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Permaculture Design Course

Intro to Permaculture Design!

Immerse yourself in the permaculture lifestyle, living off-the-grid with us in the jungle of Costa Rica! During this 2-week course you will learn the fundamentals of ecological design, climates, soil science, earthworks, water management, food forests, annual food production & edible landscaping, closed-loop waste systems and much more. The Punta Mona PDC goes beyond our outdoor classroom and into our diverse, holistic farm, where you’ll experience permaculture in practice: plant propagation, humanure composting, water catchment, solar-powered natural structures, farm-to-table gourmet cooking, and living in a balanced, thriving community. Upon completion, you will receive your international 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate…and be part of our global Punta Mona family forever. 


Permaculture is a philosophy and practice of ecological design that doesn’t tell you what to do – it teaches you how to think. Permaculture equips you with the toolkit to create the world you dream of living in. This course is perfect if you are looking to challenge the current paradigm of where our food and water come from, the way we are constructing our villages and towns, and how we live our day-to-day. Our PDC grads have gone on to become changemakers all over the world, designing their own land projects, founding eco-communities, redesigning their businesses, spearheading policy change, and continuing to teach the permaculture principles and ethics.



72+ hour Permaculture Design Course & Certificate upon completion

  • Discussions in: Triple Bottom Line Business, Education Alternatives, Plant Propagation, Slow Food, Economics in Agriculture, Green Building, Alternative Energies, Community Development and more…

  • Hands-on Projects

  • Morning Yoga

  • Fire Circles, Cacao Party, Mud Bathing & Snorkeling


Topics Covered: what to expect…

  • The World Situation

  • What is Permaculture?: Ethics, Principles & Characteristics

  • Ecological System Basics & Bioregions

  • Design Methods & Map Reading

  • Climates, Elements & Microclimates

  • Soil Science

  • Earthworks

  • Water Management

  • Plants to Trees & Trees to Forests

  • Windbreaks and Wind Corridors

  • Patterns in Nature; Context (culture, climate, etc.)

  • Zone 0: Bio-Architecture

  • Zone 1: Home Garden

  • Zone 2: Fruit Tree Forest; Animals & Orchards

  • Zone 3: Field Crops & Large Animals

  • Zone 4: Harvest Forests

  • Zone 5: Forests

  • Wildlife Management & Integrated Pest Management

  • Ethical Investment, Land Ethics and Access, Incomes from Acres

  • Suburban & Urban Permaculture

  • Ecovillages

  • Invisible Structure Models

  • Design for Disaster

Workshops & Field Activities:

  • Orientation to Punta Mona and Tropical Ecosystems

  • Weekly Sharing Circles

  • Compost Making, Biofermentation & Micro Organisms

  • Permaculture Design group project

  • Water Management Exercise

  • Soil Exercise

  • Bio-Char

  • Chinampas

  • Onsite Analysis


  • Value Added Products, Triple Bottom Line Business Models and Fair Trade Practices

  • Creation of an Ecovillage: Tacutal, La Ecovilla & Alegría Village

  • Integrating a sustainable lifestyle in the modern world

  • GMO crops, CSAs, Economics in Agriculture and the Slow Food Movement


Stephen Brooks

The founder and primary Director, Stephen has been living in Costa Rica since 1995. Stephen observed the problems facing small farmers and communities in Central America and Costa Rica due to mega-monoculture agricultural practices and loss of dynamic community.

He strives to provide students, landowners, businesses and neighbors regenerative solutions and strategies to  increase quality of life.

Stephen is an avid and passionate ethnobotanist, plant collector, permaculture designer and educator, operator of education environmental and botanical tours, implements permaculture gardens and food forests on home and many hundred acre scales, and community developer.

He is the co-founder of both Medicines from the Edge: a Tropical Herbal Convergence and Envision Festival. He is a fruit fanatic and a Dead Head.

Itai Hauben Dolev

Itai has been working with Permaculture design since 2001, certified as a permaculture diplomat by 2011 and has a M.Sc. in Regenerative Ecosocial Design from Gaia University. He has been teaching Permaculture worldwide since 2006.

He has worked on a huge diversity of projects over the years, ranging from back yard urban projects all the way to full-scale ecovillages, resorts and ashrams, where most of his work has been focused in the latest years.

He is known for his both creative, unique and yet very functional designs .

In his free time he likes gardening, harvesting from his farm, planting trees, and spending time with his family.


  • Tuition for the 2 week PDC: $1700

  • Tuition includes the course, all meals, lodging, activities and daily yoga.



  • Or inquire with your university/professor about receiving internship or independent study credits!




Permies will be housed in shared double and triple co-ed accommodations for the entire program. We have availability for couples to have a private room – or we also have a few private cabins, which are available for an additional $400. Private cabins can house two people and are good for a couple or a small family.

Lodging is rustic and comfortable with custom-made no-see-um bed nets and screened rooms with locks. Beds are singles and doubles and will be first-come first-serve in regards to who sleeps where.

Facilities are shared by the entire community at Punta Mona. We have 3 showers with solar hot water and dry-composting toilets in four locations.

Most classes are hosted in our outdoor classroom, in the living room of our main lodge or in the Yoga Shala.


Meals are communal and prepared fresh daily from fruits and vegetables grown organically on site or purchased from a local organic farm in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. At Punta Mona we are dedicated to wholesome, organic meals prepared with love. We consider the cuisine to be “jungle gourmet” and have a trained and seasoned staff to make sure all meals are mind-blowing. We serve vegetarian meals and can accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets.

We serve farm fresh eggs daily as well as local cheeses and sometimes we get organic, free-range chicken from a neighbor’s farm. Fresh line-caught fish is also available when we go fishing.


Off-the-grid Community Living

Permies will participate in various daily activities around the farm such as trail maintenance, beach clean-up, housekeeping, composting and helping to clean the kitchen after meals.

We are an off-the-grid farm and all energy usage must be fully respected. Permies try to limit themselves to one shower per day and charge their electronic devices during the day-time only (because we’re solar-powered). We have internet available during specified breaks and encourage you to disconnect to reconnect.

Located in the deep tropics, on the beach, Permies can expect bugs, rain, sunshine and humidity. Please follow the packing list that is sent to you upon registering to ensure comfort and a pleasant living experience. We can’t wait to meet you!


Earlier Event: June 6
Introduction to Herbalism
Later Event: August 1
Introduction to Herbalism