At Finca Tierra we offer educational programs that promote self-reliant 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. 


  • Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) courses are for those ready to be totally immersed in sustainability
  • Internships are for those with a PDC, prepared to delve thoroughly into the complex systems of permaculture
  • Tropical Farm-To-Table Dinner & Edible Landscape Tour evenings are offered on select Saturday nights throughout the year

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 on site. As with all other farm practices, our structures adheres to the standards of permaculture design.

 Finca Tierra is located near the village of Cócles, 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.


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 at an ecovillage agricommunity with organic farming 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. 


Next Available Design Course

Enrollment open - Fall: Sunday, November 12, 2017 – Sunday, November 26, 2017 * (PDC course only)

Next Available Design Course & Internship

Enrollment open - Winter: Sunday, January 7, 2018 – Saturday, February 17, 2018




We are Ian Macaulay and Ana Gaspar Aguerri, a husband and wife team who share a passion for environmental sustainability, permaculture design and community organizing.  We are both certified to teach permaculture design and have studied and practiced permaculture since 2006.  Through the years we have been 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 are promoting ways to locally live sustainably while simultaneously spreading the principles of permaculture worldwide.

A father, 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 also 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 has taught dozens of PDCs and certified over a hundred students from North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  He received his formal permaculture education from Geoff Lawton of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia.

Ana is a mother, social entrepreneur,  human rights lawyer and a farmer 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 specialized in indigenous rights as a lawyer and political activist. Ana has worked with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, and served as legal advisor for policy making to the president of the Human Rights Commission of the Costa Rican Congress.  She is certified as a trainer on Non Violent Communication by the United Nations' University of Peace. And also certified as a permaculture designer. 

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 is passionate about Finca Tierra’s ability to contribute to the food security of the local community by supporting nutritional and medicinal uses of plants in the region.  She is currently working on her vision of Talamanca region to become a sustainably manage county, where the infrastructure, urban  and developing planning will become directed in a sustainable way becoming the "green face" of Costa Rica, and hopefully an example for the rest of the world. 



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Finca Tierra Permacultre in Costa rica