The Unshakable Dream – Ecotourism/Cohousing Community

Only a few people have heard what my dream goal is in person, so I’m taking this time to put it into context with some helpful visuals.

Over the past few months, I have been researching permaculture sites, existing and failed ecovillages, intentional communities around the world, and ecotourism business models that would direct how I reach designing a permaculture based community. From what I have found so far, my best two options are – 1) A multi-generational cohousing community or 2) An ecovillage resort offering vacation rentals and vocational training.

Option #1 – Multi-generational Cohousing

According to, “Cohousing communities are intentional, collaborative neighborhoods created with a little ingenuity. They bring together the value of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living. That means residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighborhoods, and share common facilities and good connections with neighbors. All in all, they stand as innovative and sustainable answers to today’s environmental and social problems.”

This movement started in Denmark and is still a very practical way of living in that area, and is very similar to how rural villages function across the world. However, today’s urban development trends in the U.S. are primarily driven by the baby boomer generation, with many younger families searching for support and community to raise their children.

Considering this under-recognized, yet soon to be realized trend in the U.S., makes this option a very viable one to house aging baby boomers while providing younger generations with support and role models for less disconnected development (i.e. smartphones, computers, processed foods)

Option #2 – Ecovillage Resort

The ecotourism travel trend is growing, and as seen in the Huffington Post’s article, “Eco-Resorts: The World’s 10 Most Relaxing Destinations For Sustainable Tourism,” they are located around the world and cater to various travel lifestyles.

This option would use sustainable building mixed with permaculture to feed guests on vacation, but also provide vocational training to the disadvantaged or individuals in transition (i.e. homeless families, returning veterans, local natives). Modeling an ecovillage resort in this fashion will create positive impact in the environment, local economy, workers, as well as guests who would ideally share their experience and make proactive strides to be more conscious about their actions.

One specific example is the NALU boutique hotel in Costa Rica, as profiled by Although the structures are not fully sustainably built, the modern and open design makes for a luxury site.


I’m still open to consider other ideas and concepts as I learn and explore, but these two options seem to be the best for business and for people.

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Finding Lost Valley – Pursuing my PDC and EDE

I resigned from my latest agency job at the end of July to pursue what I feel is my next step in life, earning my PDC and EDE from Lost Valley Education & Event Center in Dexter, Oregon.

While the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) certifications are offered in many places around the country, and the world, I chose Lost Valley because it was one of the few locations that offers both certifications, has a long running history of development, is recognized by Gia Education and UNESCO, and teaches classes in English!

Receiving my PDC and EDE are not essential for me to make a difference in the world, but I would rather educate myself on proven tools, strategies and sciences so I can better help others so they can help themselves.

To provide a little background context, I consider myself a fairly self-reliant person and strive to blaze my own trail through life. So the idea of financial handouts and institutional dependency grinds my gears. Which lends itself to the timeless proverb…

“Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”

This proverb really resonates with me, and motivates me on how I can give back to the world – by teaching others to be self-reliant, with the hope that the change reverberates into the world. And in my case, this involves agricultural techniques and enriched community practices.

So continue following my adventure as I post more blogs, document my trip and share insights of what I’m learning!

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