- What is the Permaculture Design Certificate?
- Who will certify the course?
- Who can attend?
- Who teaches the course?
- When will the course be offered?
- Where will it be offered?
- How will I get from the airport to Lake Atitlan?
- What will be covered in the course?
- How much does it cost?
- Will it be offered in English or Spanish?
1. What is the Permaculture Design Certificate?
The Permaculture Design Certificate, often referred to as the PDC, was developed by Bill Mollison as a tool for teaching the principles and foundations of permaculture design. All PDC courses offered throughout the world must follow the same format in order to insure that the integrity of the certification process is respected. The Certificate will allow you the right to use the word “permaculture” in a professional setting, and it indicates that you have successfully completed the course. It is also a pre-requisite for further training in permaculture.Participants who attend this course and complete the final design project will receive a Permaculture Design Certificate.
2. Who will certify the course?
The Instituto Mesoamericano de Permaculture (IMAP) meets all requirements for certification, and is the principal certifying body for permaculture certification in Mesoamerica. Since its inception in 2000, IMAP has been promoting permaculture techniques, ecological construction, organic vegetable production, as well as native seed production at both national and international levels. IMAP has delivered hundreds of courses and workshops in the area of sustainable agriculture, seed saving, traditional knowledge and permaculture systems. The Institute has also implemented sustainable systems to enable people in a number of communities to produce their own food, to manage water resources, and to maintain and conserve soil fertility.
3. Who can attend?
The course is open to everyone and has been constructed in such a way that offers a level playing field to people of various backgrounds and experience. There are no pre-requisites for this course.
4. Who teaches the course?
The course is taught by Ronaldo Lec of the Instituto Mesoamericano de Permacultura (IMAP) and Shad Qudsi of Atitlan Organics. Local experts from the region will also be invited to teach specific parts of the course pertaining to their specialty.
Ronaldo Lec is a permaculture teacher certified by Geoff Lawton with a diploma issued by Bill Mollison. Ronaldo Lec, an Indigenous Mayan anthropologist from Guatemala, has been teaching and implementing permaculture systems throughout the world over the last 17 years, with a focus on food sovereignty for Indigenous communities in Mesoamerica. Co-founder of the Instituto Mesoamericano de Permacultura (IMAP) in Guatemala, he has delivered experiential courses and workshops on food security, the protection of biodiversity, and the establishment of seed banks at the family and community levels. He is one of the pioneers of the permaculture movement in Mesoamerica and has led the foundation of various Indigenous community organizations striving for self-determination. Lec has been an invited guest at numerous universities, including Yale University, Hiram College, the College of the Menominee Nation, Ithaca College, Cornell University, and the University of Colorado.
Shad Qudsi – Shad Qudsi has over 13 years experience in organic and commercial gardening and farming. He is certified in Permaculture Design and has over 3 years experience in permaculture design consulting. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a double major in Applied Math and Psychology, Shad and his wife, Colleen, moved to Central America with only vague goals of farming at some point in the near future. In January of 2010, Shad and his wife bought and moved onto a very small farm located in the traditional Mayan village of Tzununa, which on the north shore of Lake Atitlan, in Guatemala. The farm, now called Atitlan Organics (www.atitlanorganics.com), is a Small-Scale, Highly Diversified, Super Low-Input, Direct-to-Consumer, Downright Ninja Farm. The farm mainly focuses on greens and dairy goats, a large edible and useful plant nursery, and training and education for the surrounding community. Recently, Shad has been hired as an Agriculture Consultant for a development project being carried out in the Tzununa Valley. Now, he oversees four community gardens and is implementing two sustainable locally-run businesses based on the production and local marketing of clean organic food. Aside from all of this, Shad is an enthusiastic teacher who truly believes in the work he is doing. Human resiliency cannot be erased from the landscape and now, it is coming back with a vengeance.
5. When will the course be offered?
The 2013 course will run from Dec 1 to Dec 15. We will meet on Sunday, Dec 1st and sessions will start on Monday, Dec 2nd.
6. Where will it be offered?
The course will be offered on Lake Atitlan, one of Mesoamerica’s most beautiful areas. Participants will get the unique opportunity to be immersed in Mayan culture and to work with local communities. The Lake Atitlan region offers a number of eco-tourism opportunities, including kayaking, ziplines, canoeing, hiking volcanoes and shopping in thriving local markets. The first half of the course will be held at IMAP, located in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. The second half of the course will be offered at Atitlan Organics, a permaculture farm in Tzununa which is just a short boat ride away across Lake Atitlan. A specific map can be found online, here.
7. How will I get from the airport to Lake Atitlan?
Course participants will meet on December 1st in San Lucas Toliman’s Central Park (“parque central”). We can arrange a private taxi from Guatemala city to San Lucas Toliman for $100. Otherwise, if you’d like to get here on your own, here are specific directions:
From the Airport
Antigua – Panajachel – Santiago Atitlan – San Lucas Tolimán
From the airport, the easiest route is to take a shuttle directly to Antigua (US$10, 1 hour).
From Antigua, there are shuttles and local buses to Panajachel, the entrance to Lake Atitlán.
From Panajachel, take a public boat either directly to San Lucas (leaves 8:30 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm) or to Santiago Atitlán (leaves every hour). The last boat to Santiago leaves between 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm. From Santiago Atitlán, take a pickup to San Lucas Tolimán (travel time of 30 mins).
From Guatemala City
From Guatemala City, there are direct local buses to San Lucas Tolimán and Santiago Atitlán, either the “ATITECA” or the “ESMERALDA”.
They leave hourly from the Terminal Central de Mayoreo (CENMA) between 7:00 am and 4.00 pm.
If you need specific instructions, please send us an email at [email protected]
8. What will be covered in the course?
The course offers the internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate curriculum through participatory learning, based in traditional Indigenous knowledge. It covers a broad range of themes to provide a holistic overview of permaculture practices, biodiversity and sustainable living. Topics include:
- Introduction to permaculture: history, ethics & principles
- Mayan culture and biodiversity
- Reading and understanding the landscape
- Natural principles and Permaculture design
- Natural and cultivated ecosystems
- Developing productive systems with permaculture
- Social permaculture and community self sufficiency
- Drawing techniques and hands-on design projects
The course offers 12 intensive days of instruction and will present the above topics both in hands-on, experiential format and through exploration of permaculture theory. The course is geared towards various learning styles and is presented through a series of lectures, practices, group discussions, exercises, videos, community field visits and design projects. A regular class day begins at 9 am and ends at 5 pm, with occasional evening projects or activities. Participants will also be given time to work on their design projects.
9. How much does it cost?
Before October 1st, the course costs $1,350 USD.
As of October 2nd, the course costs $1,500 USD and includes facilitation, materials, housing, food, internet, internal transportation and Certificate. Payment can be made through Pay Pal: http://imapermacultura.wordpress.com/mesoamerican-permaculture-design-course/
or by sending a transfer of funds through email via your bank.
10. Will it be offered in English or Spanish?
The course will be offered in English. A volunteer will ensure translation from Spanish or Kaqchikel to English for local guest speakers.
Our team would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at