These 90+ hour certification courses are internationally recognized courses with the full curriculum as laid out by Bill Mollison and Dave Holmgren, the founders of Permaculture, and are filled with a mix of theoretical design methodologies and hands-on practical experience. Additional focus is also applied on permaculture-inspired, land-based, sustainable business development. Course content and training is applicable to all climate types and regions. Designed for aspiring design professionals, permaculturalists, farmers and gardeners, architects, engineers, scientists, and all other professionals who are interested in learning and promoting a more sustainable, nature-based approach to their work.
Learn Permaculture and Make a Lasting Difference
Learn hands-on, practical Permaculture skills while leaving a positive impact in the community and environment. Participants will work alongside local farmers and landholders on projects such as establishing Permaculture kitchen gardens in local households (during the dry season) or planting rare, heirloom avocado varieties and other edible and medicinal crops in family-owned coffee plots (during the rainy season). These projects are the perfect way to learn how to: establish and maintain a Permaculture garden; work with contours and swales; create efficient and sustainable systems of water management; establish a food forest; promote biodiversity and ecosystem restoration; practice social Permaculture; participate in meaningful cross-cultural exchange; and design for climate change and natural disasters. Your work will have a direct impact on the well-being of the local community and environment, leaving lasting benefits such as: increased long-term food security; improved soil and water conservation; the preservation of rare, heirloom avocado varieties; ecosystem restoration; and local economic development.
Permaculture Design Course Curriculum
Over the years we have crafted an in-depth, dynamic curriculum that we are very proud of. We cover all elements of permaculture, from its guiding ethics and principles to hands-on strategies of garden bed creation and soil loss prevention; from water management and use to food forests; from invisible structures and fair share to the implementation of successful permaculture-based enterprises; from integrated animal husbandry to natural building and so much more.
The curriculum is divided into three areas: presentations, discussions, and class activities; hands-on practical site work and design; and field trips and excursions to regional Permaculture sites. Topics are covered in a variety of ways to support all learning styles.
Permaculture Ethics and Principles of Natural Systems Design
Understanding Natural Systems and the Establishment of 3 Major Land Types within a Site
Earthworks, Swales, Contours, and Deep Site Modification
Water Management, Capture, and Efficient Use
Permaculture Gardening Techniques, Fundamentals of Soil, and Fertility Management
Sustainable Animal Systems, Wetlands Integration, and other Innovative Land-Use Strategies
Food Forest Establishment
Seed Banks and Plant Propagation
Value Adding, Fermentation, and Handling Abundance
Small-Scale, Sustainable, Land-Based Business Opportunities
Community-Based Alternatives and Invisible Structures
Design for Climate Change and Resilience to Natural Disasters
Yoga and Meditation (course with the Yoga Forest) / Mayan Cosmology and Ancestral Indigenous Agriculture (course with IMAP)
“I had the most amazing experience doing the 2 week PDC at Atitlan Organics. The lectures, experiential learning activities, accommodations, and food were all fantastic. The community was so diverse and welcoming and fosters an environment in which everyone truly wants to learn, share, grow, and make the earth a better place. I left feeling so inspired and empowered. I highly recommend Atitlan Organics and their PDC course to anyone who wants to learn amazing skills, gain a new perspective on our interactions with the land, and who wants to experience Guatemala in a completely unique and authentic way.”
-Caroline, December 2018
All Courses Include:
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.
In collaboration with our partners, we offer Permaculture Design Certificate courses throughout the year. Check out our upcoming schedule of courses for 2019 and 2020:
“I just completed a Permaculture Design Certification course at Atitlan Organics and it was an incredible experience! Shad is an amazing guy and teacher. The farm is beautiful and you learn a lot just by going on a tour of it. They are living and representing permaculture and sustainable living in a fun, educational, and downright inspiring way! I am deeply grateful for my time there and all I got to learn.”
-Nicola, August 2017
Travel and Logistics
Participants are expected to arrive by 4pm, but are welcome to come and check in at the Bambu Guest House/IMAP/The Yoga Forest any time throughout the day (see your Welcome Email upon registration for course-specific arrival locations).
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.