APRIL 14 – APRIL 27, 2024

Join us for our annual, transformational 2-week class on permaculture design and get your PDC from one of the leading permaculture education centers in Central America.

Payment Options:


If you prefer to pay your deposit or full course fee via a direct deposit, with Wise, with a check or via another method, please fill out a registration form and send proof of payment to For information on payment details go here.

Are you looking for our fall PDC dates?


Join our experienced team of permaculture practitioners led by the Rancho Mastatal team for this annual life-changing 2-week experience. The course covers the core Permaculture Design curriculum (developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren) and emphasizes creating diverse multi-functional human landscapes based on ecological patterns.

Utilizing Rancho Mastatal as a living classroom, the class will mix lectures (60%) and hands-on work (40%), exploring design solutions for both temperate and tropical regions.  Putting permaculture design into practice, the course concludes with a permaculture site design for a clients property.


  • People who have their own land (small suburban plot all the way through to a large farm). This class will give you the tool kit to plan and implement your dreams.

  • People who dream of owning land or are actively looking. The class will provide you with the skills to asses and analyze different pieces of land to make sure you get exactly what you want.

  • People who are interested in living a more regenerative lifestyle.

  • Professionals (eg, architects, designers, farmers, educators, community development workers, social workers etc…) who wish to deepen their knowledge in Permaculture to apply it at work or in their own projects.

This course is applicable to anyone with an interest in designing resilient and regenerative futures. The whole-systems design thinking outlined in the course will give participants the tools to re-design and improve their surroundings; from gardens, farms and homes, to livelihoods, relationships and communities. Get inspired by some of our past alumni!


Permaculture is something you use, not something you do. It is not a course on gardening, but rather on how to design a garden. While practical skills and applications of design principals are incorporated into the course, the learning outcomes revolve around understanding and applying the ethics, principals, and methodologies of design. So while you will have a hands on practical session in natural building you will not come away with the technical skills to build your own house but you will better understand the design considerations, patterns and principals that guide our decision to build a natural home and experience the wonder of working with simple, locally available materials. Read more about what Permaculture is and why it is important.


More in-depth information can be found in our downloadable brochure but some of the highlights include:

  • Permaculture, history, ethics & principles – Why is Permaculture important and how we use it.

  • Mapping and design – simple mapping techniques, understanding mapping and principles and how to present it.

  • Water – its role in ecology, techniques and watershed management strategies

  • Soils – understanding the types of soil, how to asses them, how to build topsoil & techniques eg vermicompost

  • Growing food – Strategies including: intensive gardening, food forests, orchard design, syntropic agroforestry and more

  • Farm to table – How to harvest and prepare your food, including, fermentation, cooking with local ingredients and more.

  • Natural building – Passive design, cob building and earth building techniques, natural building design and more

  • Building community – organization, decision making process, NVC (non-violent communication) & regenerative livelihoods

  • Design projects – Bring all of what you have learnt to develop a design for a local client!


Rancho Mastatal Team
The Ranch’s seasoned core team will be co-teaching this class. The Ranch has over 20 years of experience hosting permaculture classes and putting into practice the toolkit that is provided to students during this course. The Ranch team is comprised of a dynamic group of professionals dedicated to creating a better community and environment. For more information about each member, please see their bios.

Jorge Salazar
Jorge is a practicing agroforester and the founder and owner of La Iguana Chocolate in Mastatal, Costa Rica. Jorge anchors an entrepreneurial movement in the region and has spent countless hours in his cacao orchards caring for his trees. His wife Vicky Chandler and the whole Salazar family have been perfecting some of the most desired chocolate recipes in all of Costa rica.

KIS Botanicals
KIS botanicals includes three plant-lovers: Solin, Ivannia and Kealy. Their goal is to preserve their ancestors’ medicinal plant knowledge through education and artisanal plant-based products. They have 4 hectares of cultivated medicinal and edible plants, using traditional agricultural techniques. They love to share their plant passion while striving to live in harmony with Mother Earth.


The course will start at 8 a.m. on April 14.  Students are encouraged to arrive on April 13. You must arrive before 6.30pm, we will not be able to attend you after this time..  Lodging the night of April 13 is included in the cost of the class.


The course will end at around 5 p.m. on April 27.  Most students will depart on the morning of April 28.  Lodging the night of April 27 is included in the cost of the class.


Costa Rican National: $950

Other Nationality: $1,500

Includes food, lodging and course instruction.

Payment Options:


If you prefer to pay your deposit or full course fee via a direct deposit or check please fill out a registration form and send proof of payment to For information on payment details go here.

Pricing is determined by your legal Costa Rican immigration status.

These prices include lodging, all meals, course instruction and full access to Rancho Mastatal and its private wildlife refuge.

To pay any remaining balance go to our Payment page for more information and options.


The course will be taught in English.


Consider our Spanish PDC that is priced at a scholarship rate.


All food and lodging is included in the cost of  the course.   Students will stay in the Ranch bunkhouse with options for upgrades.  We provide high quality mattresses, linens and blankets.  Please see our Accommodations page for more information.


Please see our cancellation policy here.


Please see our Directions page for detailed information on how to get to Rancho Mastatal.


For more information about this class and Rancho Mastatal please contact us at , call us at +506 2200-0920 or text/WhatsApp us at +506 8539-1404.


Apr 14 - 27 2024


8:00 am - 6:00 pm




2091 Route 130
Harrison City, PA 15636

Phone Number

(412) 600-5783

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