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My Next Big Adventure: Raw Food & Community Living in Costa Rica!

Posted Sep 13 2012 4:10am

Hey hey guys, sup?

How is everyone doing with the no make-up challenge ?  I must say, I had to present 3 workshops at a festival this weekend and I was a little apprehensive about my genius idea to go make-upless this week, but I powered through and did it!

Now, I didn’t say anything about no glitter!

Now that everything is finalized, I’d like to share with you all my next big adventure and next step in my journey of self-exploration and my work as a raw food/health coach!

Raw Food & Community Living in COSTA RICA!

The idea for going to costa rica to enjoy the lush nature and bounty of fresh, exotic fruits came to me last year, though it took me some time to visualize exactly how I wanted to spend my time there. And I am more than happy I took the time to let the answer come to me because I instantly felt my heart singing when stumbling upon no less than two amazing communities, each with their own unique qualities. And so, my initial 4 week trip has turned into a 4 month journey of a lifetime!

Viva la Raw is a stunning farm nestled in the south pacific mountains amidst the tropical rainforest, founded by Eric Rivkin.

 The purpose of the Viva La Raw Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit charity, is to provide education and support for sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just, plant-based, nutrition-rich lifestyles, supporting scientific research and creative initiatives that respect and enhance the quality of all life on Earth. Education and living by example helps everyone make better choices to manifest the worldwide awakening to adopt conscientious lifestyles respectful to all life. The projects of Viva La Raw share skills, knowledge, and an ongoing lifestyle directly to the people that are involved in this awakening.

One main Viva La Raw project is the involvement in the co-creation of the educational aspect of the intentional permaculture community Jewel of the Sun (La Joya del Sol), nestled in 67 hectares of Costa Rica’s South Pacific coastal mountains.  Amidst lush rainforests, pure spring water, private waterfalls/natural pools, breathtaking mountain scenery, and organic orchards and gardens,  the experience of a natural, beautiful, raw vegan way of life is being accomplished.

When I emailed Eric to apply for an internship I was met by nothing but enthusiasm and kindness, and plenty of exciting projects we could collaborate on (keep your eyes peeled for a raw recipe book by Eric & me)! An internship basically means I will be part of the farm’s team and lending a helping hand on the ongoing projects and tasks. What better way to learn about sustainable building, permaculture, natural landscaping and off-grid (self-supporting) living?

Viva la Raw is famous for it’s abundance of hand-picked, fresh, tropical, exotic fruits year-round (mangosteen, jackfruit, dragonfruit, durians, coconuts, sundried cacao beans, rambutans, custard apples, starfruits, sapote, noni, to name a few) and the beautiful waterfalls and natural pools surrounding the property. Viva la Raw only serves its guests and interns fresh, organic, raw and vegan food throughout the day, and the water comes from fresh springs. Hiking, yoga, potlucks, beach trips and raw food preparation are some of the main events every day/week.

Feast your eyes (all pictures copyright of Eric Rivkin/Viva la Raw) ;

Oh hey sexy!

Enjoying the waterfalls, skinny style!

One of Eric’s many masterpieces from his recipe book ‘TO LIVE FOR’  (click). Can you believe this and most of Eric recipe’s are LOW FAT? Can’t wait to get creative in the kitchen with him! I have been moving away more and more from heavy, dense, dehydrated, gourmet raw foods myself. FRESH is where it’s at!

 Green smoothie a la Eric <3

Shiny, happy people

Fresh mangosteen!

Opening cashew kernels

Pineapple like you’ve never seen before <3

Rambutan fruit

After my adventures at Viva la Raw I will head to the well-known alternative community ‘Pachamama’, which is centered around yoga, meditation, silent retreats (vipassana) and satsangs (spiritual talks or dharma talks). Daily yoga and some hours of meditation, group gatherings and festivals, retreats and workshops and ample time for self-reflection is what brings me and most people to Pachamama.

I will be doing a work-exchange at Pachamama which, again, entails hard work and lots of learning! What brings me to Pachamama is the 10 day silent retreat (Vipassana) and 5 day tantra intensive. I will also be doing another long juice feast at Pacha and very excited to attend the annual, weeklong River Festival!

The PachaMama River Festival is a musical portal to an altered state of bliss, expansion and togetherness. A top quality line up of DJ’s and bands are already tuning their instruments to take the Pachamama tribe on a week-long musical mystical journey.

MUSIC STYLES: Alternative Rock, Psybient, Psytrance, Nu Folk, Electro, Psico Tropical, Cuban, Latin Reggae dub, Rock ‘n’ Roll and more.

WORKSHOPS: Yoga, dance, sweat lodge, meditations, healing sessions, body work, and more.

Though Pachamama is not an all raw community, there is a unique variety of raw, macrobiotic and ayurvedic meals, all fresh, seasonal and organic. At Pachamama, I will celebrate the holidays and start of the new year in total silence. A great way to start a new and exciting new year, the year of me turning 25 (also while in Pachamama), if you ask me.

The essence of PachaMama is the space of meditation. This space is not only an individual reflection of stillness, it is also the inner shower that this energy field is taking every day so it can remain fresh.

PachaMama is a platform for people to heal primal wounds, transcend borrowed ideas and dare to stand naked of pretention, so that the inner silence of being can be revealed. Naturally this journey goes through moments of delighted spirit and uplifting inspiration along with moments of pain and confusion.

Our meditative presence needs to hold the ground for this strong and important journey.

- Excerpt from a satsang with Tyohar


I am also using this ‘time off’ to focus on new and exciting projects. Aside from learning about permaculture and gardening and taking my raw food kitchen skills to a new level, I will utilize my time to write a new book, my biggest project thusfar. Me and Eric will also collaborate on a recipe book, among other things. For the next 6 months, I will not take on any new coaching clients (sorry!) and instead use this time to create online coaching programs for group coaching. During my time in Costa Rica I will be writing and blogging frequently to give you guys a peek of this lifestyle!

Above all, I am headed to beautiful Costa Rica to experience more of community based living and working. Serving others around me in an intimate way, experience the feeling of people taking care of each other. I am going, leaving my wonderful community in Amsterdam for the time being, to create space for soul searching and time for reflection. I always feel this process is sped up when we are removed from our day to day surroundings and people. I am going, because I can only spend so much time in the city without yearning for real nature. Eating hand-picked greens and fruits fresh from the tree.

That is when I feel most alive.

(Oh, and also, winter in Holland is friggin cold)

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