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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 info@ranchomastatal.com


prev 6 mo
Course Calendar

next 6 mo

  Earth Building Workshop   April 6 - April 11
  Earthen Plasters and Tadelakt   April 13 - April 17
  Timber Frame Construction Workshop   April 20 - April 26
  Permaculture Design Course   June 1 - June 15
  Lakeside School Global Service Learning Program   June 18 - July 1
  Sustainable Summer   July 2 - July 9
  Costa Rica Birding Club   July 11 - July 12
  Hawaii Pacific University   July 16 - July 23
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Course Details

Earth Building Workshop - RM and Liz Johndrow

Event Dates: April 6-April 11, 2014 Register Here

Join well-known earth builder Liz Johndrow for this wonderful 1-week earth building experience. The course will cover the basics of building with earth and offer students a hands-on opportunity to immerse themselves in a number of earth building techniques.  During the weeklong workshop participants will learn about and work with cob, wattle and daub, lime plasters and washes, earth renders and earthen floors.  The workshop will be held at the Rancho Mastatal Sustainable Living Center, one of the premier natural building locations in Central America.  On site students can learn from and get inspired by a multitude of earth and naturally built structures that have been constructed at the Ranch and in the small rural community of Mastatal during the last 12 years.  Workshop projects will take place at both the Ranch and in the community.  Students will stay at the Ranch’s amazing facilities and in addition to learning about earth building they 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 week for everyone involved.      

About the Instructor
s:

Liz Johndrow
Liz, founder of Earthen Endeavors Natural Building, has been building and teaching for several years. She has worked with all kinds of materials and techniques and is currently collaborating with Kleiwerks International and WASI teaching a 4 month women's natural building apprenticeship. She also co-leads timber framing workshops with Sarah Highland of Highland Artisans and enjoys all things mud, particularly all types of plasters. Check out her website for more of her vision and her work. www.earthenendeavors.com.


Arrival

Students should plan on arriving to Rancho Mastatal the evening before the start of the class.  The night before the start of the class (Saturday, April 5) is included in the cost of the course.

Cost
Central Americans, US$500; residents and ex-pats, US$650; foreigners, US$800. Cost includes seven nights lodging starting on the night before the start of the class, all meals (except on Sunday night when we support the local restaurant), course instruction and full access to Rancho Mastatal and its private wildlife refuge.  A $250 deposit will secure your space in the course.  Students taking both the Earthen Plasters and Tadelakt Workshop and the Earth Building Workshop get a $200 discount. 


 
Accommodations
For more information about food and lodging please see our website at accommodationsLodging for the course is included in the of tuition. 

Course Payment

Please follow the link for payment options.

Enrollment

To enroll in the class, please go to our Online Registration Form.  For more information please contact Tim O’Hara at info@ranchomastatal.com 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.

 

 


Earthen Plasters and Tadelakt - RM and Liz Johndrow

Event Dates: April 13-April 17, 2014 Register Here

Natural plasters are key in protecting and beautifying your earthen structures.  In this 5-day workshop with well-known natural plasterer Ryan Chivers of Artesano Traditional Plaster and natural builder Liz Johndrow of Earthen Endeavors, we will explore all things clay and lime from basecoats and leveling coats to fine finishes, washes and paints. There will be a focus on discovering what is available to you in your region and how to test and adapt your recipes, to artistic expression with lime and clay. Techniques include hand, trowel, sponge application techniques, sculpting, tadelakt, and more. Come join us in this exciting opportunity!


Tadelakt is an ancient lime plaster technique that originated in Moroccan royal palaces and steam baths. The allure of a tadelakt finish is its high degree of polish, silky-soft feel and subtle microcracking that gives the appearance of ancient porcelain.  Tadelakt is a completely waterproof and fluid medium that can conform to most any shape. Contemporary tadelakt is an excellent choice for showers , sinks, bathtubs and functional art like fountains and sculpture.   

Workshop projects will take place on site at Rancho Mastatal.  Students will stay at the Ranch’s amazing facilities and in addition to learning about earth building they 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 week for everyone involved.       

About the Instructor
:

Ryan Chivers
Ryan founded Artesano LLC in 1999 in order to move beyond conventional construction towards a more natural and inspiring way to build. Ryan soon discovered strawbale constuction and the art of plastering.  Fascinated with traditional techniques and materials, Ryan spends time researching, formulating, testing, and re-learning the old ways using materials that are abundant almost everywhere on earth. He has travelled to Morocco to expand his knowledge of tadelakt, and is well connected and respected in the natural building and traditional plastering fields.

Liz
Johndrow
Liz is founder of Earthen Endeavors Natural Building and has been building and teaching for several years. She has worked with all kinds of materials and techniques and has collaborated int the past with Kleiwerks International teaching a 4- month women's natural building apprenticeship. She also co-leads timber framing workshops with Sarah Highland of Highland Artisans and also enjoys all things mud, particularly all types of plasters. She is presently collaborating with women's organizations in Nicaragua to help increase quality of life through natural building opportunities for locals. Check out her website for more of her vision and her work. www.earthenendeavors.com.



Arrival

Students should plan on arriving to Rancho Mastatal the evening before the start of the class.  This night is included in the cost of the course.

