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Permaculture Design Certification Course (PDC)October 16th to 31st, 2023

Join our diverse team of permaculture instructors led by Valle Escondido & Porvenir Design in this two-week experience.

Recognizing the need to create more accessible permaculture educational opportunities in Costa Rica, this course is aimed at Costa Ricans and people from Latin America. That's why it will be taught in Spanish.

We seek to increase the diversity of enrolled students, by making the permaculture course more economically accessible. Accommodation is included. Instructor fees are subsidized in part by their own work and AVER, Valle Escondido's nonprofit sister organization & Porvenir Design.

This course is only offered by submitting an application 


If you wish to receive more information about this course or the courses that we will give in the future, do not hesitate to send us your information.

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The course covers the curriculum of studies in Permaculture Design and emphasizes the creation of diverse multifunctional human landscapes based on ecological patterns. Using Valle Escondido: Hidden Valley Farm as a living classroom, the class will combine theory talks and practical work, exploring design solutions to the challenges facing our communities today.

The final project of the course is to create your own permaculture site design by creating work teams among students. This course is suitable for anyone who speaks Spanish that is interested in designing a resilient and regenerative future, as well as professionals in the fields of architecture, planning, ecology, education, agriculture, and community development. The whole systems design thinking described in the course will provide participants with the tools to redesign and improve their environment; from gardens, farms, and homes, to livelihoods, relationships, and communities.

The cost of the course is $380, with food, lodging and onsite daycare included, scholarships are available. Please request and application to apply for this course.

    ● Permaculture: History, Ethics, Design Principles ● Design methodologies: Observation, pattern language in culture and landscape, element and sector analysis, zoning, site evaluation, map reading and more. Climate and microclimates. ● Water: Cycles, catchment, ecology, conservation and treatment. Gray and black water systems. Erosion, earth movements. ● Soils: Biology, ecology and fertility strategies (biochar, bioferments, cultivation of MM's, biomass, compost). ● Plants and animals: Propagation of plants, seed banks, orchards, urban agriculture, minor species, etc. ● Built environments and appropriate technologies: renewable energy, ecological construction. ● Invisible structures: Social, legal and economic aspects.
    There are many permaculture design courses offered around the world, but you are a good candidate for our PDC if: • You want to learn from instructors who have many years of experience teaching and practicing permaculture on a daily basis through your own garden, kitchen, community, and habits. • You want to experience an established permaculture site, largely designed to connect permaculture and food systems with hospitality and tourism. • You want to be inspired by seeing many practical examples of highly functional systems that were guided by the principles and ethics of permaculture. • You want to immerse yourself in the famous Monteverde cloud forest, with access to miles of hiking trails and a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. • You are ready for an intensive learning experience. As a theory & practice course, there will be a significant amount of lectures and discussions on a daily basis. • You want to be part of a diverse group of students, in a course that focuses on connecting with Costa Rica and its culture.
    The course will be taught in Spanish.
    Valle Escondido is a living playground for sustainable design and natural experimentation. Offering different examples of regenerative systems and techniques that reduce human impact and support natural environments, visitors leave Valle Escondido inspired to support a greener world. On-site projects include land management (15-hectare Valle Escondido nature reserve), agroforestry, aquaculture, animal husbandry, gray water management, soil construction, biofertilizers, microorganism cultivation, and more. Valle Escondido presents these projects in a simple and accessible way to reach the wide international audience of guests who visit it. Recognized as a family hotel providing these examples of sustainable living seeks to create awareness for both children and adults. In Monteverde, where the climate can be very extreme, Valle Escondido creates and experiments with culturally appropriate technology design systems to identify pathways to food security and sustainable design that are now necessary to address global climate change. To date, Valle Escondido has presented in person to more than 42,000 travelers the method of permaculture and regenerative systems, in its continuous effort to use tourism as a means of transmission to advocate for a better world.

 Course with Porvenir Design Team & Valle Escondido



Scott Gallant is an agroforester and food system designer with nearly a decade of experience working in Central America. He is co-founder of Porvenir Design, a landscape design firm specializing in productive landscapes. He graduated from Wabash College in 2008 with a BA in Economics. He was farm manager at Rancho Mastatal for nine years and has worked with various projects such as VersaLand, Open Source Ecology, Project Bonafide, Finca Luna Nueva; and many more as he has developed his skills in permaculture design.

Passionate about regenerative agriculture, holistic thinking, ethnobotany, community development, and retraining, he still finds time to hike and bike, read extensively, and work on his basketball and Frisbee throw. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America, which has led him to love the culture, the food, and the language he tries to speak. Scott writes for the Permaculture Research Institute and has been featured on the Permaculture Voices, Abundant Edge, and Making Permaculture Stronger podcasts.



Hugo started the path of permaculture in 2012; Hugo's study of organic agriculture led him to continue deepening his ways of relating to people and the place. Originally from San José, Costa Rica, Hugo began by promoting urban permaculture through projects like community gardens and creating edible spaces with native plants. While developing community gardening projects, Hugo also focuses on leading workshops and courses within communities to shift to better soil management and production strategies.
Hugo complements his passion for design by tying community design for good living into his approach to planning; he has been trained in working with various forms of designing invisible social structures. Hugo is a member of Red Remanezca, which seeks to creatively promote permaculture in Costa Rica with the ultimate goal of inspiring profound social change. Hugo's goals include promoting permaculture through education and his site visits. He takes time to swim and hike in the mountains while living in a collaborative eco-community.

Elena is a designer, holistic therapist and herbalist who works integrating her knowledge and passions to serve the community. Her desire to deeply understand the nature of the human being and the planet earth led her to permaculture, finding in its principles a guide to get to know herself (including planet earth as part of our existence and experience). Permaculture has also become a guide for her spiritual path.
Designing and illustrating are one of her passions. She has worked with Porvenir Design as a graphic designer and illustrator for more than 3 years, also with different projects such as Brave Earth, Rancho Delicioso, Sol Center, and Holos. She currently works for the permaculture firm Symbiosis as a permaculture designer and graphic designer. As herbalists she continues to deepen her relationship with plants, finding a deep interest in the wisdom of plants which have been our allies in caring for humanity from ancestrally.
She is also the founder of a permaculture and herbalism project in Pérez Zeledón on a family farm. The project is called "Subtle Body", this project aims to promote permaculture and natural medicine in this way to promote greater independence, resilience and balance in the population



Roy is originally from Monteverde, a lover of nature and organic agriculture, passionate about orchids and bird watching. All his life he has been in constant training with instructors such as Jairo Restrepo, famous agronomist and international consultant in organic agriculture, and Allan Chavarría Chang, on topics such as new organic agriculture techniques and soil chromatography. He has an international diploma in organic agriculture, training in the preparation of different bio-inputs, as well as preparation in the diagnosis and planning of farms for the conversion process to organic agriculture.​ He was a forest ranger for 08 years, likewise, he worked for years with Eladio Cruz, an empirical naturalist who helped carry out dozens of investigations in the Monteverde Biological Reserve. He also worked with Willow Zuchowski, renowned botanist and naturalist, author of the Guide to Tropical Plants of Costa Rica.​  Roy has been collaborating for 8 years as manager of organic and regenerative agriculture at Valle Escondido Nature Reserve Hotel & Farm, developing the production of different types of crops and as well as the bio-inputs laboratory, managing to bring crop production to the property at an incredible level.


Jonah is an ecological educator, nurse and landscaper. He has worked for years in community health education, as a Waldorf kindergarten teacher, and in alternative medicine. He currently manages Valle Escondido in Monteverde Costa Rica. Introduced to the permaculture design method 12 years ago, he studied with the Permaculture Institute and participated in different courses in Central and North America. Jonah guides Valle Escondido, as a tourist destination, to promote the conservation of natural environments and sustainable practices to support a local and global regenerative future.

Valle Escondido offers classes and provides examples to help visitors better understand regenerative land use, organic agriculture, and permaculture. When Jonah isn't playing in the garden with his two daughters or talking to visitors, he can be found surfing or exploring other places in Costa Rica.




The course is limited to 25 students.

Accepted applicants must deposit 50% of the course fee to reserve space. No later than September 1st, two weeks before the start of the course, the remaining 50% must be paid. Cancellations will be fully refunded if made before September 15th. After September 15th, refunds will depend on course occupancy.

The cost of the course is $380, with food, lodging and onsite daycare included, scholarships are available. Please request and application to apply for this course.

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