THE PERMAPERU EXPERIENCE
Thank you for your interest in joining us for an ecotourism experience in the Sacred Valley of Peru offering a one-of-a-kind opportunity to come get your hands in the earth, nourish your mind, body and spirit and gain tools for living sustainably and regeneratively.
PermaPeru offers cross-curricular learning opportunities that blend eco-education, arts-based and contemplative practices, traditional Peruvian ceremony and immersion in nature. Workshops encompass a dynamic fusion of lecture, deep observation, reflection and participatory hands-on experiences aimed towards attuning and enlivening sensorial modes of knowing and deepening our stewardship connection with the living earth, ourselves and our collective future. By cultivating an awareness of how we engage with the natural world around us, we can cultivate a reciprocal interrelationship with the ecological systems in which we exist.
Participants have the opportunity to focus on harmonious relationships within themselves, with others, our planet and its natural systems. It is our belief that this type of immersive learning experience will provide participants with tools to go out into the world with new perspectives, ready to design and create with intention and confidence which can be applied to a variety of scales be it a backyard or patio garden, small-scale farm, business, community-based organization and/or individual basis.
We recall a time when singing and dancing were not done on stage to solely be entertained but was a participatory process done in concert with the rhythms of planting and harvest. When we work with clay we remember our connection to the Earth and its gifts. We bring ceremony and ritual into the work, recalling ancient practices of honoring the cardinal directions, the elements, the mountains and give thanks to the ancestors, to the future beings and to the Earth and its many teachers. From this perspective we can see our connection and remember our belonging within the web of life. This awareness of interdependence informs the PermaPeru experience.
The chakana (Inka cross) possesses complex symbology, and is a guiding inspiration for PermaPeru’s integrative program design. The chakana is derived from the Quechua word Chakay, which means “to bridge”. Each day of the immersion journey is dedicated to a theme of bridging the great wheel of life and our place within the hub of all our relations.
We also apply practical permaculture design and theory by observing, analyzing and harmonizing with the patterns of nature. Studying Permaculture in Peru offers amazing opportunities to learn from indigenous cultures, rich natural patterns, and enormous layers of biodiversity. Permaculture practices can be seen in action via the thriving indigenous traditions that are still being practiced in Peru. The rich cultural heritage and majestic scenic beauty of the Andes serves as the vibrant backdrop of your living classroom where you will learn directly from indigenous teachers and other special guests, gain hands-on experience applying regenerative agricultural techniques, explore archeological sites such as Machu Picchu and other stunning historical locales, engage in design projects including arts-based approaches and participate in ancestral ceremonies of gratitude honoring our relationship with our living planet.
The immersion course is open to participants who are brand new to permaculture and are looking to acquire an introductory taste of this holistic design system and also is well suited to those who have completed a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and are looking to continue developing their skills and gain more hands-on experience with regenerative strategies.
“Mysterious as it may sound, permaculture is a fairly simple idea and its manifestations are everywhere you look.”
Permaculture is a design system for living and offers solution-based methodologies for developing ecologically harmonious, efficient, productive and resilient systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere. Permaculture offers design tools for manifesting good within the ecosystems that form and inform us.
By drawing on skills and knowledge from many ecologically sound disciplines - from indigenous science to contemporary technology - permaculture offers a practical guide to creating ways of providing for our needs, including food, shelter, financial and social structures.
Permaculture can be as sophisticated or as simple as you like. It empowers us to be a resourceful, interconnected and conscious part of the solution to the many problems facing us, both locally and globally.
Permaculture works with nature as inspiration and as a template for design. As designers, we engage in deep observation of the patterns in natural systems and apply them. When we base our ideas on the principles of the living world, we learn to respond creatively and adapt to change - becoming resilient and dynamic rather than being stuck in rigid habits. Permaculture is a way of empowering us, demonstrating that change is possible and in our hands.
Permaculture can be viewed as part of the paradigm shift that all of society is experiencing. Permaculture urges complete cooperation between each & every thing, animate & inanimate. It advises people to live simply & in harmony with each other & with their surroundings.
-Pat Marie Sigler
Our home base for the retreat, the Sacred Valley, is tucked between Cusco and Machu Picchu and is surrounded by villages, mountain slopes, ancient ruins, open fields and vast skies. The Sacred Valley has become a center for plant cultivation with a fundamental role in both Peruvian and world agriculture.
Nature has endowed this valley with an exceptional climate, fertile soils and an abundant water supply. Agriculturalists have taken advantage of these resources to create one of the largest reserves of horticultural diversity in the Andes and around the globe. The widely varying altitudes within the Sacred Valley create a large number of unique microenvironments. Taking advantage of this natural feature, the Inca built an intricate infrastructure of agrarian terraces that further multiplied the number of microclimates and ecological niches suitable for growing. These ancient terraces continue to be planted with native flowers, a wide variety of densely nutrient rich cereal crops, hundreds of vegetables and an enormous variety of potatoes. Peruvian scientists have counted around 4,000 species of spuds apt for human consumption.
At a time when issues of food security are increasingly important, it is the hope of the Peruvian government and local populations that the Sacred Valley will remain free of genetically modified crops and continue to serve as an agricultural breadbasket and plant species preservation habitat for the globe.
This course is primarily taught in Urubamba, home of the Proyecto Ecologico Rijch’ariy (Ecological Project “Awakening”) a family owned farm and Permaculture learning site.