of internal and external applications.  Located at Rancho Mastatal, a sustainability education center in rural Costa Rica, this course will focus on developing local medicine from culinary and horticultural herbs of the tropics.  During the course we will utilizie plants that grow here at The Ranch, however the practical skills learned will be just as applicable to temperate climates and other regions of the world.  We will introduce tinctures, decoctions, vinegars, medicinal beers, salves and soaps - how to make them, how to use them and the benefits of each.

By the end of the course, each student will have a tincture, salve, and soap to bring home as well as receive resources for further herbal study within and outside Costa Rica.

If you have any questions please contact Stephanie Haney.

Greenwood College School Sustainable Living Class - Evolve Tours

Event Dates: January 2-January 9, 2015 Register Here

We'll once again be receiving students fromGreenwood College School for this life-changing experience focused on sustainable living. 

Eastern Iowa Community College - RM and EICC

Event Dates: January 11-January 18, 2015 Register Here

This will be our first group from Eastern Iowa Community College.  The course focus will be ecology and sustainability.  For more information please contact Tim O'Hara.   

Wilderness First Responder Certification Course - Aerie Backcountry Medicine

Event Dates: January 20-January 29, 2015 Register Here

For the twelfth year running Aerie and Rancho Mastatal are offering this 72-hour certification course for guides, tour operators, lodge owners and others interested in learning more about and getting trained in backcountry first aid and first response.  This Wilderness First Responder (WFR) curriculum is the standard wilderness medicine class for many outdoor organizations' supervisors. The course addresses injury and illness prevention, patient assessment, long-term injury management, improvised splint and litter construction and environmental emergencies. Approximately half of the course is classroom lecture and half practical scenarios. Students also receive American Heart Association CPR for the Professional Rescuer certification.  This course is a unique opportunity for students to receive outstanding wilderness medicine training in a spectacular setting. Aerie's courses are dynamic and challenging, preparing students for travel and work in remote, outdoor settings. This WFR is ideal for individuals or outdoor leaders traveling and/or working in Central America and/or the Tropics.  There will be one free day scheduled in the middle of the course so students can rest and enjoy the incredible surroundings. 


Aerie instructors present at national and regional conferences, including the Wilderness Risk Management Conference, the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education, the Spring Fever Trauma Conference and the US Forest Service Incident Medical Specialist program.


This course will be offered in English.  If we have enough interest from Spanish-speaking students, we will translate the course to Spanish.   


Students should plan on arriving to the Ranch no later than 8 a.m. on the morning of the first day of the class.  We encourage students to arrive the night before (this night is included in the cost of the class).  


Foreigners $925; Ex-pats living in Central America $850; Costa Ricans $750; Rancho Mastatal Interns $475. A $250 deposit will secure your spot in the course. We will also be offering a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course and a Wilderness First Responder Refresher course on January 28 and 29.  The WFA costs $195 plus $40 per day for food and lodging.  The WFR refresher costs $250 for non-Aerie alumni and $225 for Aerie alumni plus $40 per day for food and lodging.  CRP is $35 plus $40 per night for food and lodging.  There is a 15% discount on food and lodging for Costa Ricans ($35 per night).  

About Aerie

Aerie provides outstanding training on a local, national and international level. Their courses, from Wilderness First Aid through Wilderness EMT, are taught to employees and members of the Student Conservation Association (SCA), NOLS, Outward Bound, the US National Park Service, the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Missoula Backcountry Horsemen Association, and others. Aerie provides training for the US Forest Service Smokejumper's EMTs and the USFS Wildlands Firefighting program.

Cancellation Policy

We receive the right to cancel the course due to inadequate enrollment and circumstances beyond our control. In the event of cancellation, all payments, including deposits, will be refunded.

For more information on the course and/or to register for the course, contact:

Dave McEvoy

Aerie School for Backcountry Medicine

315 S 4th St E Suite 202

Missoula, MT 59801



For more information about the accommodations and course site, please contact Tim O'Hara at Rancho Mastatal.

Timber Frame Construction Workshop - Rancho Mastata

Event Dates: January 20-January 29, 2015 Register Here

Learn the art of timber frame construction with talented and respected timber framers Skip Dewhirst and Lizabeth Moniz during this 9-day course when students will participate in the construction of a small timberframe structure on site at Rancho Mastatal.  Through classroom and practical sessions participants will gain skills to build a structure utilizing the square rule method of timber framing which results in mortise and tenon joinery secured by handmade wooden pegs instead of nails.  Students will have a hands-on opportunity to immerse themselves in a number of other building techniques as well while working on the small structure. On site students can learn from and get inspired by a multitude of naturally built structures that have been constructed at the Ranch and in the small rural community of Mastatal during the last 13 years.  Students will stay at the Ranch’s amazing facilities and in addition to learning about timber framing will be exposed to a host of other sustainable living projects including a methane digester, composting toilets, permaculture designed gardens and orchards, animal husbandry, fermented food products and much more.  It promises to a fun-filled, productive and instructional course for everyone involved. This course will be taught in English. For more information about this workshop please call us at 2200-0920 or email us at

About the Instructors:
Skip Dewhirst
Skip is a co-founder of Meerkat Design and Handwork. He is a furnituremaker and timberframer who also explores his passion for wood by designing and building guitars, carving and boatbuilding. Skip has been teaching folks of all ages about working with wood for over twenty years.

Lizabeth Moniz 

Lizabeth began exploring structure, the limitations of structure, and building with natural materials at a young age by constructing forts and hideaways in her family’s woods. At university getting her BFA, she worked in cabinet and custom woodworking shops building furniture. Knowing from a young age that some day she eventually wanted to build her own home, she gleaned a wealth of knowledge by becoming a carpenter and building many other peoples homes and finally co-building her own home. Teaching in the Peace Corps, public schools, Women Build, Youthbuild, and Yestermorrow Design/Build School, gave her ability to work with different populations and age groups. As a wilderness trip leader, she saw how other creatures built their forts.  Lizabeth currently teaches classes in carpentry, landscape design, natural building, home design/build, timber-framing, woodworking, and is a self-employed builder and landscape designer. Eventually receiving her MA in Landscape Design helped her to envision and design structures and landscapes as being integrated holistically and working together.

Other Information:

Students should plan on arriving to Rancho Mastatal no later than 8 a.m. on January 21 and are encouraged to arrive on January 20 (prices include lodging the night before the course begins).


For more information about food and lodging please see our website accommodations.   


The tuition for non-Central American residents is $1,500 and includes all food, lodging, instruction and field trips.  Signups before October 1 get a $300 Early Bird Discount.  The tuition for Central American residents is $900.

Course Payment

You can secure your spot in this course with a $300 deposit.  You can pay by sending us a check, direct depositing money into our Costa Rica account or paying with a credit card via  For more information about payment options, please see here.  


For more information and/or to enroll in this course please contact Tim O’Hara at and/or call the Ranch at 2200-0920. We have a maximum of 15 openings for this workshop and a minimum of 5 students to run the course.

More Information

For more information about Rancho Mastatal please go to our website here. For more information about all of our courses, please go to the Ranch's Events Calendar.