Finca Tierra is a 9-acre permaculture site and  an important center for education and community development. Infrastructural systems contain: natural buildings built with local materials ( bamboo, leaf thatch and onsite timber), medicinal plant gardens, a nursery, fruit and nut orchards, food forests, native timber forestry, timber bamboo plantings, water-catchment, renewable energy systems, and biological flush toilets.

Course Dates (2-weeks)

Our course offers the standard 72-hour permaculture curriculum for certification recognized internationally by the permaculture movement with a special emphasis on forest gardening in the tropics. Although we will be in a tropical setting, many of the techniques will transfer directly to any climate.


About Finca Tierra

Finca Tierra is a Permaculture education and demonstration center hosting sustainable living courses and internships throughout the year. During select months of the year the center offers Farm Stays for travelers who are looking for a special place to experience sustainable living, reconnect with nature and eat off the land.

We are located near Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limon, Costa Rica , a lush Caribbean beach-rimmed jungle community, and are close to the fabulous tree-lined sand beaches south of Puerto Viejo.

We are 100% solar powered, and harvest both rainwater and natural spring water. Our organic gardens and food forest supply almost all of the ingredients used in our farm kitchen. The farm kitchen prepares three daily mealswith the freshest ingredients. Our buildings are constructed with natural materials that we harvest and fabricate onsite.

Finca Tierra’s education facility acts as a local research station for strategies, techniques and plants that are cultural acceptable and environmentally suitable as well as appropriate technologies, which are economically viable and require low capital investment. Gastronomically we aim to reintegrate local food reliance by creating nutritionally balanced plates that are grown locally for the least amount of effort and input.

Our Methods

At Finca Tierra, guests and students learn the fundamentals of sustainable agriculture and agroforestry, alternative construction and energy resources, ethno-botanical medicine and wildlife conservation, all through hands-on experience and workshops.

Permaculture Design Certificate Course

Fundamentals of Ecological Design

Course Dates (2-weeks)

Spring A Sunday, January 10, 2016 – Sunday, January 24, 2016 (Full, wait-list only)

Spring B Sunday, April 3, 2016 – Sunday, April 17 2016

Summer A Sunday, May 29, 2016 – Sunday, June 12, 2016

Summer B Sunday, August 7, 2016 – Sunday, August 21, 2016

Fall A Sunday, September 4, 2016 – Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fall B Sunday, November 13, 2016 – Sunday, November 27, 2016

About Us

Meet Ian Macaulay and Ana Gaspar Aguerri, the husband and wife team behind Finca Tierra. Ian and Ana’s shared passion for environmental sustainability, permaculture design and community organizing led to the beautiful and efficient food forest, organic gardens and natural buildings that make up the Finca Tierra farm and eco-lodge.

Ian, an entrepreneur, artist and farmer, is a native of Ohio in the United States. He is the cofounder of Finca Tierra. He has a BFA Magna Cum Laude in Fine Arts and Printmaking from Wright State University. He is experienced in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), urban planning, sustainable community design and natural structures. Growing up Ian spent his summers traveling to American Indian archeological sites in the United States. He has also traveled in Asia, Europe and the Pacific Islands. He is excited to expose students from around the world to permaculture design science, biological systems blended with human structures, and to help support and develop practical and sustainable design solutions for gardens in the local community. Ian is a partner in SEED, a 300 acre eco-village in Cahuita that provides all of it’s own food for residents and guests including produce, fruit, meats and cheeses. Ian also works as a consultant for tropical food, home gardens and organic farms.

Ana is the cofounder of Finca Tierra and a human rights lawyer of Costa Rican and Spanish heritage. She holds a degree in Law from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and a Notary Masters from Universidad Santo Tomas. She has worked with the United Nations, the Costa Rican Congress as the legal advisor to the president of the Human Rights Commission, as a community organizer and activist and as an attorney. Ana has lived and worked in Costa Rica, Spain, China and the United States, and travel around the world. She is passionate about Finca Tierra’s ability to contribute to the local Puerto Viejo community, and the world, support traditional use of plants in the region and promote local autonomous development and social organization.

Key Stats.

Year founded


Size of project site

3.5 hectares

Languages spoken

  • es
  • en

People on site

20 - 25

Dry season

Wet season

Living Conditions.


  • private room
  • shared rooms

Raw Food

  • over 80% locally sourced
  • restaurant on site


  • medium: voice calls (no video)

Ongoing classes

  • permaculture

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