Helping Homesteaders Get Back Their Independence

Homesteading is the real way to make change

Permaculture and Regenerative, when applied to the homestead, provide a blueprint for appropriate human activity. Communities of homesteaders can meet most of their needs with local resources and provide opportunities for people to thrive. At Atitlan Organics, we help homesteaders get started on their journey, providing the tools they need to get the bird’s-eye view of their land and build ecological literacy and a fully integrated regenerative plan for their land.

The Permaculture Design Certificate

Walk away with a fully integrated, expert reviewed permaculture design for your garden or homestead.

This course provides everything you need to build your ecological literacy, create your own integrated permaculture design map, and execute a 1, 3, and 5 year homestead plan.

The Permaculture Design Certificate

An extensive curriculum of more than 80 hours of courses filled with both theoretical design methodologies and hands-on practical experience.

Additional focus is also applied on permaculture-inspired, land-based, sustainable business development.

Course content and training is applicable to all climate types and regions.

Want to Visit the Farm


Get Info about Buying Products?

The Original Atitlan Organics Farm is now over 13 years old and currently sells to over 50 customers around Lake Atiltan, including some of the biggest stores, hotels, and restaurants.

The business is now fully Guatemalan owned and run.

They love giving tours of the farm and showing off their excellent work. 

They ask for an energy exchange for their time to give the tour, and they are happy to even take you up to the nearby waterfalls. 

Click below to get info about farm tours, buying produce, or volunteering. 

Come Learn With Us!

Atitlan Organics offers online training in Permaculture and Regenerative Design, as well as in person trainings at our interactive learning landscape in Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Learn Online


Why Free Range Fails and Alternative Ninja Designs for Keeping Chickens

Intuitive Plant Propagation

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Permaculture Design Certification

Get a bird’s eye view of your homestead, build your integrated design, and put it into ACTION!

Learn In-person at the Farm

Permaculture for the Herbalist Path

Learn regenerative lifestyle & design, integrated wellness and herbalism.

Yoga Teacher Training & Permaculture Immersion

Yoga and Leadership and Permaculture Immersion.

Elements of Natural Building

Permaculture principles and the art and practice of Natural Building.

Appropriate Development

In 2019, Shad Qudsi, Founder of Atitlan Organics, supported the creation of Wellkind Guatemala, a local NGO that focuses on regenerative community-based solutions related to economy, ecology, and education.  

This year alone, Wellkind Guatemala has helped to plant over 20k trees in the Lake Atitlan Basin. Beyond this, they have provided over 75 highschool and vocational scholarships to local community members, and also helped to launch a thriving artisan coop with over 100 women and now earning thousands of dollars per month. Find out how you can support their cause, or even bring a group and get involved!

Never underestimate the creative power of the human being. And never underestimate the intelligence of the Earth

Our Ethos

The real climate crisis is the belief that people are bad for the planet.

Atitlan Organics believes in the creative power of the human being.

We believe in the intrinsic desire for harmony, beauty, and diversity that lives within each of us.

Modern environmentalism is anti-human.

And furthermore, no one trusts the earth less than an environmentalist.

Conservation has succeeded in locking average humans out of the landscape under the claim that we can only destroy it if we interact with it, so it must stay off limits. 

 This attitude also provides the license to destroy ‘unconserved’ land, which reinforces the belief that humans can only interact negatively with the landscape.

The average human believes that people are bad for the planet, and has begun to attempt to make themselves as small as possible. 

Atitlan Organics is Pro-human

We believe that humans acting in the landscape leads to more diverse ecosystems than humans locked out of them.
We believe that homesteading is appropriate ecological human behavior. 
We believe that a life with deep connection to nature is rich and fulfilling. 
We believe in the importance of food, shelter, and energy security of our families and our communities. 
We believe that integrated homesteading is the best way for human communities to meet their needs and thrive.
We believe in personal responsibility.
We believe that anything is possible.

What do Past Participants Have to Say?

Our Advantage


We bring over 15 years experience in expat-homesteading, regenerative design, permaculture design and facilitation, and holistic site development.


We have developed a team of expert facilitators with experience working in a diverse array of environments and climates.


We built a supportive, global community of homesteaders and designers who readily share their skills, knowledge and experience with the world.


Access to 15 year old permaculture site, 1.5 year old homesteading project, and other interactive learning environments here in Lake Atitlan Guatemala.

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HOMESTEAD: Your First Year Plan

Things you should do in your first year of homesteading or gardening

Read our Blog

Insights, tips and inspiration about homesteading, regenerative design and permaculture.