Cost
Central Americans, US$400; residents and ex-pats, US$550; foreigners, $700. Cost includes six nights lodging starting on the night before the start of the class, all meals, course instruction and full access to Rancho Mastatal and its private wildlife refuge.  A $250 deposit will secure your space in the course.  Students taking both the Earth Building Workshop and the Earthen Plasters and Tadelakt Workshop get a $200 discount.     

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

Course Payment

Please follow the link for payment options.

Enrollment

To enroll in the class, please go to our Online Registration Form.  For more information please contact Tim O’Hara at info@ranchomastatal.com 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.

 

 


Timber Frame Construction Workshop - Rancho Mastatal

Event Dates: April 20-April 26, 2014 Register Here

Learn the art of timber framing with Ranch instructor Nic Donati during this week-long course when students will participate in the construction of an addition to 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.  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 12 years.  Students will stay at the Ranch’s amazing facilities and in addition to learning about timberframing 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 and costs an incredibly affordable $500 for non-Ranch interns. For more information about this workshop please call us at 2200-0920, email us at info@ranchomastatal.com or register here


Permaculture Design Course - Rancho Mastatal

Event Dates: June 1-June 15, 2014 Register Here

Join renowned permaculture instructor Chris Shanks for this annual life-changing 2-week experience. The course covers the core Permaculture Design curriculum and emphasizes creating diverse multi-functional human landscapes based on ecological patterns. Utilizing Rancho Mastatal as a living classroom, the class will mix lectures and hands-on work, exploring design solutions for both North America and the tropics, and concluding with students working in teams to create their own permaculture site design. This course is applicable to anyone with an interest in designing sustainable futures as well as professionals in the fields of architecture, planning, ecology, education and community development. The whole-systems design thinking outlined in the course will give participants the tools to re-design and improve their surroundings, from gardens, farms and homes, to livelihoods, relationships and communities.

Topics covered include:

  • Principles and ethics of Permaculture Design
  • Site analysis and design, from the tropics to temperate regions
  • Landscape master planning and microclimate design
  • Reading the landscape and pattern recognition
  • Design for climate change
  • Regenerative land management and stewardship
  • Water catchment, storage, filtration, and distribution
  • Biologically based treatment of greywater and blackwater
  • Natural building techniques including timber framing, bamboo and cob
  • Integrated animal husbandry, including goats, chickens, fish and bees
  • Aquaponics
  • Nursery techniques, plant propagation and grafting
  • Agro-forestry and organic horticulture
  • Cultivation and use of medicinal plants
  • Soil rehabilitation and fertility strategies
  • Orchard design and maintenance
  • Alternative cooking technologies including methane bio-digesters, rocket and bio-char stoves, cob and solar ovens
  • Renewable energies and biofuels
  • Local and regenerative economics
  • Urban and suburban permaculture strategies
  • Village design and community building strategies

 
Instructor: Chirstopher Shanks
A multi-talented teacher, organizer, permaculture enthusiast, and design visionary, Chris has worked with some of the finest Permaculture and ecological designers in the Western hemisphere. Fascinated with living systems, Chris has invested himself heavily into the study of whole systems design, ethno-botany, horticulture, mycology, and ecology. His interests have led him to study agro-ecosystems and cultural anthropology in Spain, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, the USVI, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Hawai’i, as well as the temperate and sub-tropical regions of both coasts of the United States. Chris combines leading the ground team at Project Bona Fide, a non-profit research and demonstration farm in Nicaragua, with his own work in the professional design world. He works in master planning and site design with Whole Systems Design LLC and serves as their chief horticulturalist and Project Manager. Chris also founded and runs his own company, Living Systems Solutions, based in Nicaragua. When not working in the non-profit or design world he can be found masquerading as a builder, a mason, a decent plumber, a poor electrician, a sailor, a fanatic for bamboo, a lover of palms, a permaculturalist with a rock/tree climbing habit, and as an avid motorcyclist.

Other Information:
Arrival

Students should plan on arriving to the Ranch no later than 8 a.m. on the morning of June 1 and are encouraged to arrive on the evening of May 31 (the night of May 31 is included in the cost of the course). We will hit the ground running on the morning of June 1 with an orientation and tour. The course will wrap up on the evening of June 15. 



Cost
Central Americans, US$800; residents and ex-pats, US$950; foreigners (non-Central American) US$1,250. These prices include 16 nights lodging (starting on May 31), all meals (except on Sunday nights when we support a local restaurant), course instruction and full access to Rancho Mastatal and its private wildlife refuge.



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

Course Payment

Please follow the link for payment options.

Enrollment

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


Lakeside School Global Service Learning Program - Rancho Mastatal

Event Dates: June 18-July 1, 2014 Register Here

Lakeside's GSL program combines on-site service learning with cultural immersion in mostly rural areas in the developing and near-developing world. A global pre-trip curriculum, in addition to service learning projects at home and abroad, enable students to better understand other cultures by experiencing them firsthand and appreciating them on their own terms.

GOALS

        To foster global awareness and citizenship through values of mutual respect, cross-cultural understanding, equity, and justice;
        To connect with people through collaborative projects that test the knowledge and ability students already possess but may not yet have used;
        To inspire and empower students to be agents of change both in their local communities and in the international arena.


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.