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An environment that feeds your passion

 

We have created a magical, high-vibration space for you to engage with your personal growth process, have deep conversations with others, and enjoy the surrounding natural environment. 

 

Our grounds are filled with lush vegetation. We have old, fruiting mango trees, acerola (cherry), pineapple, parcha (passion fruit) vines, papayas, bananas, plantain, and cooking herbs. A small, rugged trail wraps around the backside of the property through the rainforest and is available for guests to use. 

Our focus has been to create environments for you to connect with nature in a way that reminds you that you too are nature, and you deserve to be free from the stress and overwhelm that prevents you from being in a state of ease and flow.

For those of you interested in the specifics of our accommodations, we have provided floor plans below including the names so you can locate the nature spirit of each room. Overall, the structure has 3 floors and a rooftop terrace. On the 1st floor you'll find our reception, entrance space and (2) of our sleeping rooms. The 2nd floor has (5) sleeping rooms, and the reflection room, a gathering space that includes hammocks, books, and a balcony. The third floor is where you'll find the kitchen, dining area and common space. This floor is also where the owner resides along with Honey the dog (director of security) and Sunshine the cat (director of pest control). Our spacious rooftop terrace is where our morning movement classes take place. This area is also used for sun worshiping, ecstatic dance, cacao ceremonies, moonrise gatherings, and star gazing.

 

1ST FLOOR
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SECOND FLOOR
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THIRD FLOOR
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OUR FACILITIES

 
 

THE HISTORY

Casa Alternavida was developed out of an old structure that had been abandoned for 7 years, left with no windows, doors, electrical wiring or plumbing and overtaken by nature. It was in significant disrepair, yet the original architecture was intact enough to create what it is today, a new space to support the transformation of others.

Purchased months before hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the project ended up going on hold for a year while the island recovered and eventually restored cell service and electricity. Due to the shortage of construction workers post hurricane the project ended up being built by the owner Yancy Wright, and (2) dedicated construction workers Daniel Bermudez and Jose Johnson King. A labor of love, this house has had a lot of care and attention put into its transformation. 

 

OUR SUSTAINABILITY STORY

Having been a leader in the green building industry for 12 years I was very ambitious with Casa Alternavida’s initial sustainability goals (composting toilets, no AC, net zero energy, etc.) then the realities set in. For example, composting toilets are a really bad idea in the tropics next to a rainforest unless you really want to attract 1000’s of insects, despite how contained you try to make the toilet. I did design for passive ventilation, natural lighting, and utilized trees to provide shade and support cooling but none of those strategies seemed to be enough to address the guests comfort in the summer months or to stop the mold from high humidity so we eventually installed high efficiency AC units. That said, we were still able to achieve some great things and are continuing to fine tune operations.

Revitalizing an Existing Structure

  • ​​Maintained 100% of existing trees and landscaping on property

  • Added more to support carbon sequestration

  • 80% reduction of carbon emissions when compared to building a new concrete structure

Water & Energy Use

  • 100% rainwater collected by municipality

  • Water efficient toilets

  • 90% off grid target - solar array and battery packs in process of being installed (estimated completion, end of 2022)

  • Passive daylighting lighting strategies, high efficiency AC units, LED lighting, and per unit energy monitoring

Interior Finishes

  • 83% of the furniture has been salvaged, restored and utilized to create more character and soul while reducing environmental impacts

  • 97% of tile, terrazzo and exterior floor tiles were salvaged and re-used

  • No volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in any floor coverings, paints, coatings, or furniture

  • Passive ventilation enables lots of fresh air circulation

Recycling and Composting

  • 95% of demolition construction waste (concrete, clay tile, and ceramic tile re-used or integrated into landscaping)

  • 100% of organic materials are composted onsite and used for garden

  • Recycling paper, cardboard, glass, plastic

How we are doing with our first year of being open:

Operations

  • No single use plastics (no plastic water bottles, plastic straws, plastic cups, or Styrofoam containers)

  • 76% reduction in waste with onsite composting, recycling and minimizing purchases with unnecessary packaging

  • Green cleaning program (with exception of minor use of bleach for any challenging mold / mildew situations)

  • Net zero energy target (we only use what we generate onsite with solar) 2024

  • Target for owning only electric vehicles in 2023

Food

  • 97% organic foods sourced (exceptions are non-certified organic by our local farmer friends)

  • 100% free of refined sugars, gluten, and dairy (except Irish, grass fed butter)

  • Collaboration with local organic farms for majority of fruits and veggies

  • Herbs grown onsite (oregano, rosemary, basil, mint)

  • Fruits grown onsite (papaya, mango, banana, plantain, breadfruit, passion fruit, quenepas, acerola (Caribbean cherries)

 

THE ARTWORK

Every room at Casa Alternavida has a nature spirit associated with it and thanks to local artist Heidi Martinez, we also have a custom mural in each room to bring the spirit alive. As a single mother she worked throughout the pandemic, often with her daughter Coral, to beautify each space. An amazing collaborator, she continues to be part of our Casa Alternavida family. If you have a group in need of art classes she is a fun resource. You can learn more about her work here.