About Finca Tierra       

At Finca Tierra (Earth Farm) we offer educational programs that promote self-sufficient sustainability through the instruction, demonstration and practice of permaculture (permanent agriculture) principles in Central America.  Throughout the year our permaculture education and demonstration center hosts various sustainable living experiences.  We welcome individuals interested in gaining sustainability knowledge through exposure to our working farm, which we’ve strived to develop as a carefully designed permaculture environment. 

Currently we offer:

Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) courses for those ready to be totally immersed in sustainability

Internships for those with a PDC, prepared to delve thoroughly into the complex systems of permaculture

(Coming this Fall) On Saturday nights we host a tour and dinner combination for those curious to experience both the basic concepts underlying permaculture and the spectacular meals that can be fashioned with exotic and unique tropical ingredients.  First see the food forests and kitchen gardens where your dinner has been harvested, and then feast on the creative dishes prepared in our modern bamboo and thatch farm kitchen deep in the jungle.


Finca Tierra food forest and eco-lodge welcomes visitors of all ages and nationalities.  We readily share the vitally important knowledge of permaculture systems, which can be applied in urban, suburban and rural settings all around the world, in all growing climates and conditions.  We’re a people oriented learning facility, seeking energetic, enthusiastic and committed individuals, dedicated to working with others to accomplish the common vision of self-sufficient sustainability through the practice of permaculture.

We’re 100% solar powered, totally off the grid, and harvest both rainwater and natural spring water.  Our organic gardens and food forests supply most of the produce and products used in our farm-to-table meals.  All menu ingredients are prepared in our modern kitchen facility housed in a bamboo and thatch structure.  Our buildings are all constructed with natural materials that we mostly gather and fabricate onsite. As with all other farm practices, our structures adheres to the standards of permaculture design.

 Finca Tierra is located near the village of Cocles, a lush Caribbean beach-rimmed jungle community not far from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limon Province, Costa Rica.  The fabulous tree-lined sand beaches south of Puerto Viejo are a ten minute drive from Finca Tierra.

Our Methods

Through various modes of learning and to varying degrees of depth, you’ll be exposed to sustainable agroecology and agroforestry; alternative construction and energy resources; and preservation of ethnobotanical plants and wildlife.  Our working farm provides an ideal format for demonstrations, hands-on experiences and workshops.  

Our PDC course field trip includes stops at nearby food forests and an ecovillage sustained by organic agriculture and animal management.  We'll also visit a Cabecar medicine man to learn about native ethnobotanicals and the cosmovision of indigenous life.  In our internship program, participants will reinforce their PDC learning by applying ecological design through community service. 

Upcoming Course Offerings

Next Available Course

Fall B     Sunday, November 13, 2016   Sunday, November 27, 2016

Few last minute spaces remain. Make your Reservation Today

Next Available Course

Spring    Sunday, January 8, 2017 – Saturday, February 18, 2017


About Us

We're Ian Macaulay and Ana Gaspar Aguerri, a husband and wife team who share a passion for environmental sustainability, permaculture design and community organizing.   We’re both certified to teach permaculture design and have studied and practiced permaculture since 2006.  Through the years we've developing the beautiful and efficient food forests, organic gardens and natural buildings that make up the Finca Tierra farm and eco-lodge.

We live sustainably, with nature in the rainforest.  First we built our home at Finca Tierra and then began developing the surrounding 3.5 hectare (~9-acre) site into a regional center for permaculture education and community development.   The ever-evolving programs at Finca Tierra are intended to serve both our regional community and the greater international community.  We're promoting ways to locally live sustainably while simultaneously spreading the principles of permaculture worldwide.

A social entrepreneur, visual artist, and farmer, Ian is a native of Ohio in the United States.  He holds a BFA Magna Cum Laude in visual art from Wright State University, and is experienced in geographic information systems (GIS), urban planning, sustainable community design and natural structures.  Growing up, Ian spent the summers visiting Native American archeological sites in the United States.  He's also traveled in Asia and Europe.

Ian enjoys exposing students from around the world to Finca Tierra's permaculture design science approach, which integrates biological systems with human structure.  He's a consultant for ecological design, tropical food, organic farms and home gardens,  and is active in the local community promoting practical and sustainable garden design solutions.  Ian received his formal permaculture education from Geoff Lawton of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia. Ian has taught dozens of PDCs and certified more than one hundred students from North and South America as well as Europe, Africa and Asia.

Ana is 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.  Ana has worked with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, and served as legal advisor to the president of the Human Rights Commission of the Costa Rican National Assembly.  

Widely traveled, Ana has lived and worked in Spain, China and the United States.  As both an activist and attorney she's long been a community organizer in local development projects focusing on excluded communities, autonomous development and social organization.  Ana's passionate about Finca Tierra’s ability to contribute to the food security of the local community by supporting traditional uses of plants in the region.  


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