Founders and Operators
When you get to the farm, this is the dynamic husband and wife team with whom you will be living and working.
We look forward to meeting you!!
Stephen Brooks, the founder and primary Director, has been living in Punta Mona, Costa Rica, since 1995. Stephen observed the problems facing small farmers and communities in Central America and Costa Rica, and wanted to provide possible solutions. He was inspired to make a positive impact on the planet and started Costa Rican Adventures, an educational eco-tour company striving to raise environmental awareness.
Stephen founded Punta Mona in 1997. The Punta Mona Center for Regenerative Design & Botanical Studies grows over 200 varieties of tropical fruits, nuts and spices. It produces all its electrical needs from solar panels and obtains methane gas from the septic system to fuel the kitchen. Thousands of students, interns and guests have been educated at Punta Mona over the past 18 years, and the site has become known as a world leader in tropical, sustainable agriculture and sustainable living techniques.
In 2003, Stephen founded the Sustainable Solutions Caravan, a mission-driven, nonprofit organization promoting sustainable living through the use of alternative fuels. Caravaning through Central America, Brooks and his team touched millions of lives through personal contact, front-page newspaper articles and countless international news programs.
In 2005, he co-founded Kopali Organics, a company which sources and develops sustainable, organic products from small farms and small farm cooperatives around the world and is distributed throughout the United States.
Translating his knowledge of alternative fuel into action, Stephen co-founded the Conscious Goods Alliance, which traveled the country as an eco showroom featuring coconut floors, bamboo paneling, natural latex cushions covered in hemp, recycled paper countertops, an alcohol fueled stove and solar panels providing electricity. The bus brought together fourteen conscious companies as sponsors, working together to promote "Conscious Capitalism."
In 2006, Stephen envisioned and co-founded Kopali Communities, an ultra ecological developer and builder of planned communities in Costa Rica. The first project, La Ecovilla, is a 45-acre community featuring a slow sand filtered water supply system, "Living Systems" waste disposal, alternative energies, and permaculture and organic food supplies. With over half the community filled, already it represents 14 countries!
In 2007, Stephen also founded the Tacotal Eco-Village, a permaculture based community of 33 families, homesteading their way to a more sustainable future. The inhabitants feature artists, healers, builders, activists and farmers from 5 different countries.
Stephen is the co-producer for Envision Festival, a transformational art, music, movement and educational event held annually in Uvita, Costa Rica. There he creates the Envision Village, ensuring that only high quality organic and fair trade products and food are represented. He coordinates community outreach activities during the event, as well as facilitates panel discussions and workshops.
Stephen is an entertainer and has done numerous TV shows including: Edible Adventures for the Travel Channel, G Word for Discovery's Planet Green and Save My Planet for ABC's Livewell HD. He has done two TedX Talks: at San Miguel de Illenda, one of Mexico's World Heritage sites, and at the Playa Skool, an educational camp of Burning Man, Black Rock City Nevada.
Stephen's passion lies in seeking more sustainable ways to live our daily lives without compromising quality of life. He is also passionate about cooking and eating unusual and exotic foods, and he specializes in tropical fruit trees.
Sarah Wu is the current Educational Director and On-Site Manager of the Punta Mona Center for Regenerative Design & Botanical Studies. She leads projects and workshops in herbal medicine, tropical Deep Ecology, field-to-the-plate holistic nutrition, women's retreats and permaculture. A dedicated permaculturist, Sarah coordinates and is the adjunct teacher for the Permaculture Design Courses held bi-annually at Punta Mona.
Prior to arriving at Punta Mona, Sarah was in the organic food field, handling sales for over 125 of the industry leaders. She managed sales for Kopali Organics, a fair trade, triple bottom line brand, which supports small farming cooperatives in over 7 developing nations on 4 continents.
Sarah has been an herbalist for 14 years. She formally studied Traditional Chinese and Cherokee Plant Medicine with American Herbalist Guild founding member David Winston, at Herbal Therapeutics School of Botanical Medicine in Washington, New Jersey. Sarah currently practices and teaches Planetary Energetic and Wise Woman Tradition herbal medicine, with a focus on food-based healing and local ethnobotanical traditions.
Sarah is the producer and educational curator for Medicines from the Edge: a Tropical Herbal Convergence. With 30 workshops, 6 plenary sessions and numerous plant walks, this event brings together healers from the Americas to share their knowledge and experience in plant medicine. Featuring well known herbalists from North America and Costa Rica, Medicines from the Edge is dedicated to educating attendees on tropical plant and rainforest conservation and Central American ethnobotany.
From 2010-13, Sarah co-produced Envision Festival, a transformational music, arts, movement and educational gathering of 4,000 people from around the world. She was the educational curator focusing on environmental initiatives, alternative medicine and intentional community. She also coordinated the market place, ensuring that only high quality, organic foods, fair trade crafts and local projects were represented.
Sarah has over 10 years of formal training in the fine arts. She holds a degree in Art History from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating Magna Cum Laude, with a focus on Visual Culture -- the interaction of people with their visual environment. She taught visual arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was a part of an educational art activist program at The Art Sanctuary in Northern Philadelphia, supporting outreach, artistic and personal development for at-risk youth.
She is dedicated to education, practical sustainable living and ethnobotany, specializing in food, culture and traditional plant medicine. Sarah is an avid naturalist, endangered plant advocate, permaculturist and environmentalist with a deep understanding of the complexities of sustainable living, transitional ethics and positive movement towards a more sustainable and evolved future.