Parque EcoPaz: Embracing Permaculture

Caring For the Planet from the Ground Up, One Community at a Time

Permaculture flower diagram and Ethics of Permaculture: Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share.

We created Parque EcoPaz because we believe parks are good for people and good for communities. The park is a grassroots project of the Costa Rican non-profit, EcoPaz, which seeks to support and strengthen the health and well-being of our local community physically, socially, culturally, economically, and spiritually, while also building global community through our Monteverde Roots Service, Internship, and Education Programs

The 7 Domains of Action shown in the Permaculture Flower petals above represent the broad scope of the work of Parque EcoPaz. The Ethics, Domains of Action, and Design Principles of Permaculture as explained in the work of David Holmgren, Australian environmental designer, ecological educator, writer, and one of the co-originators of the "permanent culture" concept, give our work form and direction. We dedicate ourselves to whole-systems thinking and learning which will serve and model a sustainable future for our Monteverde community and beyond.

Parque EcoPaz is located in Monteverde, Costa Rica, a community and a country rich with nature and grounded in peace. Nature (Eco) and Peace (Paz) are vital to the sustenance of life on our planet; EcoPaz is all about caring for people and our planet. The park depends completely upon the generosity of people and organizations through work, shared ideas, grants, and donations for its sustainability. 

(Picture credit Joshua Muir

Every Day Parque EcoPaz Works To:

Costa Rican staff at Parque EcoPaz.

  • Enliven the connection between people and nature and promote the mindset and practices of sustainability.

  • Support a healthier, happier, and more constructive community through outdoor activity, play and encounters with nature. ­­

  • Strengthen regional culture/identity by connecting with Costa Rican traditions.

  • Encourage innovation and exchange of ideas with local, national and international partners in the work of the park and in reforestation, conservation and education programs.

  • Inspire peace from our insides to our outsides.

  • Contribute to a hopeful future for our children and our children's children. 

  • Uphold the Ethical Principles of Permaculture:  Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share. 

Work, Pray, Love

Co-founders of Parque EcoPaz, Sergio Araya and Liz Wilson.

The creation of the park has been a mountain of work, a chorus of prayers and an act of love for Sergio Araya, co-founder and director of Parque EcoPaz and Liz Wilson, co-founder. Sergio and Liz moved into the middle phases of their lives wanting to combine their passions, strengths, ­and social consciences to help people and the planet…­­ and to try to have fun doing so!

Sergio has deep knowledge and great wonder for the magnificent nature of Costa Rica and endless enthusiasm sharing it with people. With his studies and work experiences in ecology, hotel management, teaching, eco-tourism and construction, and a heart for social justice, Sergio was made for this local and global community-building project. 

Liz spent over 20 years as a lacrosse coach guiding young athletes to engage holistically in practice, play(fulness) and competition while learning through doing, self-reflection, and team-building. She saw the power of outdoor experiential learning steeped in strong principles and fun, and the lasting impact this can have on people. 

Through EcoPaz, Sergio, Liz, and the EcoPaz board and staff see the park offering boundless opportunity to learn, observe, experiment, take action and raise consciousness about more sustainable, healthful and harmonious relationships to our own selves, to each other and all life on our planet.