A Complete Introduction to Ecological Building Techniques (Rubble Trench and Stone Stem wall, Cob, Wattle and Daub, Earthbags, Natural Plasters)
Dates: March 1 – March 7, 2020
This five-day workshop will cover considerations on picking a house site including passive solar design, building a rubble trench and natural rock and lime mortar foundation, wattle and daub wall construction, building with cob, earthbag construction, natural, earthen plasters, and ways to heat your home in a sustainable and natural way. During the workshop, we will build wattle and daub walls for a communal center currently under construction, and add natural earthen and lime plasters over the finished walls, including adding several clay-based paints. We will also be building some earth bag structures, walls and/or furniture. Additionally, we will be learning about cob ovens, rocket mass heaters and rubble trench and rock foundations. We will visit several other natural homes to explore the wide variety of natural building techniques used around the beautiful Lake Atitlan area. This complete natural building workshop will introduce you to several different and varied natural building techniques and is the perfect way to either begin your learning journey related to natural building or further develop your natural building skills.
We FULLY believe that the best way to truly learn about natural building is through hard work and getting your hands and feet dirty. Many of our past workshop participants have expressed appreciation for the fact that the majority of our workshops are dedicated to the PRAXIS of building. Our worksite features several earthen buildings in different stages of completion, from a finished cob cabin to a communal space about half-way done, to a longhouse in the early stages of planning. If you are a learner through doing, this is the workshop for you!
For this workshop we offer private transportation from Guatemala City to Santiago Atitlan and vice versa. Lodging is at a comfortable hostel with WiFi and hot water in the vibrant and lively indigenous town of Santiago Atitlan located on the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Included in the price of the workshop is a day-long boat tour of several communities around Lake Atitlan to better get to know the surroundings and learn about other natural construction techniques including vernacular adobe construction, bamboo architecture, and more. Also, participants will have the opportunity to participate in several recreational and cultural activities during the course of the week to enjoy the beauty of the lake and learn more about the unique culture and history of the Tz’utujil people.
The workshop begins with dinner on March 1st and ends with breakfast on March 7th.
Pickup in Antigua or Guatemala City airport is at 3pm on the 1st. Departure to return to Antigua or Guatemala City is on the morning of the 7th of March.
Antigua is beautiful colonial city popular with tourists that is roughly 45 minutes from the Guatemala City aiport. There are reasonably priced shuttles that can take you directly there from the airport. The following link explains in detail the process: (how to get to Antigua from the Guatemala City airport).
We are available to answer any questions you have about travel logisitcs, what to expect, or workshop content. Please ask
Natural Building Techniques to be Taught
*Each day of the workshop will offer a mix of classroom style conceptual/theoretical instruction in the mornings and several hours of practice with the different natural building methodologies that we will be using. We will also have the opportunity to visit several naturally built structures around the lake and process what we’ve been learning at the end of each day. Each participant will receive electronic copies of several leading books in the natural building niche.
This option is directed to persons that are coming from abroad and who want private lodging in a nicer hotel. It can be paid for through PayPal and includes:
This option is directed to persons that are coming from abroad that want to save a little bit of money by staying in a local hostal. It can be paid for through PayPal and includes:
This option is directed to experienced travelers that would prefer to arrange their own lodging and get to Santiago Atitlan by themselves. It can be paid for through PayPal and includes: