Villa Sumaya is Thriving in Harmony with Mother Nature
Villa Sumaya’s "Eco-Sumaya Vision" is an ongoing effort to build a more ecologically sustainable nature sanctuary within our retreat center. We apply permaculture, bioenergetics, and ancient Mayan agricultural techniques in order to achieve our goals. Several living permaculture projects have been designed and implemented in order to achieve model eco-systems that promote a prosperous interdependence with our mother earth. Our goal is to reconnect individuals with the awareness needed to cultivate a new holistic understanding of "green principles" in their own daily life. We are consciously cultivating a sense of stewardship and greater appreciation for the food and herbs that nourish our body, mind and spirit.
Since 1999 we have been bringing to fruition our efforts to align more deeply with Mother Nature. A few of our undertakings include medicinal and culinary herb gardens, a citrus and food forest as well as mixed salad greens and fresh wheat grass production for our restaurant. Our Sumaya Café produces its own line of raw-living snacks and features a live juice bar. Chickens produce an abundance of organic eggs while contributing to our composting mix.
Works in progress at Sumaya include managing our own pure water well and rain catchment installation, erosion control systems, solar hot tub and solar electrical assists. Further invaluable initiatives encompass seed collection and propagation of native species, bio-diversity, integrated compost management, food forest development and reforestation projects.
Sharing our vision of a sustainable future through the living model of Eco-Sumaya, we promote healthier ways to live in balanced harmony with life’s natural cycles. Our nature based karma yoga projects are centered around our living gardens and hands on experience, offering direct interaction with nature. We encourage active participation in our re-duce, re-use, re-cycle and up-cycle projects, inviting hands on solutions and greater awareness of environmental issues.
Villa Sumaya is nestled in a land locked bay on the north shore of beautiful Lake Atitlan. We are located on 17 acres in the traditional home-land of the indigenous Maya. This area is known to the Maya as "the belly button of the earth” due to its gloriously abundant landscape. We look directly across the lake at three spectacular perfectly conical volcanoes.
Our 5,000 foot altitude and proximity to the equator offers a high plane semi-tropical paradise often referred to as “the land of eternal spring." The deep caldera walls of the lake create a powerful inverse vortex to the volcanic mountains and ridges above, creating tremendous beauty and distinct natural challenges to work with.
Two "green seasons" (May-June and Sept -Oct) anchor a long dry season which spans from Nov- April every year. An additional dry season or spring break known as the “canicula” comes each year in July -Aug. The sheer quantity of exotic flowers, trees and plant species is further enhanced by the abundance of bird life affording excellent first hand opportunities for bird watchers and naturalist alike.
What we are doing…
* Utilize as many local natural and organic products as possible (from soaps to food)
* Use solar technology for electricity and hot water
* Reduce, repurpose and recycle whereever possible
* Create Eco Sumaya trails and a map of our food forest
* Not selling plastic water bottles – and offering reusable options
* Stuffing plastic water bottles with clean trash for “eco bricks” used in building projects
* Composting all food waste
* Selling local handmade fair-trade items in our store
* Offering 95% local and vegetarian cuisine