About.

This medium-length full-immersion experiential opportunity is for individuals interested in a hands-on introduction to sustainability practices but unable to dedicate an entire year to our apprenticeship. This 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.  

Bookings.

$2250/person

Deposit

Food included
Payment after application accepted.

Apply here: http://ranchomastatal.com/sustainability-primer-application

Register or log in to book

Program.

This is a 3-month commitment starting on August 1 and ending on October 31, 2017. 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.    
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.

EXPECTATIONS

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 (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.

DURATION AND TIME OF YEAR

This is a 3-month commitment starting on August 1 and ending on October 31, 2017. 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.

COST

The cost for this program is $750 per month ($2,250) with all meals (except Sunday dinners), lodging, and full Ranch access included .

NUMBER OF POSITIONS

We have 4-6 openings for this opportunity.

LODGING

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.

FOOD

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.

APPLY

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

Highlights.

  • 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

Living Conditions.

Sleeping

  • shared rooms

Omnivore Food

  • communal kitchen access
  • over 80% locally sourced
  • communally cooked meals

Internet

  • slow: emails only

Ongoing classes

  • permaculture
    3-5 times per week
  • nutrition/cooking
    3-5 times per week

Getting here.

Rancho Mastatal (not Villas Mastatal!) is about 2 ½ hours by car from Costa Rica's capital, San José, and approximately 1 hour by car from the Central Pacific Coast. You can easily come from or continue on to San José, Jacó, Quepos, Dominical or other destinations along the Pacific Coast. Please confirm your arrival with us before heading out to the Ranch.

The approximate GPS coordinates of Rancho Mastatal are latitude +9.67331, longitude -84.37373. If you decide to use a GPS, Waze or Google Maps to assist with your arrival, please be aware that it's possible that you may be directed by your device to use some extremely rough roads that we would not recommend driving on. Only use your GPS, Waze or Google Maps in conjunction with the below directions.

With enough advance notice, you can arrange a private shuttle to the Ranch from the airport, San José, or just about anywhere else in and around the Central Valley of Costa Rica with our friend Fernando Arias. The cost for a private shuttle from the Juan Santamaría International Airport is approximately $150, though prices can and do change. Night trips are $5 more expensive. If your flight arrives at night or late, Fernando and his wonderful family will put you up in their house in Puriscal for the night and feed you breakfast before bringing you out to the Ranch the following day. If you exercise this option, we suggest leaving them a little tip for their generosity. Fernando and his family are some of the kindest people we have ever met in Costa Rica. Please contact Fernando directly to confirm current shuttle prices and other details.

011 (506) 2416-7961
011 (506) 8633-2967
Email: gomastatal@gmail.com

If you decide to arrange a shuttle, contact Fernando with as much advance notice as possible and if coming to Mastatal directly from the airport please provide him with your name and flight information. Upon your arrival Fernando will be waiting for you, sign in hand, as you exit the airport. Once he has confirmed your shuttle, you are responsible for the cost even if you experience a change in your arrival time/date unless of course you/we are able to notify him in time. In the case of changes or problems call Fernando immediately. You can also try reaching us at the Ranch at 2200-0920. If calling from the States, dial 011 (506) before the listed phone number.

Fernando can also shuttle you from the Central Pacific Coast to the Ranch

Take the highway out of the capital going towards Ciudad Colón and Puriscal (sometimes referred to as Santiago). We recommend you drive during the day. To get to the highway from downtown San José, take Paseo Colón west, until you hit Sabana Park, then take a left, and follow the signs to Escazú/Ciudad Colón. If you are coming from Alajuela or the airport, you will have to head towards San José before picking up the highway to Ciudad Colón. A local map will be very helpful. On the way to Ciudad Colón, you will pass the town of Santa Ana. The highway can get a little confusing just before getting to Ciudad Colón. Make sure that you follow the correct signs. DO NOT HEAD TOWARDS CALDERA. In Ciudad Colón follow the one-way streets and signs towards Puriscal. You will then climb up and out of the Central Valley, and pass through the Quítirrisi Indian Reserve. From Ciudad Colón, it's about 40 minutes to Puriscal. Once in Puriscal, follow signs to Parrita/Quepos. Once outside of Puriscal, continue on the main road through the towns of Santa Marta, La Palma, Salitrales, and other small communities. The paved road ends about 15 kilometers outside of Puriscal. About 1 hour and 15 minutes after leaving Puriscal and soon after passing by the entrance to the administrative offices of La Cangreja National Park, you will arrive to an intersection. A small run-down bus stop and a few signs, one announcing "Mastatal", mark the junction. Make this left hand turn, and continue for 6 kilometers until you arrive to the town of Mastatal. There is one intersection along this road. Stay left and continue down the road. As you enter Mastatal, we are the house on the left of the main intersection with the red roof. There is a black gate that marks the entrance to the Ranch. We do not have a sign. Make sure not to confuse us with Villas Mastatal, another project in our community with a similar name.

