Welcome to Finca La Puebla where we offer our student/partners unique learning experiences in permaculture principals and organic tropical gardening, plus!. Most people find us through WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Preference is for people who are genuinely interested in learning about growing foods organically in tropical conditions and are willing to stay a minimum of 4 weeks (1 month). Understanding the pressures of the civilized world, we can accomodate shorter visits, please inquire.  Couples or friends traveling together are preferred. People who choose to come must prepare themselves for living a Costa Rica farm lifestyle – without many of the conveniences that we now consider essential in the First World. Although we do have electricity, the accommodations are simple with few amenities. There is no television service, computer or telephone on the farm. Walter has a local cell phone on the farm and a public phone and internet cafe (for skype calls) are a 15 minute walk into town. If you have your own iphone or smart phone it will likely not work until you purchase a Costa Rica SIM card or obtain international service from your carrier.

This experience can be much more than just learning about permaculture principals and organic gardening. This is an opportunity to see how people, without the economic opportunities and advantages of the First World live and how, in many ways their lives are much richer. This is an opportunity to step away from a fast paced life and slow down and think. You will have access to fresh, quality organic and unprocessed food on the farm and from the market. You’ll be able to feel how what you eat affects your body and mind. Some volunteers tell us that their experiences here have been transformative and will stay with them forever.

Finca La Puebla is not is a drop-in hostel. Once we reserve your place we consider you an important part of the farm maintenance and productivity. This will be a hands on learning experience for you and we will do everything we can to make your experience here a valuable one.

Work and Life on the Farm

1Garden-longview-vo4839D0Our seasons are two. Wet and Dry.

December through April is our dry season which means we get little or no rain and we reduce gardens to areas we can water. We do farm maintenance and pruning at this time as well as the drying of bananas, power bars, pineapples and tomatoes. When the rains return in April we expand our vegetable gardens and plant fruit trees and ornamentals.

May through November is our wet season. Our days are generally sunny and dry in the morning with afternoon rain. In the months of May through September we continue with gardening and maintenance. Many of our tropical fruits ripen during this period. The coffee ripens through October and November and volunteers will spend part of their time picking and processing the harvest. If you can get away in fall, it is a beautiful time in Costa Rica.

Student partners are expected to work mornings 3-4 hours per day, five days a week. Much of this work involves preparing, planting and maintaining garden beds and tending the more delicate greens in our covered nursery area. Walter works with each student, side by side – teaching about permaculture and organic gardening as well as the basics of good soil maintenance.

Everyone can expect to fit into the projects and activities currently going on at the farm and this varies from week to week and season to season. You will be maintaining gardens planted 1 or 2 months ago and sharing from gardens planted 3 or 4 months ago.

There are generally 6 – 10 people living on the farm at any time. Partners stay in the main house in one of the 3 bedrooms there or the more private Jungle House is available for a couple or small family. You will share cooking facilities with others. After the work morning you will be independent and look after your own meals and leisure time. Every week or so we will share a pot luck dinner and there is a TV and DVD player available for you to watch movies and documentaries.

We are trying to stay organic as much as possible and to keep our needs for packaging in plastic containers low. We cannot recycle plastic (including plastic water bottles). We prefer that you bring with you recyclable or organic stuff and at least try this for the time of your stay at Finca La Puebla.

Walter would personally enjoy and appreciate it if you would bring a favorite seed with you. This does not violate the law and we will love having your personal seeds planted in the gardens. What kind of seeds? All are welcome but we especially like flower and vegetable seeds.

The community kitchen is stocked with basic food staples for the first week. And of course some food as vegetables and fruits are seasonally available on the farm. As produce is seasonal, there are varieties and abundances accordingly. Partners augment with food from the local market and local grocery store such as rice, beans, veggies, dairy and meat. It is best that you come prepared to the farm with some basic essentials for yourself – (i.e. meat, cheese, bread, veggies, butter) to suite your personel tastes.

Your time off is your own. The farm has easy bus access to San Isidro de El General – a major supply town in southern Costa Rica. There is also easy bus access to Pacific beaches and Cerro Chirripo, one of the highest mountains in Central America with some of the best hiking. Most students work extra hours to build up time off to enjoy the beaches and/or climb the mountain. Student led musical jam sessions, yoga as well as art and journal writing are popular unstructured activities.


Contributions are $275/person/month for the main house, less than a 1 month stay the contribution is $85/person/week. or $350/person/month for the private Creek Jungle House. Your suggested prepayment of 1/2 your visit through PayPal guarantees your reservation. The remainder is to be paid in cash or paypal upon your arrival. As we hold your agreed and committed reservation for you and do not over or double book we consider you a partner in our program toward the productivity of the farm and process. We will request the deposit invoice at the higher tier and discount the balance to the agreed upon tier (monthly, weekly etc.). This contribution will include accommodation in a shared bedroom with a fully equipped kitchen and bedding linens, bedding, etc. Your initial basic food staples will also be provided including eggs, cooking oil, rice, beans, pasta and bread.

For most volunteer programs such as WWOOF there is the expectation of your work in exchange for food and lodging. That is suitable for much of the developed world where the cost of local labor is expensive and farm produce brings a good financial return. As both the local labor and the price of locally produced food, fruit, and vegetables is very inexpensive in Costa Rica, we simply can not provide for the permaculture and organic practices competency training, our non profit Blue Morpho butterfly habitat program, and the operational expenses of the farm by selling our produce and request our students contribute a modest fee for lodging and the educational training received. This allows us to keep significant acreage unfarmed and in a naturally preserved jungle and riverside setting as well as providing educational competency training in permaculture and organic practices rather than simply providing a hard labor farm position. The partner’s contribution is then paid to local workers who do most of the heavy work at the farm and return the goodwill to the local community. This gives us a positive presence within the community.

Student Availability

We have availability for the months approaching and are reviewing requests now.