In this episode, Stephen Brooks shares his journey from suburban life to designing ecovillages in Costa Rica. He shares what fuels his dedication to protecting our ecosystems, and his vision for co-creating a more sacred, loving and kinder quality of life.
Stephen Brooks has over 20 years of experience working on the creation of thriving ecological communities, beginning in 1995 with The Punta Mona Center for Regenerative Design and Botanical Studies, which has become a world leader in tropical permaculture and an extensive botanical collection of useful plants. Tens of thousands of students have visited and have been inspired by this rotating community of change makers.
In 2006 La Ecovilla was founded as a world model for sustainable living, made up of 45 families from 25 countries. Ecovilla’s roads are made from recycled plastic, the septic is treated by one of Central America’s largest methane digesters and large communal gardens and orchards feed the residents.
In 2008, Stephen co-founded Tacotal, neighboring La Ecovilla in hopes of helping lower income Costa Ricans and others who could not afford to live at La Ecovilla. Up the street from La Ecovilla, Stephen co-founded Tacotal which is co-owned by 33 families and is 70 acres on the same river as La Ecovilla.
His most recent addition is Alegria which neighbors La Ecovilla and is 170nacres and will include 100 more lots, an elder village, an event space as well as high school being created by a crew from The Green School in Bali. Stephen co-founded and co-produces the annual Envision Festival, an educational and conscious celebration on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica featuring music, workshops, art installations and a host of activities designed to build community and inspiration around creating a sustainable world.
Stephen Brooks shares about his vision, dedicating his life to protect our ecosystem and designing a regenerative system.
Discover more from Stephen Brooks and how to co-create a quality of life.
“Identify the people that you want to surround yourself with, and not just because you like having fun with them, but how can we collectively figure out how together we can radically improve the world?” – Stephen Brooks
Listen to Episode 16 as Stephen Brooks uncovers:
[2:47] The co-founders of eco via building up the streets.
- The vision for creating the beautiful Valley and in Costa Rica
- A response to living in the city and not having any space for pets and not having a backyard and needing more space.
- The key is designed, like how can we design all of this to function better and to function so that people thrive. Unfortunately, so many things are designed based on capitalism.
- Dear friend named Ralph Lou. He started the Fetty of Airedale, one of the best organic markets in all of central and South America.
- How can he completely dedicate his life to trying to come up with the solutions.
- He started a tour company for college and high school students and it was a big hit because we were really one of the first companies to really focus on biology and focus on environmental stuff at that time.
- Growing up agriculture report station and green buildings, solar, and water systems.
[17:00] Co-create A Quality of Life
- We have to like struggle and be miserable so that we can be happy.
- How can we co-create a quality of life?
- We want to design, beyond our physical borders, but we also want to design beyond our generation.
- What steps can we do now to ensure, putting them on a grill and extremely successful, just kind of being like first to market in a way or second, where there’s a few of us at the time, there’s a place called Pinky eBay.
- Starting a community together and we knew Costa Rica hands down cause we love it.
- His vision for the financial division.
- Part of equal diversity, the earth leadership school.
- It’s called 1001 redesigning the earth. It takes conservation, reforestation, and regenerative agriculture.
- A lot of times I’m vision, vision, vision, and I have all these amazing teams that are doing, doing, doing.
- How can I be part of the solution?
- We were just finding ginger in the ground or tumeric in the ground. All the trees here are all fruit trees.
- The negative side on the Google map of life
[28:54] The Co-creation of Realities That Are Limitless.
- Something deep and something primal and something ancient is happening
- The unlimited possibilities like the limitless possibilities of what we can do with our time here and with the space.
- There’s no limit.
- What is your dream? Write it down.
- Dream it up as big as you want and then make it that way? It’s gonna take co-creation.
[31:00] Figuring out ways to get along and honoring each other
- Loving each other and loving ourselves.
- Being patient with ourselves and being patient with this process and this transition.
[33:26] The Brave Woman Means
- Raise your voice to the ignorant men around you.
- Just surround yourself with men that are really ready to step down with that old bullshit and really co-create, and bring back and keep bringing the sacred and keep bringing the ritual and keep bringing the magic.
Power Quotes From the Show
Wait A Minute, We Need to Become Resilient
“There’s no road to get there. You’ve got to take a boat twenty-five minutes, or you hike about an hour and a half two hours through the jungle to get there. Being off the grid, caused us to have to like to connect with a lot of important lessons. Like, where’s our water coming from? Where’s it going? How are we going to heal ourselves? How are we going to eat? Where there’s no road, it’s like all of a sudden you have to figure shit out. Like, wait a minute, we need to become resilient. We need to figure out a lot of things.”-Stephen Brooks.
How We Treat Each Other and Ourselves?
“We wanted to become a great example of all these physical solutions, but we also want to be different. How can we totally become different? Like an example of social human experimentation of how we feel our time and how we feel and how we treat each other and how we treat ourselves?”-Stephen Brooks.
A Suburban Guy’s Escape From The System
“We can’t let them put us in a box. We can’t let them put a label on us. We’re so quick to decide whether it’s that guy’s name, that rhyme we’d dump or it’s the government, or it’s Monsanto’s or the Dow chemicals or all of it, like stop blaming everyone. It’s you, it’s a break free. I’m the book. I’m working on something called break them chains, a suburban guy’s escape from the system. The reality is, we just gotta shake off all the things that we think are holding us back because there’s nothing there’s just like right now we could just like jump off the edge into the gorgeous abyss of bliss. It’s so much easier and more fun together.” -Stephen Brooks.
Links from Today’s Show
About Stephen Brooks
Stephen Brooks is a self trained ethnobotanist, specialist in exotic fruit trees and permaculture education, Stephen has taught over 25 Permaculture Design Courses in both Costa Rica and Mexico emphasizing plant collecting, biodiversity conservation and creating value added fair trade products, which benefit local farmers and communities He currently does consultations and permaculture installations on many scales, from working with Hollywood celebrities to resorts and wellness centers to community development projects to small family farms. Stephen has become the go to in Costa Rica when people want to increase their biodiversity, nurture their soil and design the self sustaining project of their dreams. A passionate speaker and educator, Steven has given numerous talks and lectures over the years, including several TedX series, and appeared as a host and correspondent on multiple TV shows including Edible Adventures for the Travel Channel, G Word for Discovery’s Planet Green and Save My Planet for ABC’s Livewell HD.