You will take two buses — one from San José to Puriscal and the other from Puriscal to Mastatal. If you are coming direct from the airport, you will have to take either a bus or cab to get to San José before continuing on to Puriscal. Once in San José, take one of the frequent buses (every 30-60 minutes) from the Comtrasuli (phones in San José, 2258-3873 or 2256-0105, phone in Puriscal 2416-8036) bus terminal located on Avenida 1 between Calle 16 and Calle 18 in downtown San José. The buses are mostly modern. Take an express bus if possible. The trip from San José to Puriscal takes about 1 hour. Get off at the last stop in Puriscal, the Comtrasuli bus terminal. The bus to Mastatal leaves from in front of a "carnicería" and near the Doña Toña restaurant across from the Super Mora supermarket parking lot, one and a half blocks from the Comtrasuli bus terminal towards the center of town, at 3 p.m. except on Sundays when the bus does not run (either to or from Mastatal). There are 2 Super Mora grocery stores in town. Please make sure that you are near the larger one. You will want to arrive at least 20 minutes before the bus departs to assure a seat. There is sometimes a sign on the bus that reads "Zapatón" though you should ask the driver where he is going to be sure. The trip to Mastatal takes about 2 hours. Make sure that the driver knows that you are going to Mastatal, or he might charge you the maximum price, as the bus continues on to other stops after passing through Mastatal. The bus will drop you off almost directly in front of our house (red roof and black gate). Make sure not to confuse us with Villas Mastatal, another project in our community with a similar name.

There are two possible routes from Parrita (located ~30 kms west of Quepos, and 40 kms east of Jacó along the Central Pacific Coast) to Mastatal. The first route, shorter but rougher, takes you through the towns of La Vasconia, La Fila de Aguacate and San Miguel. During the rainy season a 4x4 vehicle is recommended and even in the dry season a high clearance vehicle can be helpful. About 2 kms west of Parrita, turn north on a road that starts in the midst of the African Oil Palms near where the palm transport trucks congregate. Look for a green sign that points towards "Playon".This road comes up quickly, so keep a close eye for it. Follow the road, through the palms, and then through the towns of Playón Sur, Playón San Isidro and La Vasconia. After passing through La Vasconia, you will come to a 'fork' in the road in front of the La Vasconia church (you have to look closely to recognize that it's a church). Stay left at the fork (there may be a small sign pointing towards San Miguel), and continue up the hill, sometimes steeply. You will pass through some very small villages and will come to the town of San Miguel 35 minutes after leaving La Vasconia. Mastatal is about 4 kms past San Miguel. Our house has a red roof and black gate, and is at the only intersection in Mastatal, the road to the right taking you to the Zapatón Indian Reserve, and the road going straight to Puriscal.

The other route from the Central Pacific Coast is longer but less demanding on your vehicle and can be traveled year-round in a two-wheel drive car. This road takes you through the towns of Vista del Mar, La Gloria and Guarumal. The road begins about 5 kms west of Parrita, and is marked by a sign pointing to Puriscal. After a few kilometers on this road, you will come to a 'fork'. Stay straight (do not go left). If you are not sure, stop and ask somebody. Continue straight passing through small villages. If you need to do any shopping, La Gloria is the last town of any significant size. After passing through La Gloria, continue straight for about 30 minutes until you come to an intersection. There are a number of signs here, which you will see the back of, and a small bus stop. One of the signs announces Mastatal. Take this right hand turn, and continue for 6 km to the town of Mastatal. There is one intersection along this road. Stay left and continue down the road. We are on your left as you enter town. The house has a red roof and the gate is black We do not have a sign. Make sure not to confuse us with Villas Mastatal, another project in our community with a similar name. .

First you must get to Quepos or Parrita. From Quepos, take one of two buses each day that go to San José via Puriscal. These buses leave from the Quepos bus station at 4:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. (check with the bus station for possible changes in times) and pass through Parrita at approximately 5:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. There are other buses that go from Quepos to San José, but not via Puriscal, so you will have to be sure that you are on a bus that goes via Puriscal. Once you are sure that you are on the right bus, tell the bus driver that you are going to El Cruce de Santa Rosa. From Quepos, the bus heads northwest and passes through the town of Parrita, and then turns north headed for Puriscal. After about 1 hour and 15 minutes from this turnoff, you will come to the small town of Guarumal. There is a restaurant there named La Union. The morning bus out of Quepos arrives to La Union around 6:30 a.m. and the afternoon bus around 3:15 p.m. After leaving/passing through Guarumal, get ready to disembark from the bus. You want to get off at El Cruce de Santa Rosa, about 1.5 km after Guarumal. There is a simple bus stop and a number of signs that mark the intersection. From here, you will either have to walk the 6 km to Mastatal, hitchhike, or wait for the bus to Mastatal that passes by at approximately 4:35 p.m. (expect on Sundays when there is no bus to Mastatal) The latter is not a good option for travelers taking the early bus out of Quepos. Traffic on the road from El Cruce to Mastatal can be sparse. Our house is on the left as you enter into the town of Mastatal. Make sure not to confuse us with Villas Mastatal, another project in our community with a similar name.  

Contact.

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