About Finca Tierra

Finca Tierra is a Permaculture education and demonstration center hosting sustainable living courses and internships throughout the year.

Finca Tierra’s education facility acts as a local research station for strategies, techniques and plants that are cultural acceptable and environmentally suitable as well as appropriate technologies, which are economically viable and require low capital investment. Gastronomically we aim to reintegrate local food reliance by creating nutritionally balanced plates that are grown locally for the least amount of effort and input. 

We are 100% solar powered, and harvest both rainwater and natural spring water. Our buildings are constructed with natural materials that we harvest and fabricate onsite. Our food forest and organic gardens supply almost all of the ingredients used in our farm kitchen.  The farm kitchen prepares three daily meals emphasising the preparation of highly nutritious foods using the best and freshest ingredients for a delicious tropical farm to table cuisine.   

We are located in the beach village of Cocles near Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica, a lush Caribbean beach-rimmed jungle community, and are close to the fabulous tree-lined sand beaches south of Puerto Viejo.

Our Methods

At Finca Tierra, guests and students learn the fundamentals of sustainable agriculture and agroforestry, alternative construction and energy resources, ethnobotanical medicine and wildlife conservation, all through hands-on experience and workshops. We increase the experience of our courses by visiting other food forests and ecovillages that are sustained by organic agriculture and animal management. We also experience ethnobotanicals and indigenous cosmovision by visiting a Cabecar medicine man. In our Internships our students can reinforce their learning by applying ecological design through community service. 

Upcoming Course Offerings

Next Available Course

Summer B    Sunday, August 7, 2016 – Sunday, August 21, 2016

Next Available Course

Fall    Sunday, September 4, 2016 – Saturday, October 15, 2016

About Us

Meet Ian Macaulay and Ana Gaspar Aguerri, the husband and wife team behind Finca Tierra. Ian and Ana’s shared passion for environmental sustainability, permaculture design and community organizing led to the beautiful and efficient food forest, organic gardens and natural buildings that make up the Finca Tierra farm and eco-lodge.


Ian, an entrepreneur, artist and farmer, is a native of Ohio in the United States. He is the cofounder of Finca Tierra. He has a BFA Magna Cum Laude in Fine Arts and Printmaking from Wright State University. He is experienced in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), urban planning, sustainable community design and natural structures. Growing up Ian spent his summers traveling to American Indian archeological sites in the United States. He has also traveled in Asia, Europe and the Pacific Islands. He is excited to expose students from around the world to permaculture design science, biological systems blended with human structures, and to help support and develop practical and sustainable design solutions for gardens in the local community. Ian is a partner in SEED, a 300 acre eco-village in Cahuita that provides all of it’s own food for residents and guests including produce, fruit, building materials and features integrated animal management.  Ian also works as a consultant for ecological design, tropical food, home gardens and organic farms. Ian received his formal Permaculture training from Geoff Lawton of the Permaculture Research Institute Australia.

Ana, is the cofounder of Finca Tierra and a human rights lawyer of Costa Rican and Spanish heritage. She holds a degree in Law from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica and a Notary Masters from Universidad Santo Tomas. She has worked with the United Nations, the FAO and the Costa Rican Congress as the legal advisor to the president of the Human Rights Commission. She has worked as a community organizer in local development projects for excluded communities, as an activist and as an attorney. Ana has traveled around the world and lived and worked in Costa Rica, Spain, China and the United States. She is passionate about Finca Tierra’s ability to contribute to the local Puerto Viejo community, and the world, support traditional use of plants in the region and promote local autonomous development and social organization.

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