Foundations of Regenerative Design

January 11 - 25, 2020 / March 14 - 28, 2020

Explore regenerative design through the lens of Permaculture and Natural Building. Over two weeks, participants will gain a thorough understanding of regenerative design theory and practice through hands on practical work, dynamic classroom presentations and workshops, engaging group discussions and activities, and epic field trips. Week 1 focuses on Permaculture, from the guiding principles and ethics to strategies and techniques for site design, soil building, holistic animal management, integrated water systems, social permaculture, and much more. Week 2 is all about Natural Building and covers design process, site analysis, natural building modalities, a wide variety of materials, appropriate technology, and more.

Already have a background in Permaculture or Natural Building? Join us for just one of the two weeks! See prices and registration below.


Foundations of Regenerative Design is a 2 week course on Permaculture and Natural Building with Atitlan Organics in Tzununa, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala 2020 2021

What is Regenerative Design?

Regenerative Design is a holistic design process which understands that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. By working with the patterns and tendencies of nature, we are able to create integrated, harmonious designs which meet our current needs while providing a sustainable foundation for future generations. This course focuses on the possibilities provided through Permaculture and Natural Building, both of which offer potent strategies and techniques for achieving these ends.


Upcoming Course:



WEek 1: Permaculture

  • Class is 1/3 practical, 1/3 lecture and 1/3 field trips.

  • Begin with the Permaculture ethics and Principles, as well as the design methodologies, which form the foundation of Permaculture education.

  • Move on to earthworks and water, where we learn how to reharmonizes the relationship between land and water.

  • Learn composting, soil building, and other fertility techniques to convert you waste into Black Gold.

  • Plant propagation, cuttings, grafting, vegetable planting will turn you into a true plant ninja.

  • Hands-on practical work in the community. Give back and leave a lasting impact while learning practical skills.

  • Integrated animal systems and holistic care. Chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits, and more!

  • Field trips to Mayan Permaculture sites, including a 1,000-person, 400-acre Mayan Permaculture paradise.

  • Lectures and group activities on social Permaculture, biological businesses, and Permaculture in community.

Week 2: Natural Building

  • Class is a balanced mix classroom activities presentations, hands-on work, and excursions and workshops.

  • Kick off with an introduction to natural building modalities, revisioning of home activity, and working with the elements.

  • Learn how to handle and build with several different traditional natural materials, including adobe, cob, rammed earth, bamboo, light clay straw, bajareque, and more.

  • Lessons in building structures from foundations to roofing systems.

  • Natural building walking tour of Tzununa and San Marcos with builder Charlie Rendall.

  • Work on a variety of sites throughout the community, interacting with the local community and exploring a variety of way to incorporate natural building into any site.

  • Learn how to enhance your space with natural plasters and finishes.

  • Create and present your own natural building design project.



Your Stay:

During the course participants will stay in the Bambu Guest House, a super beautiful eco-hotel in the indigenous village of Tzununa. Built from all local and natural materials, the Bambu embodies the principles of Permaculture and Natural Building. All guest rooms are big and bright, and come equipped with private bathrooms with hot water, wifi, comfy beds and balconies with hammocks and amazing views of Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes. The Bambu’s farm-to-table restaurant is supplied by Atitlan Organics and other local producers and serves 3 fresh, delicious meals a day plus snacks, dessert, tea and coffee. The Bambu Guest House proves that luxury and sustainability can go hand-in-hand!



Tickets and Registration

The price of the full 2-week course is $1,195 and includes all course facilitation, field trips and excursions, and meals and lodging at the Bambu Guest House. Participants also have the option to register for only 1 week of the course (either Permaculture or Natural Building focus) for $695 per person. We encourage you to register early to save your spot!




Ashley McDonnell, Lead facilitator, Natural Building. Foundations of Regenerative Design, a 2 week course in Permaculture and Natural Building with Atitlan Organics in Tzununa, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala 2019 2020 2021

Ashley McDonell: Lead facilitator, Natural Building

Shad Qudsi, lead facilitator Permaculture, Foundations of Regenerative Design, is a 2 week course in Permaculture and Natural Building with Atitlan Organics in Tzununa, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala 2019 2020 2021

Shad Qudsi: Lead Facilitator, Permaculture

Shad has 15 years experience in organic and commercial gardening and farming. He is certified in Permaculture Design and has over 6 years experience in holistic site development and homesteading. Shad originally set out to study mathematics and work in big business, but long ago had a change of heart. He can now be found dancing in his garden in Tzununa. Aside from all of this, Shad is an enthusiastic teacher who truly believes in the work he is doing. Human resiliency cannot be erased from the landscape and now, it is coming back with a gentle loving caress.

Neal Hegarty, lead facilitator, Foundations of Regenerative Design, a 2 week course in Permaculture and Natural Building with Atitlan Organics in Tzununa, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, 2019 2020 2021

Neal Hegarty: lead facilitator, permaculture

Neal is from an Irish family with a background in dairy farming. He has worked in agricultural projects all over the world, including Australia and Colombia. He came to Guatemala four years ago to study write a thesis on the relationship between permaculture and traditional agricultural practices of the Mayan people. He has been here since and now works as a facilitator for Atitlan Organics and has founded his own Permaculture farm, Granja Tz’ikin. He specializes in combining the teaching of permaculture with a focus on wider socio-political issues, and on encouraging students to develop new ways of thinking about old problems. His interests include gardening, music, philosophy, cooking and laughing.



travel & Logistics

Participants are expected to arrive by 4:00 p.m., 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. 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.

Directions to the Bambu Guest House