THE PERmaculture BUILDING course

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! That's why we've teamed up with Abundant Edge to offer the Permaculture Building Course, a one-week course founded in the permaculture principles and covering all things natural building. We like to think of it as "Permaculture for Zone 0." Come join us for this fantastic week of fun, inspiration, and action!




Atitlan Organics is proud to offer this course in collaboration with Oliver Goshey, the founder of the natural building and regenerative design company Abundant Edge. Oliver is also the host of the The Abundant Edge podcast! Join us, for an immersive week of hands-on and classroom learning. This course will provide an opportunity to get your hands on an array of tools, practice new techniques with immediate feedback, and exercise your teamwork strengths while creating the beautiful and lasting gift of a low-input, functional cook stove in a local household. 

Each day will bring a new hands-on technique and a class/lecture on topics including stone foundations, building with cob, and troubleshooting design flaws, with a focus on cooperating with your natural surroundings. Each evening there will be a related video to watch if you choose.

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



The cost of the week-long Permaculture Building Course is Q4000 or $575 per person. This includes a 6 night and 7 days stay at the Bambu Guest House, three meals a day, snacks, coffee and tea. It also includes the facilitation, all field trips and travel, plus course material, note packets, and other electronic information.

There are several partial scholarships available. Please request more info through the contact form


 oliver M. goshey    

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 his culmination of years of passionate research, travel, and experimentation with earthen building materials and regenerative design techniques. Oliver hopes to promote healthy lifestyles that repair and advance ecosystems through symbiotic design and compassionate construction.


Thanks, Oliver. We couldn't be more excited to collaborate with you!

Daily Schedule:

7:00 - (1h) Breakfast

8:00 - (15min) Walk to Site

8:15 - (1h 45min) Practical #1

10:00 - (20m) Snack, Breaktime

10:20 - (2.5h) Practical #2

1:00 - (1.5h) Lunch at Bambu Guest House, break

14:30 - (1h) Review/Check-In

15:30 - (1h) Presentation

16:30 - (2h) Free Time

18:30 - (1h) Dinner

19:30 - (1h) Optional Movie/Activity/Rest


***Schedule and rhythm subject to changes***

***All food and lodging is included in the price***









Day 1­: 

Orientation & Group introductions

Day 2:

Explanation of Rocket ovens and lorena stoves, Stone foundations, Intro to cob, Cob mixing, and Wall systems

Presentations: Site design, Intro to foundations

Day 3 : 

Stove construction, fire stove, and check ratios, Intro to adobe

Presentation: Intro to wall systems

Day 4:

Intro to plasters, Plaster stove

Presentation: Plaster lab, Natural paints and finishes

Day 5­:

Finish plastering stove, Earthen floors

Presentations: Intro to roofs, Intro to flooring

Day 6 :

Floor Demos, Roofs, Cook on Stove with Family, Myth busting, Planning and prepping for a natural build project

Field trip with Charlie Rendall

Homework: Design your own natural build project

Day 7:

Recap, Project, Course conclusion



lake good.jpg


The food and The Bambu Guest House spoiled me! Antonio and Juana are angels.” Zsofi, Czech Republic, Class of March 2015

Amazing Farm to Table Meals are served at the Bambu Guest House. The Course price includes all lodging and three meals a day, plus snacks, coffee, tea, and dessert. Its soo nice!!!

Amazing Farm to Table Meals are served at the Bambu Guest House. The Course price includes all lodging and three meals a day, plus snacks, coffee, tea, and dessert. Its soo nice!!!

Permaculture Design Courses have always been known for their excellent, organic, locally grown food and our courses are no exception. Atitlan Organics works closely with the Bambu Guest House, which is a five-minute walk from the farm and where participants stay for the entire course. The Bambu Guest House has a Farm to Table Restaurant that serves up delicious and filling plates mainly composed of Atitlan Organics’ and other local farm products. Currently, Atitlan Organics supplies all of the milk, yogurt, cheese, salads, cooking greens, honey, coffee, chicken, taro root, pigeon peas, and herbs to the Bambu Guest House Restaurant. The restaurant is run by three young, local, aspiring chefs named Antonio, Juana, and Petrona, all only 19 years old. They are amazing!

Beyond the food, the Bambu Guest House is a brand new, natural building boasting bathrooms and balconies in each room, new comfy beds, wifi, super hot water, and amazing views of the lake, mountains, and rivers. The Bambu Guest House is proof that natural building can be clean and luxurious. Lodging is shared, but private rooms are also available for an additional charge.

All food, snacks, coffee, tea, and frescos are included in the week-long permaculture course, as well as lodging for the duration at The Bambu Guest House. Three meals a day are served, buffet style, as well as coffee and tea throughout most of the day and daily snacks as well. Basically, you are well-fed and well-kept. And it feels soo nice! If you are interested in private housing, please mention that to us when you write.

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 for sure!

The intensive ends on a Saturday a noon, following a big brunch, student presentations, and goodbyes. We can help arrange shuttles to/from the airport, Antigua, or anywhere else for that matter. 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, vegetarian, etc.

First spin the hoop with your hands as you let it fall towards your hips. Move hips vigorously...

First spin the hoop with your hands as you let it fall towards your hips. Move hips vigorously...


Coming from Antigua, you would go to Panajachel, which is one of the three big towns on the lake and takes about 3 hours to arrive.

From Panajachel, you take a boat (lancha) at the public dock. Tell the captain that you are going to the town of Tzununa (zoo-new-nah) which is three public stops from Panajachel.

Get off at the Public Dock in Tzununa and take a Tuk Tuk or little three wheeled car and tell them you want to go to El Bambu. It costs q5 per person per tuk tuk and should be around q15 to q20 per person for the Lancha ride.

When you get to El Bambu, go through the gate and up to the main building. Someone will show you your room.

As noted, we are in the little town of Tzununa, quiet and still ‘undiscovered’. From the guest house you are less than 10 minute walk to the lake and less than 20 meters from beautiful rivers. You are a 45 ‘minute walk or a 10 minute tuk tuk ride away from the town of San Marcos la Laguna. This has many places to eat, drink, practice yoga, etc.

Again, we can help you get to the lake from Antigua or the airport, or from anywhere. Just let us know and we can arrange a shuttle for you.