This medium-length full-immersion experiential opportunity is for individuals interested in a hands-on introduction to sustainability practices but whom are unable to dedicate an entire year to our apprenticeship.  The 3-month informal "permaculture exploration" experience is taught, organized and managed by our year-long apprentices and offers participants the chance to learn, contribute and get their hands dirty on a variety of sustainability-focused projects at the Ranch.  The Primer also includes a Wilderness First Responder Certification Course.    

Participants in the Sustainability Primer live and work with amazing people at the Ranch and in Mastatal. They make lifelong friends, participating in a style of living that oftentimes changes them forever. This experience offers the unique opportunity to become a part of the magic and beauty of a remote area of Costa Rica, while simultaneously learning tangible skills to take back home. 

Our goals for this program are to:

• empower individuals who are genuinely interested in creating a more sustainable world.

• be a “living laboratory” for experiential education and the daily practice of skills you can use for the rest of your life.

• inspire and enable individuals to continue to develop creative solutions and generate positive social change and sustainable practices in their own lives and communities after they leave.

To apply, please fill out our Sustainability Primer Application.  

For an overview of the types of projects that participants will be working on, please see our Apprenticeship page.  You may also consider reading through the Apprenticeship in Sustainable Living Document for more general information even though not all of the information there will be pertinent to you.  


Participants in this program are expected to follow a similar schedule to our year-long apprentices.  Typical days will include daily morning and twice a week afternoon "work parties" and thrice a week afternoon "personal practice times" when we encourage Primers to learn new skills, do research in our extensive library, help our apprentice team with projects, and enjoy the many outdoor activities that our region offers.  The cost of the program covers all food, instruction, lodging and full access to our facilities and private wildlife refuge and a 72-hour Wilderness First Responder Certification.  We strongly encourage applicants who are serious about our work and are motivated to be part of our industrious team, working towards solutions for current environmental and social challenges. 

duration and time of year

This is a 3-month commitment starting on August 1 and ending on October 26, 2019.  Participants are expected to arrive on August 1.  During this time of the year, there are no or few Ranch Core Team members on site.  Please keep this in consideration when applying.    


The cost for this program is $900 per month ($2,700 total for the 3-month program)) and includes all meals, lodging, full access to the Ranch and its facilities and a Wilderness First Responder Certification Course.    

Number of positions

We have 6 openings for this opportunity.  


Participants stay in the Ranch's comfortable bunkhouse.  Jeanne's house is an attractive structure set amongst mango, banana, pejibaye, pili nut, breadfruit, salak palm, pulasan, cashew, startfruit, mangosteen and other tropical fruit trees. The house is outfitted with beautiful bamboo bunkbeds, one single bed, a few hammocks, running water, electricity, two nearby composting toilets, two passively solar heated showers and an indoor shower. The house accompanies 65 acres of protected forest, six kilometers of trails, a 60-foot cascade, views to the national park, and beautiful swimming holes. Jeanne’s is also home to our agroforestry nurseries.


Meals at the Ranch are cooked from scratch, delicious, and plentiful with the majority of ingredients coming from the Ranch and a variety of local farms.  Our kitchen is NOT 100% vegetarian.  Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements prior to arriving.  


Please fill out our Sustainability Primer Application if you are interested in this opportunity.  

been accepted?

Please fill out a registration form and pay your deposit here.