Earth & Bamboo Building Workshop

Dream of building an elegant bamboo and earthen plaster home?

Due to the increasing demand by new conscientious settlers in our area of Costa Rica, a weeklong intensive course is being offered in basic and elegant bamboo, sustainable woods, earthen wall, adobe and floor techniques. Immerse yourself and learn hands-on amongst innovative, sustainable examples demonstrated by knowledgeable people living in Costa Rica.  



Rodolfo Saenz

A Costa Rican native with 25 years experience to a master craftsman level in natural building disciplines, Rodolfo specializes in bamboo, cob, adobe, and bamboo furniture making.  His Costa Rican home is an example of the possibilities bamboo and cob construction offer. A video of his innovative house will also be presented at this workshop, along with live demonstrations of key materials and techniques.

Erick Rivkin

Eric founded La Joya del Sol in 2005, a project of the no-profit Viva La Raw Program for natural lifestyle education. He has 30+ years of experience building with wood and bamboo. He’s designed and built timberframe housing in Minnesota which received acclaim for its extreme durability, quality, and zen beauty in an advanced Japanese tradition. He "grows his own homes" by planting several varieties of construction grade bamboo at La Joya del Sol , uses only fallen or dead wood from forests, intended for use in future construction. Eric believes in the amazing and infinite design possibilities that bamboo has to offer. La Joya del Sol is filled with examples of delightful and cutting edge bio-architecture using bamboo and sustainable woods. He dedicates his life to sharing elegant solutions to a simple, strong, most used building material on earth - bamboo.



The hands-on workshop will choose from a variety of techniques:

  • Bamboo varieties, cutting, selecting, preservation, design and reinforcement

  • Beautiful bamboo design options including dome bending roofs and curved walls, quick-built structures such as tent platforms

  • Bamboo splitting lattice, laminating, bending and decorating 

  • Bolt-less and beautiful bamboo joining techniques

- Fish mouth

- Overlap

- Pegging and lashing

  •  Finishing and maintenance of bamboo

  •  Bamboo foundation options

  • Bamboo lattice with earth plaster base coats

  • Interior and exterior finish coats

  • Preparing soils, grass binders and mixtures

  • Special power and hand tools use

  • Making hardwood and bamboo pegs

  • Making cob with vedever grass and local clay

  • Adobe  

  • Lime plasters

  • Earth plasters

  • Earthen floor 

Cost:  Ex-pats:  $575  

Native Costa Ricans:  $400

Included:  Lodging in custom made bamboo covered platforms or open orchard areas are provided for tent camping with your tent or ours, with bedding.

A healthy diet of gourmet raw vegan food from Chef Eric Rivkin is also provided. Course is limited to 12.

For Reservations: Contact Eric at 

Phone: 8886-6802

or with Trey Abernethy

Phone: 8444-3565


You may register at Eric’s table at the Tinamastes organic market with prepayment or deposit of $100 with the balance in cash upon arrival.

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