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Building Skills & Creating Employment

The pessimist complains about the wind;
the optimist hopes it will change;
the realist adjusts the sails.
Designers sail & build ships!

& for this project we need (and train) highly skilled Integral Permaculture Designers, both because:

1) Integral Permaculture is the most advanced design science we currently have to guide us, for this kind of project, &

2) so that we can continuously test & perfect the Integral Permaculture Designers Manual with our continuous learning & lived experience, as an ongoing scientific experiment - testing what works & what doesn't, which models we use for what, which alternatives we tried or ignored, etc. - SO THAT others can replicate our successes and avoid our mistakes!

Integral Permaculture

This is an Integral Permaculture project
so we need well-trained
Integral Permaculture Designers
in our core team,
which is what we are currently forming.  

So for people who are seriously interested in joining us as pioneering EcoCommunigy builders the first step after reading this site and contacting us in Panama is to enroll in the PDC+ Action Learning Program (option C) as soon as you can, where we will get to know each other as you become intimately acquainted with the existing members & with the designs we're working on at the same time as you deepen you knowledge in the science of designing for sustainability, (a basic requirement for all members of this EcoVillage).  

You can take this step here in Antón since, as part of the Eco-Escuelas Network, we offer the course on-site with lodging at Astoria Guest House.  That way, while you're studying you have the opportunity to design and implement projects at the Guest House and for the EcoVillage.

Note that if you have already taken a PDC (or several), we still require you to do this course as it develops the People-Care & EcoEconomics modules to a level no other PDCs do (yet) & we consider these especially basic & critical in making a project like this work in practice.     

Because it is an Action-Learning course (design-portfolio based, & you start sharing your designs from day 1) we have also found this to be the best mini-max & multi-functional way to get to know each other & the project in detail.   

We also enjoy interacting positively with people who are giving something to the project (all income from the courses goes toward this initiative and other transition projects of our collaborators and mentors).

Your enrollment in the PDC+ is a first sign of commitment on your part which motivates us to take you seriously as a prospective member & also make some good use of answering all your questions & supporting your transition - wherever it might lead.    

It shows you have some basic understanding of symmetry as a basic requirement of sustainability, & also that you're interested (& possibly as excited as we are) about the Integral approach we're taking.

It is essential all core group members 'get on the same page' with the basic models & for this we have the Integral Permaculture Designers Manual & Course: this eco-village project is effectively an action-research project of that manual.

EcoBusiness / Employment

Everyone in the Community needs to make some income, as there are always external costs to pay, no matter how self-sufficient we become with food.

What we have prepared on the site is a base where some synergetic eco-businesses can get going & we are very keen to find the right people to make more productive all the various opportunities we have here
Here you will see some initial ideas: EcoBusiness Opportunities

We start designing this together during your online course: while people get very familiar with integral permaculture principles, they also design, with our help, whatever is important for them to organize in their lives here.

So during the online PDC+ course you will develop your own designs which would include the eco-business you might develop, or how any existing business you run now can combine with others here, and your ideal path into the Community, as everyone is quite different so this ideally should be carefully designed.   

As we go along, we will share our internal design portfolio for the project where we co-design all aspects of the Eco Community.   This is only open to people who have taken at least Module1 of the PDC+ & who we see as realistic prospects to join us in the core team of the eco-village.
The action-learning course is basically a long & thorough conversation between designers & you will also gain an international support group of other activists whom you'll get to know during the course, if you wish.


We have decided on this entry procedure because we are looking for responsible 'designer' people (as opposed to those who prefer to float & leave things to chance) who are prepared to make a serious effort & resonate strongly with the wonderful opportunity this project presents.  

This training will be useful whatever you end up doing, if you are seriously interested in living a more sustainable life, anywhere, whatever you end up doing.  But it also will be useful for us- which is important to us as we are setting up a very ambitious project & can't really afford to scatter our time & energies in many directions

With our Guest House Astoria, introductory visits will be planned for guests who demonstrate interest, which will provide an opportunity for members who are working on their PDC to demonstrate their skills, explain the project, and possibly open some eyes to the realities and possibilities of the world. We also love receiving visits from people we have gotten to know quite well online, (through the course & many skype or phone conversations) as when they arrive they already feel like part of the family.

The course might also involve discovering that there are better options for you elsewhere: it is designed to accelerate processes toward sustainability, both internally & externally, and this often involve some uncomfortable facing up to who you really are or want to be. 

In any event, if you are serious about sustainability, the PDC+ Action Learning Program is full of very basic essentials to orient you on your path & is highly recommended for all people who are aiming to create a more sustainable life for themselves, their families & their communities, wherever and however that might be: it's about learning profound design principles, & for most of us, the biggest & most important design we do is that of our own lives.

Know What We Need

We do all of the above because we take very seriously what experienced & successful EcoVillage builders say:

Point 3 on the list of essential requirements for successful communities is:

3. Know What You Need to Know 

"Forming a new community, like simultaneously starting up a new business and beginning a marriage, can be a complex, time-consuming process requiring both business skills and interpersonal communication skills. 

Founders of successful new communities seem to know this. And those that get mired in severe problems have usually leapt in without a clue. These well-meaning folks didn't know what they didn't know.

This seems particularly true of spiritual communities. I've often seen founders with spiritual ideals and compelling visions flounder and sink because they had no idea how to conduct a land search or negotiate a bank loan. 

I've also seen people with plenty of technical or business savvy—folks able to build a nifty composting toilet or craft a solid strategic plan—who didn't know the first thing about how to communicate with people. 

And I've seen sensitive spiritual folks as well as get-the- job-done types crash and burn the first time they encountered any real conflict.


Gathering this range of skills and information in order to reduce future conflict is complex, time-consuming, and often overwhelming.

Can your forming community afford to do without it?  I don't think so."

See more in Basic Criteria

A primitive pottery workshop

A seed collection workshop

Children are welcome

There are an infinite amount of small  building projects on site

A mosaic workshop 
- making beauty
out of waste

We use story-telling & drama
in some of our workshops

A richly planted, diverse & fertile 
water-retention landscape 
is the most basic design aim
on all permaculture sites