See How Villa Sumaya is Striving in Harmony with Mother Nature
Our Eco Sumaya vision is Villa Sumaya’s ongoing effort to build a more ecologically sustainable nature sanctuary within our retreat center. Our vision focuses on applying environmentally sensitive and wise traditions in conjunction with permaculture, bioenergetics, and ancient Mayan agricultural principles. To that end, several living permaculture projects have been designed and implemented in order to exemplify simple, model eco-systems that promote a prosperous interdependence with our mother earth. Our fundamental goal is to purposefully reconnect individuals with the awareness to successfully cultivate a new holistic understanding and practical application in their own daily life. Concurrently we are consciously cultivating a greater appreciation and stewardship for the food and herbs that nourish our body, mind and spirit.
Since 1999, we have been slowly manifesting our efforts to align more deeply with Mother Nature. To date, our undertakings include medicinal and culinary herb gardens, citrus and papaya orchards, as well as salad, mixed greens and fresh wheat grass production for our restaurant. Additionally our kitchen produces its own line of raw-living snacks and features a live juice bar. Finally our chickens produce an abundance of organic eggs while assisting in maximizing the efficiency of our composting strategies.
Managing our own pure water well and rain catchment installation, erosion control systems, solar hot tub as well as solar electrical assists, are all works in progress at Sumaya. Emphasis on seed collection and propagation of native species, bio-diversity, integrated compost management with worm and chicken farms, food forest development and reforestation projects are invaluable initiatives that further help us protect our environment and food sources.
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 exposure with nature. Engaging active participation from our guests in our re-think, re-duce, re-use (re-purpose), re-cycle and up-cycle projects, invite solutions and greater awareness to the ongoing issue of waste management.
Villa Sumaya is nestled in a land locked bay on the shores of beautiful lake Atitlan, facing three dramatic volcanoes. We are situated on 68 cuerdas or about 17 acres of land, in the traditional home-land of the indigenous Maya. This area is known to the Maya, as the “belly button of the earth”, for its verdant and gloriously abundant landscape.
Our 5,500 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 create a powerful inverse vortex to the volcanic mountains and ridges above, creating tremendous beauty as well as 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…
* Using as many local, natural and organic products as possible (from soaps to food)
* Using solar technology for heating water and electricity
* Reducing, repurposing, recycling where ever we can
* Producing our own greens, eggs, herbs, some fruits and vegetables
* Not selling plastic water bottles – and offering reusable options
* Stuffing used plastic water bottles with clean trash to be used as “eco bricks” in building projects
* Composting all food waste
* Selling local fair-trade items in our store
* Offering 95% local and vegetarian cuisine