Houses and buildings are the "nuclei" of any site, through which the majority of energy and resources flow to be either wasted or maximized for best use. And yet, most permaculture courses barely touch on physical structures! We here at Atitlan Organics think that your house and other structures deserve a LOT more attention as integral and essential parts of your overall permaculture design. That's why we've teamed up with Abundant Edge to offer the Natural Building Course, a one-week course founded in the permaculture principles and covering all things natural building. From stone to cob to natural plasters, you'll learn a wide range of natural building styles and technique which can be put to use in any climate or region of the world. Learn how to reduce your footprint and maximize your efficiency all while creating beautiful, durable structures! We like to think of it as "Permaculture for Zone 0."

Each day is split into two parts: a hands-on practical in which you get the chance try out different techniques in natural building, and a classroom session which delves deep into topics such as stone foundations, building with cob, and troubleshooting design flaws.

A dynamic adventure awaits. We can't wait to meet you!

Check out a past Natural Building Course!


Course Format

 introductions natural building

Day 1

  • Orientation
  • Introductions
  • Getting Settled
 cob natural building

Day 2

  • Explanation of Rocket Stoves & Lorena Ovens
  • Intro to stone foundations, cob, and cob mixing
  • Presentation: Site design and proper foundation
 rocket oven natural building

Day 3

  • Stove construction, firing, and check ratios
  • Intro to adobe systems
  • Presentation: Intro to wall systems
 plasters natural building

Day 4

  • Intro to plasters
  • Plastering the stove
  • Presentation: Plaster lab, natural paints, and finishes
 roofing natural building

Day 5

  • Finish plastering stove
  • Intro to earthen floors
  • Presentation: Roofs & Flooring
 project design natural building


  • Cook on stove with family
  • Roof & floor demo
  • Field trip with Charlie Rendall
  • Designing your own natural building project
 last day natural building


  • Recap
  • Project Presentations
  • Course Conclusion

Daily Schedule

 Natural Building Schedule



THIS COURSE includes

6 nights stay 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. 

 excursions Natural Building

COST: $575 USD

We really don't think you can find another deal out there this good! There are several partial scholarships available. Please request more info through the contact form.


Pictures from Past Courses

Can't Make the Upcoming Course?

Don't worry, we run them every month! No matter when you'll be in Guatemala, we're sure that you can find a date that works for you. 



oliver M. 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.


Travel and Logistics

The workshop always starts on Sunday afternoon. 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!

The intensive course ends Saturday at noon, following a big brunch, student presentations, and goodbyes. 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.