Date(s) - Sunday, May 20, 2018 - Sunday, June 10, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Guatapé, Colombia is one of the most beautiful, serene, appreciated and well-known areas of central Colombia. Only one hour from the well-known and vibrant cultural center of Medellín, it has an altitude of 2000m and a year-round consistent climate ranging from 60F to 75F. This area of Colombia is very rich in fruits and vegetables and characterized by a lush, green vegetation cover, with giant bamboo (guadua) and ever-present ochre, sienna and multi-colored clays used in the traditional construction methods known as bahareque, tapia and quincha. The Guatapé Reservoir provides electricity to this 2nd largest population center of Colombia and is also a source of fish, boating, swimming and tourism for the locals and foreign visitors. Guatapé has also recently become a significant center for travellers to get back into Nature after the hectic city life in Medellín and Bogotá. Several monasteries of different religions have established themselves here which makes one think that there must be something special about the energy drawing them here. There is a huge rock protruding vertically out of the Earth called “La Piedra del Peñol” which lives here. Most likely it has been a historical spiritual pilgrimage site for the indigenous people, a power center of sorts, which now is a must-see tourist attraction in every travel guide. It borders one edge of the large reservoir and from the workshop site location is a 2-hour walk on a quiet lovely country road. In my experience, it is one of those places on the Planet that you arrive in and end up staying longer than you’d planned.
The workshop will be held at a Soulful Boutique Art Hostel I fell in love with at first sight. I was going for a walk to the Rock and happened upon the “Casa El Encuentro” hostel overlooking the quiet side of the Reservoir with majestic beauty. Immediately I knew the owner and creator of this hostel must be someone ultra-cool. Bright clay colors, mosaics everywhere, tree stumps painted with flags, wine bottles painted with abstract designs, walls with bottle windows, wild paintings and gorgeous bamboo railings and verandas make this place very Soul and Spirit-nurturing. I knew I had to stay for a while and set up my tent all the way at the bottom of the slope in front of the water for 5 days, after which I was very clear on manifesting a workshop here.
El Encuentro has an amazing and peaceful view of the reservoir and the surrounding mountains with the big rock out on the west where the sun sets. Students will share the main house on the property and the various bedrooms. In the case of more than 10 students there is more lodging in the dormitory and private rooms above the main house. The house is equipped with bathrooms and a kitchen as well as an outdoor hammock veranda with the million-dollar view for meditation and yoga and chilling.
The workshop site will be just 50 feet from the house. Breakfast and Lunch will be served in the house and are included in the workshop price. For Dinner students will get to try out all the different eateries in Guatapé or make their own meal. The town is a short 10-15 minute walk from the Hostal. Our hosts are offering workshop students the first Welcome Dinner and last Celebration Dinner as a thank you for leaving them with a unique gift they will cherish and use well.
Students have the first two weekends off to explore the area, go to Medellín, relax in Guatapé, etc. There are so many things to do in the area ranging from hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, waterfalls, hang gliding to meditating and volunteering at the various monasteries. There are various tour guides that will lead you on these adventures.
PROJECT & HOST
Casa Encuentro opened its doors thanks to the artistic work of Maria Elena Silva (MAKANA), founder and designer of the project. Her passion for art and nature is a unique combination that creates a special space full of life and color. Suitable for the imagination! From her ever-exploring and restless soul in search of a dream place, MAKANA came to this beautiful place as a gift of fate. It was here where she finally found her connection with her artistic, creative soul, and rediscovered her essence with nature. As she walked that journey, another person came along.
Since her childhood, where so many experiences have connected her to this environment and its being, a new chapter is added to this beautiful story when Naty Ramirez, daughter of MAKANA joins, with her creativity and universal vision, this ideal project. And that is how Casa Encuentro was born from a dream come true. Casa Encuentro is the ideal place for the traveling community of the world. It was born from the deep desire to enrich a sacred space that connects man with nature through relaxation practices, interaction with art, landscape and dining experiences.
The workshop project is an 11-meter long curvaceous wall that will partially enclose (3/4) a space for yoga, acroyoga, meditation, dance, music, etc for guests and the community overlooking the reservoir. With the foundation built before the workshop, we will build the cob wall in the first two weeks including windows, a big arch passageway, bottles, sculptures, niches, shelves, arches, plaster and the roof connectors. We will also pour a partial floor (10m2) during the first week. In the last week we will build the roof and add another layer of plaster and floor.
The 21-day Cob Building Workshop consists of 15 days of theoretical instruction (lectures with graphics) and construction for 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. Students arrive on Sunday and the Course begins with Dinner. There are two weekends off for travelling, resting, and visiting the local area. Morning (4 hours) and afternoon (3 hours) sessions each have a 15-minute snack break. Lunch break lasts 1.5 hours which includes about 1 hour of rest time before the afternoon session begins, with a 30-60 minute lecture, followed by construction. After class there is a 90-minute break before dinner, which may include an optional yin yoga session. There will also be 4 evenings (twice a week) after dinner for showing slides, videos and having Course-related discussions.
The 21-day Course will offer practical learning by building a 10m2/110ft2 (size may be a bit bigger or smaller depending on number of students) rounded or curved building. The foundation is built beforehand. The Course starts with the Cob walls, which include a door, opening and fixed windows, shelves, artistic inserts, sculpting, electrical, plumbing and the roof connection. We will also pour 1 layer of cob floor and apply
the first coat of earthen plaster on the wall. Time and weather-permitting we will apply the second coats of floor and wall. In some Courses we may offer tadelakt lime plaster finish on the outside or inside walls. Finally we will build the roof structure and, ideally, as much of the roof covering as possible (this depends on the number and ability of students and weather).
Those who complete the 21-day Workshop will receive an Intermediate Cob Building Certificate of Completion for Cob Walls (which includes Door, Windows, Shelves, Art, Electrical & Plumbing), Floor , Plaster & Roof.
The 21-day workshop begins on Sunday evening with Dinner and ends on Sunday (3 weeks later) with Lunch. Students arrive on Sunday to acclimate and settle in. Students may also have the opportunity to stay after and help with any unfinished work on the building upon agreement
with Host. We will build and plaster the wall and pour the first coat of earthen floor
during the weekdays of weeks 1 & 2. During week 3 we will build the roof structure and covering and apply finish wall plaster and floor coats.
The daily schedule will be:
8:30-9:30 Slides/Videos/Discussion (twice a week)
DETAILED COURSE CONTENTS
Students will learn every phase of building a cob building from foundation through the roof in lectures/theory. In addition to the lectures,slideshows and videos will be shown to support and enhance their understanding of cob materials, cob building, design, budgeting, business options and legal issues.
Our hands-on practice will include:
analyzing soils and materials making test bricks
deciding on correct mixture
deciding on best location
making cob w/ partner and solo building with cob
preparing and inserting the door
preparing and inserting fixed and opening windows
preparing and inserting shelves
inserting bottle windows and other objects
inserting electrical wiring and plumbing in walls
preparing and applying earthen plaster (1 coat)
pouring an earthen floor (1 layer)
preparing walls for roof connection
building roof frame
building roof covering ( progress is time/weather permitting)
making small-scale cob designs of future projects
In addition to Cob Building practices, the Course material also includes:
legal issues about cob
creating a cob business (building/teaching)
assisting, interning and teaching with CruzinCobGlobal
REQUIREMENTS AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING
Students will need to come prepared for physical labor from Day 1. This includes:
Work clothes appropriate for the country and climate we are in (long
pants for Muslim countries)
Lightweight rubber gloves (not gardening gloves)
Good moisturizer (clay is drying and dehydrating!)
Students are required to read “The Hand-Sculpted House” before the workshop begins and any other book they find, as well as watching videos on YouTube, especially the ones posted on CruzinCobGlobal’s website under Cob Stories as well as in the Gallery to get an idea of
what is expected. Please bring your book(s).
Students must tend to their own personal needs, drink alot of water, rest when needed and exert themselves at a steady pace. Students who cannot do the strenuous physical work should let us know before the workshop begins so we can adjust appropriately. It is totally OK to come for the lecture/theory part, and then help the building part in less physically demanding ways, ie cutting straw, sifting for plaster,hammering nails into frames or shelves, sculpting, plastering, cutting bottles. There is alot to do besides making and building with cob!!!!
Finally, please bring a watch or use your phone to be prompt and ready for each part of the Course including meals. Feel free to share your dietary needs with CCG or the Host and bring your essential snacks and foods, pillow and whatever you NEED to be comfortable and happy. Feel free to also bring slides, videos, movies and books to share, as well as a
sample of your soil to test.
MEALS & ACCOMODATIONS
Students will be accomodated in a beautiful large house overlooking the Reservoir and the surrounding mountains. The house has bed space for 9 students and includes 2 bunkbeds in one room, a double room and a triple room. When the house is full students will be housed in the dormitory just above the hill about 50 feet. These shared accomodations are included in the price of the workshop. Private accomodations at the Hostel are available for a higher rate. Also students who want to camp on the property may do so and pay a lower accomodation rate.
Delicious vegetarian breakfasts and lunches are included and will be served during the weekdays in the house. Dinner is up to the student who can either go out and try the local specialties in town or make their own meal in the house. Breakfast will be served on the last weekend days of the workshop since we will be wrapping things up together and celebrating! Our gracious Hosts Nathaly and her mom Maria Elena will offer us a wonderful Welcome Dinner on Sunday evening and a Celebration Dinner the last Saturday night. All the meals served will be healthy and local-style vegetarian with lots of fresh produce from the surrounding farms. Please feel free to bring whatever extra food needs you may have to feel happy and comfortable during the workshop.
TRANSPORT & VISA
Getting to Colombia is pretty economic these days either from the US or even Europe and Asia! Avianca is the national airline and is a good company offering very interesting deals. They are a partner airline with United, TAP and others. Viva Colombia, COPA and LATAM are other good ones to look at. Visas are not needed for Colombia and they give you 90 days to be in the country.
Students should ideally fly into the Medellín international airport in Rio Negro, which is only one hour from Guatapé. We will arrange transport to the Hostal if we have enough students arriving at the same time on the same day or days and arrange return transport as well.
FEE & PAYMENT
This and the remaining information are coming Friday February 16th, when I am out of the Amazon jungle…..thanks for your patience!
Location: Casa El Encuentro