• Elizabeth

Bringing This Community to Life

For so long, I have wanted to create a physical space to bring together likeminded souls to connect and create solutions together, to write a new story for humanity. I hope that one day this evolves in to a more permanent intentional living community but for now, a week long gathering in one of my favorite places seems perfect. I genuinely had no plans to ever host a retreat but the idea came to me during this trip to Costa Rica and everything came together in divine timing. I am so unbelievably excited about this and I can't wait to meet and hug each and every one of you.

Costa Rica is such a special place to me and living at Villas Mastatal for 2 months, 3 years ago, was my first solo travel experience. In a lot of ways, it catalyzed my sustainable living journey, and for that reason, I owe so much gratitude to the Zuniga family for introducing me to alternative way of life, welcoming me into their family, and teaching me so much.

I have traveled to many different countries and I often have uneasy feelings in places that have been overtaken by Westerners and turned into resorts, yoga retreats, and vegan cafes. It's often inauthentic and feels like large scale gentrification, pushing out local people and erasing their culture to paint over it with our own. Costa Rica is different and that's why it is my favorite place that I have been so far (and likely where I will settle down eventually). Pura Vida is a phrase that encapsulates the culture of Costa Rica and translates to "pure life". The country's grid runs on 100% renewable energy, mainly hydroelectric, they have no standing military and instead all the budget that would go to war goes to the country's stunning national parks, and the people here truly live out the pure life. It is one of the most authentic places I have ever experienced and the sustainability movement feels so genuine and innovative here.

Honestly, I feel a little weird even calling this week long experience a "retreat". Really it's just going to be a bunch of cool people going on a trip together with the help of some organization by me. Maybe that's all any retreat really is, but the word has been tainted by images of white women staying in thousand dollar resorts with high walls and no connection to place. If that's what you're looking for, I'd recommend finding a different experience because during this week we will be pushing boundaries and going outside of our comfort zones. We will be immersed in community, not just our own but the community in Mastatal. We are going to challenge ourselves and challenge each other and get sweaty and dirty.

More than anything, I want you to know that this is coming from such a genuine place. I want to organize and I want to create social change. This just feels like the perfect step in that direction and I always want to be 100% transparent about any of my intentions. We have kept the price of this retreat as low as possible and if you ask me, you won't find any other experience like this at this cost. We have been able to keep costs low, as I won't be making any profit from this and half of the money is going directly to the Costa Rican family who owns the farm. The rest of the money will be going to different families in the Mastatal community for excursions, supplies, and travel costs and a small compensation for the other facilitators. I think it is a perfect balance of a budget friendly retreat while still maintaining worthwhile experiences and activities.

This is the first retreat that I have ever hosted and Villas Mastatal is one of the most important places in the world to me so I am pouring my all in to this passion project. It is likely that this exact retreat will never happen again and never with this much passion and at this low of a cost. The other instructors and facilitators are some of my closest friends and biggest inspirations and role models. Thank you for always being with me and I hope we can really be together in August. I can't wait to see you in the jungle. Pura Vida.

Retreat page here.

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