Copyright 2022 Atitlan Organics   |   All Rights Reserved

Sarah Wu

Sarah is a clinical herbalist of 20 years, studying and practicing planetary eclectic, regenerative herbalism with a foundation in Wise Woman Reclaiming philosophies. Influenced by global traditions, Sarah focuses on local food-based healing and ethnobotanical traditions. She leads trainings and workshops in herbal medicine, Permaculture Design Courses, Therapeutic Deep Ecology, Social Permaculture, field-to-the-plate holistic nutrition, herbal first aid and Tarot. She is a passionate mentor and educator, who believes in the teacher’s role in unlocking the innate wisdom of the student. Sarah is the co-founder of the Village Witches project, and is a Co-Founder and Co-producer of Envision Festival.

Laura Palmieri

Laura ‘Lala’ Palmieri is a clinical herbalist, a biologist, plant and fungi lover and grower. She offers health consultations to balance body, mind and soul working with medicinal herbs and mushrooms. Her approach to health integrates the knowledge of many ancient traditions and teachers, fusing spirituality with nature, and science with alchemy through the transformation of the elements.

Lala has spent her years in dialogue with Nature, which has fueled her passion to integrate scientific knowledge and the connection with all beings to help humanity. She integrates her practice with cooking, gardening, and exploring ecosystems. She teaches and facilitates herbal clinics and programs in permaculture, herbalism, botany, fermentation, and medicinal mushroom cultivation, with a regenerative earth care approach and techniques that are accessible to most. She and Sarah co-created the Envision and Cosmic Converge Herbal First Aid Clinics, other relief Clinics in Guatemala for the volcano eruption. You will find Lala crafting remedies for her diverse communities in Guatemala and Costa Rica, where she is actively creating a world with integrated healthcare.

Holly Mech

Holly fell in love with yoga because of the sense of connection she felt every time she came to her mat. She began teaching yoga in Chicago in 2011. Her desire to deepen her teaching and personal practice led her to continue her yoga education in California, Bali, Australia and Guatemala. Holly now travels around the world teaching yoga and facilitating yoga teacher trainings. She enjoys helping new teachers sequence yoga classes and incorporate philosophy into their teachings. Her classes are creative and dynamic with an emphasis on making yoga accessible to everyone.

Holly studied English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and frequently draws inspiration for her classes from literature and poetry. When she’s not on the yoga mat she enjoys exploring nature, singing, dancing and working with textiles.

Ashley McDonnell

Ashley’s work focuses on resurrecting our relationship to the natural world through the development of earth based skills that deepen our connection to place while increasing our sense of sovereignty and resilience. Devoted to the arts of permaculture, natural building, herbalism and birth work as her mediums, Ashley explores with humility the diverse modalities that support us in living in right relationship with the world around us. She views permaculture as a practice that not only creates healthy ecological communities but one that helps to reweave the very fabric of who we are as people. Her work is an offering to the future.

Zach Loeks

Hailing from Ottawa, Canada where he and his partner run the 50-acre Kula Permaculture Farm, Zach brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the course. He works as an educator, designer, consultant and farmer, with an emphasis on integrating diversity, conserving soil and maximizing farm ecosystem services while maintaining high productivity.

Last year Zach published The Permaculture Market Garden, which explores ways that permaculture can be scaled up be a profitable whole-systems enterprise. Zach is a leading figure in permaculture, who brings a new and exciting vision of how it can be integrated into the wider community and marketplace.

Rony Lec

Rony is one of the world’s leading experts in permaculture and Mayan ancestral knowledge. Rony has spent the last 20 years teaching and implementing permaculture throughout Central, South and North America focusing on promoting food sovereignty and preserving biodiversity for the survival of Indigenous communities.

Through his extensive work with Indigenous communities on traditional ecological knowledge, seed saving, native plants, local/global food movements, livelihood security, and the interaction between communities and the environment, he has made a key contribution to the empowerment of Indigenous people around the world. Rony is a co-founder of IMAP.

Neal Hegarty

Neal is originally from Ireland. He grew up on a dairy farm and has been around animals all his life. He studied agriculture in Ireland and has worked as a permaculturist for the past 10 years. Neal was the Volunteer Manager at Atitlan Organics for 2 years before co-founding his own Permaculture-based enterprise, Abundant Edge Farm, in Tzununa. He brings a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and energy into each Intro to Permaculture Course and Permaculture Design Certification Course and we’re happy to continue to collaborate with him!

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 developed into Atitlan Organics and now mainly focuses on greens and chickens, a large edible and useful plant nursery, a food forest, and training and education.  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 loving grace.