It is a new initiative launched in November 2022, operated as a Gotoco’s partner programme for eco projects and supported by funding from the UK government’s Turing Scheme. It takes place near Lake Atitlán, located within a volcanic crater in the highlands of Guatemala.
The programme offers a comprehensive experience, including permaculture design training, lectures on Guatemalan culture and history, Spanish language lessons, homestays with Mayan families, volunteering placements with grassroots collectives and local farms, a professional development course, and cultural excursions.
The programme begins with a 2-week design training period at the Mesoamerican Institute of Permaculture (IMAP), where participants will be immersed in a Mayan Kaqchikel community and learn about the sociopolitical context of permaculture in Guatemala. After obtaining their Permaculture Design Certificate, participants will spend 2 weeks with a Mayan host family in San Juan La Laguna, receiving Spanish lessons and studying for their Level 2 Certificate in Climate Change and Environmental Awareness.
Following this, participants will work with selected grassroots collectives to gain hands-on skills in bioconstruction and agroecology. They will commute from their homestays into the mountains to assist communities with farming tasks and land redesign, while also receiving expert lectures on permaculture as a career.
The remaining time on the programme will be dedicated to volunteering on a local project that aligns with participants’ skills and interests, such as landscaping, construction, farming, teaching, gardening, photography, marketing, and more.
Click here to find out more and to apply.