Stewardship of the local area, creating value for the local people to maintain the traditional knowledge. Ethnobotanical Journeys contributes to local communities through sustainable income to preserve their cultural heritage and diversity of native plant species.
We will be venturing around Costa Rica to some of the most extensive botanical collections in the country! This will be an exploration of useful plants found in the tropics and as well as in the diverse regions of Costa Rica. Discussing, consuming, indulging and working with the magic of the plants we will follow their internal and external energetics, their relationship with their environment, in human culture and in the larger web of the world. In this journey we will be looking at the way plants play such a vital role in the dynamic planet, from their social and ecological value to their medicinal and culinary uses. From the Arenal Volcano to the deep jungles of the Caribbean, we will visit with various plant experts to follow the story of the plants and how they touch the lives of the people of the region and of the planet.
This tour will be guided by Stephen Brooks, founder of the Punta Mona Center for Sustainable Living and Education, Permaculturist and co-Producer of Envision Festival, Sarah Wu, co-Director of Punta Mona and co-Producer of Envision, herbalist and naturalist and Susan Leopold, Ethnobotanist and the director of United Plant Savers
All lodging, tour bus, admissions and travel snacks are included in this trip. Meals are included at certain venues….
We will start with an optional visit to the Museo Naçional, where we will meander the halls and check out the Natural History of Costa Rica. This 155 year old museum also has a wonderful exhibit of pre-colombian gold and colonial artifacts.
Meeting mid-morning, we are off to the Ark Herb Farm, the largest collection of medicinal plants in Costa Rica. We will explore the vast gardens and learn about the uses of plants from around the tropical regions.
Off to the Arenal Volcano to visit the Luna Nueva Biodynamic Medicinal Garden and Sacred Seed Sanctuary. Here we will learn about the Sacred Seeds project dedicated to saving, teaching and learning about the ethnobotanicaly significant medicinal plants of Costa Rica. Meet with Tom Newmark, founder of Luna Nueva, New Chapter Vitamins and the Sacred Seeds project and trustee for The Children's Eternal Rainforest, Green Peace North America and the Missouri Botanical Garden. We will visit the fortuna waterfall and bask in hotsprings as the sun sets!
As we tour through the Costa Rican countryside, we will stop at various food stands and farms, including large plantations where we will discuss commodities such as coffee, sugar, bananas, pinãs, how these foods in their exploitation and their sacredness above others made the global market.
As we head to the Caribbean we will spend an afternoon with Rafael Ocampo Sanchéz, Costa Rica's premier ethnobotanist. He is a researcher in CATIE in PFNB for Conservation and Development and director of the Agroecology Garden of Medicinal Plants, dedicated to the conservation of useful plants.
From there we head to Puerto Viejo an eclectic Caribbean town, where we will explore the local fare, art and music. While in Puerto Viejo we will venture off to Bribri, the main indigenous center of the Caribbean where we will meet with Ulysses, a local Bribri healer who will give us a glimpse into his relationship with the plants of the Talamanca region. From there we will venture to APTA, a large cacao cooperative to explore the region's chocolate delight. On our way to Puerto Viejo we will observe and discuss the impact of large banana platations and the use of agro-chemicals and how they have effected the area.
In Puerto Viejo we will also meet with Veronica, a local woman hailing from a long line of Afro-Caribbean healers and owner of one of the first organic, vegetarian restaurants in town. We will also visit with Finca Loroco a bio-intensive, heirloom seed saving farm which serves as one of the leaders in organic farming in the region. Then we visit with Caribbean's Chocolate Experience to indulge in cacao harvested from a variety of cooperatives and processed in traditional ways above and below the ground!
Heading south to the Punta Mona Center for Sustainable Living and Education, we will spend two nights exploring the word of Permaculture and the abundant useful plants to be found at this extensive collection on the beach, in the midst of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. At Punta Mona, we will make cacao, learn about field to the plate Caribbean cooking, kayak, snorkel, mud bath and make medicinal tinctures, vinegars and fresh teas.
There will be a variety of workshops along the way such as Tropical Ecology, Planetary Energetics, Costa Rican Ethnobotany, Biodynamic Farming, Permaculture, Fruit Tree Collecting and Care, Medicine Making and more!!
For more info and to register, please email us: