abundant edge, return to the forest, & Atitlan organics

tzununa, guatemala 

january 20 - february 2, 2019

We're taking our Natural Building Courses to the next level with this collaboration between Atitlan Organics, Abundant Edge and Return to the Forest! With a cumulative 19 years in natural building, the founders of Abundant Edge and Return to the Forest are some of the best and most experienced teachers out there. This course goes in depth into the entire process of a build, from site design and planning to natural plasters and finishes. Over two weeks, participants will try their hand at framing, build a full wall integrating features such as doors and windows, connect hybrid wall systems, learn about appropriate technology, build a complete rocket stove, and much more! Perfect for first-time natural builders and those looking to refine and improve their skills.


upcoming course

Natural Building, regenerative design, natural building course, natural building workshop,  permatecture, design, architecture, abundant edge, return to the forest, atitlan organics,natural, adobe, cob, bamboo, natural plaster tzununa, lake atitlan, guatemala, central america, workshop, course

ecological building with abundant edge, return to the forest, & atitlan organics

This two-week course covers the principles of ecological and holistic design, site assessment, scale of permanence, appropriate technology, natural and renewable materials, and much more!




this course includes

Your two weeks with us will be filled with hands-on practical work, dynamic group activities and lectures, and field trips to nearby natural build sites. Each day will introduce a new topic in natural building and give participants the opportunity to review previous themes covered. The curriculum is designed to give a full and in-depth understanding of myriad topics involved in a natural build, from start to finish.  Topics covered include: Design & Siting, Basics of Material Engineering, Framing with Wood & Bamboo, Earthen Walls, Stoves, Ovens, & Heaters, Appropriate Technology, Water Systems & Filtration, Plasters and Finishings, and MORE! Participants will also prepare and present their own final design project, giving them the chance to apply their skills and knowledge to a personal design. 


Lodging at the beautiful Bambu Guest House, a naturally-built hotel on stunning Lake Atitlan.

3 meals a day plus snacks, coffee and tea at the Bambu's amazing farm-to-table restaurant. It's seriously plate-licking good! 

Facilitation, field trip excursions, course material, note packs, and other electronic information.

Natural Building, regenerative design, natural building course, natural building workshop,  permatecture, design, architecture, abundant edge, return to the forest, atitlan organics,natural, adobe, cob, bamboo, natural plaster tzununa, lake atitlan, guatemala, central america, workshop, course


what is natural building?

Natural Building is many things. Broadly speaking, it is use of natural and renewable materials to create shelter for ourselves: something humans have been doing for literally millions of years. Depending on where you live and the resources available to you, natural building can mean creating structures with cob, adobe, straw bale, rammed earth, wattle and daub, wood, bamboo, or stone, among others. But beyond the techniques and materials used, natural building also means connecting deeply with the place you are in; valuing and honoring the ecosystem in which you live; building with consciousness so that your own home does not contribute to the destruction but rather the regeneration of the environment; reduction of waste through the use of recyclable and renewable resources; a  vastly reduced toxic load for your home to carry and for you to live in; reduction of maintenance and upkeep costs when more energy efficient models are incorporated into the design of your home itself; and a beautiful, unique structure. By turning our gaze to the homes and buildings which surround us, we discover huge potential for a more sustainable and regenerative lifestyle!




daily schedule

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pictures from past courses




Oliver Goshey, Abundant Edge, natural building, Atitlan Organics, natural building course, workshop, Lake Atitlan, Atitlan, Guatemala, Tzununa, Central America, regenerative design
Charlie Rendall, Return to the Forest, natural building, natural builder, natural building course, workshop, Atitlan Organics, Tzununa, Lake Atitlan, Atitlan, Guatemala, San Marcos la Laguna, Central America, regenerative design

oliver goshey

Oliver is an accomplished natural builder who has worked in eleven countries on six continents. After six years of working in the industrial building trades and as an maritime engineer he apprenticed with the Cob Cottage Company, specializing in cob and earthen plasters and finishes. Abundant Edge is the culmination of years of passionate research, travel, and experimentation with earthen building materials and regenerative design techniques. Oliver promotes healthy lifestyles that repair and advance ecosystems through symbiotic design and compassionate construction.


charlie rendall 

Charlie has been building houses and landscaping gardens in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala for ten years. He tried just about every natural building method he could before settling on bamboo and mud as his favorites. He taught his first Bamboo Building Course in 2008 and loves helping others learn how build their own houses. Originally from London, England, Charlie holds a Masters Degree in Social Anthropology, and has studied Buddhism, Yoga, business and social development in India. For several years he taught transferable skills development to postgraduates at University College London before meeting his wife and becoming technical director at her arts education project, La Cambalacha.




Participants are expected to arrive by 4pm, but are welcome to come and check in at the Bambu Guest House any time throughout the day.

Once the course starts, all food, lodging, training, and travel is covered and included in the cost of the workshop. We often travel on local pickups, which makes all excursions fun and exciting. Adventure travel!

We can help arrange shuttles to and from the airport, Antigua, or anywhere else. Just let us know if you need this service.

Upon writing us to express interest, we will send an FAQ and a food allergy questionnaire. We can accommodate almost all requests including vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian diets, etc.