“The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” 

—Wendell Berry

Harmonia is where we reroot ourselves with the Earth, finding inspiration, creativity and gratitude that allows us to heal and live in balance with nature.

Harmonia is an education and natural medicine center, community and nature reserve dedicated to abundant, self-sustainable living in balance with the earth.  It is a living example of spiritual ecology, a synthesis of ecological and social sustainability combining indigenous wisdom with the realities of our modern lives through education, physical activity, meditation and community.

Located in the small town of Cardenas, Nicaragua (on the border of Costa Rica), the land is 260 acres of old growth forest, forest, jungle and meadows and 3 acres of lakefront property with stunning views of the two volcanoes that make up Isla Ometepe.

The education center is centered around classes for homesteading, survival and off-grid living.  Course are offerings based upon permaculture principles, with classes ranging from building with natural materials to eco-village design, natural medicine and healing modalities to astronomy and navigating by the stars.  The list of course offerings is lengthy.  Our curriculum centers on a hands-on, engaging approach towards learning that creates a fun and emotionally supportive space for everyone.

Classes are offered in blocks, with six hours of classroom and field instruction five days a week, available for one, two and four week sessions.  Three and six month eco-village design courses will be offered, too.   Participants create their curriculum based upon the course and workshop offerings and teacher availability.
The Natural Medicine Center will offer homeopathic, naturopathic and chiropractic services, as well as other alternative therapies.  We will have classes in alternative medicine and a doula program in the future, with the long-term goal of opening a natural birthing center.  We will also have medicinal herb and mushroom operation.  Dried herbs and mushrooms will be grown, harvested, and used for the natural medicine center and as an export abroad.

Physical adventure is a major component of Harmonia.  A professional mountain bike course to be used for the Central American circuit will meander through the nature reserve, along with horseback and hiking trails. Free yoga classes will be offered daily.   The warm water lake is perfect for kiteboarding, stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaking and swimming.  The long term goal is to partner with an acro-circus group to offer classes in circus acrobats, capoeira, and silks. There is plenty of space for trapeze and high-wire acts.

The elaborate trail system throughout the property will serve as an outdoor educational platform, with each trail covering a different group or theme.  One of the main trails is The Trail of Wisdom, with trails dedicated to the the indigenous tribes of the worlds such as the Lakota, Miskito, and Dogon.  Every 20 to 100 feet there will be a sign in Spanish and English (and native language) explaining how they ate, prayed, planted, and celebrated.    It is not a comprehensive education (only a paragraph or two per sign), but enough to whet the intellectual appetite.
Aside from the marked trails, there will be a few surprises in store to enhance the adventure.  The trail guides will be marked like a treasure map with secret trails resulting in a “treasure” such as a rope swing, sundial, jungle gym in the jungle, outdoor chess, or a funky piece of art.  These “treasures” will increase as more people pass through the land and leave their artistic imprint.

All the senses will be open when hiking through the trails and thus the information will be retained at a sensory level that a classroom, television, computer screen or book does not permit.  All of the signage will be in English and Spanish, making it an excellent language tool.

Preserving indigenous cultures is vital as many languages continue to die off.  It is a way to preserve the ancient stories and our history.  It is a living library.  We will share the wisdom of the ancient elders through storytelling circles, dance, sweat lodges, and ceremonies, as well.

The land will serve as the ultimate botanical garden, with trees and plants labeled throughout the property.  Permaculture concepts will be explained at various points, with explanations not only of the systems, but why we specifically placed swales, berms, and water reservoirs in particular spots and how the road and trail systems were designed.  The gardens will be unique and planted as living works of art.

Harmonia is the synastry of art and nature.  It will constantly evolve in color, form, texture and design.  The buildings, gardens, and walkways will be living works of art.  Aside from homesteading classes, we will have classes on natural pigments and painting techniques, pottery, landscape art and botanical drawings.  During the rainy season, it will serve as an excellent writers’ or artists’ retreat.

Harmonia is centered around a wholistic lifestyle – and that requires balance in the mind as well.  In two years we want to offer eco-therapy counseling and addiction services to integrate the soul with the natural environment.  Much of this component will utilize Osho meditative therapies, indigenous healing modalities, and nutritional education, with group workshops and individual therapy sessions.  This aspect is a recent addition in the purpose and structure of Harmonia, but is essential.  We can love ourselves if we love the earth; we must love ourselves before we can heal ourselves, and we can heal ourselves in nature.

We are currently fundraising for the project and are looking for financial backing from parties who are looking to support Harmonia in educating a society that is waking up from our current system and seeking a more symbiotic relationship with our environment.

To see how you can support Harmonia, please email us at kelly@harmonia.life

Harmonia: Educational Center and Nature Reserve, Nicaragua from Harmonia on Vimeo.