The Sacred Lifeline Project
We envision the first Imaginal Cell Academy of the Sacred Lifeline Project to be in Costa Rica, tentatively at the Refugio de Los Angeles (RDLA) near the village of Quebrada Grande, 40 minutes from Jicaral, in the Guanacaste Province of Nicoya Peninsula. Porvenir Design evaluated this site as well as another site near Comunidad, also in Guanacaste Province, and the RDLA site was found to be much more suitable for our purposes.
Guanacaste Province is the cattle-ranching hub of Costa Rica and the cattle and sugarcane industries have been literally eating up the tropical forests in the region. RDLA is a 100-acre "oasis" at the edge of Guanacaste province where the current owner, Maria Cis Wilson, has largely restored the native vegetation of the region. This gives us an opportunity to create living arrangements that are minimally disruptive and blend in harmoniously with her creation and thus implement a prototype for E. O. Wilson's "Half-Earth" solution. More information on the property can be found in http://www.simplelivingbydesign.com.
Imaginal Cell Academy at RDLA
The Imaginal Cell Academy is intended to be a place where we exemplify sustainable living in the eco-centric, life-enriching culture of normalized nonviolence of the future, while also showing how the world can transition to such a culture in the current environment. As such, it should demonstrate the integration and marked improvement in the lives of the local community. The RDLA location is relatively remote from the flow of tourists in the Nicoya Peninsula and therefore, we envision creating organic dried food production cooperatives in the neighborhood using the technology pioneered by Just One Organics, to integrate the local community, promoting alternate livelihoods to cattle ranching.
Below is an overview of the current infrastructure, boundaries, roads, and notables features of the property as well as highlighted zones for potential development.
SWOT Analysis of RDLA
• The property, including its soil, water, and plant resources have been lovingly cared for and regenerated over the past 20 plus years.
• The location and elevation create a unique landscape and microclimate, resulting in more comfortable living conditions and stunning views.
• This is a turnkey property; water, electric, internet, access, and infrastructure are all in place, and well built. Our team could live comfortably on the site from day one as we implement our vision for the property.
• The topography of the site and dry tropical forest climate result in a property that isn’t suitable for large scale grain/legume agriculture.
• The national road entering the property is extremely steep, requires 4x4 vehicles, and could limit access for parts of the rainy season.
• There is no public transportation through this area and it is relatively isolated from recreational activities without a personal vehicle.
• The maintenance of the property requires a lot of labor, and as such, is quite expensive to keep up.
• This is an ideal property for a medium scale community development and retreat center. It meets all of the basic requirements for development.
• There exists a nearby small Costa Rican community that has strong ties to the property, and could be a good source of local labor.
• Relying on reaching good ground water for a well always comes with risks. The ability to develop the property would be greatly reduced if a successful well is not established.
• The steep topography creates risk for land slumping from seismic shifts and water logged soils.
Future Steps (from Porvenir Design)
There are a number of steps to consider for immediate advancement of the project at RDLA:
• Verification of strength of the local aquifer for well installation, accessibility of municipal water supply, and general estimations of water demands for the future community.
• Clear definition of food production goals for the project moving forward.
• Identification of community infrastructure needs and where development of residential areas will be.
• Re-cutting some of the access roads to improve access by car or truck to more isolated parts of the property.
• Stabilization of some of the steeper areas that are prone to erosion.
• Consideration of the logistics of getting basic utilities to all areas of the property that are of interest for infrastructural development.