This medium-length experiential opportunity is for individuals interested in a hands-on introduction to sustainability practices but unable to dedicate an entire year to our apprenticeship.  These 1-4 month informal "permaculture exploration" experiences are taught, organized and managed by our year-long apprentices and offer participants the chance to learn, contribute and get their hands dirty on a variety of sustainability-focused projects at the Ranch.  

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 work half days (mornings) and are encouraged to use afternoons 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 (except Sunday dinners), instruction, lodging and full access to our facilities and private wildlife refuge.  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. 


Participants can apply for 1, 2, 3 or 4-month positions.  There is a minimum 1-month commitment.    

time of year

This opportunity is currently offered for the months of August, September, October and November of 2017.  Participants are expected to arrive on the 1st day of the month that they start.  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 $750 per month with all meals (except Sunday dinners), lodging, and full Ranch access included .  

Number of positions

We have 4-6 openings for each month of August, September, October and November.  


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.