The Refugio is a great escape from the trappings of modern society. Here, being off-road, off-grid, and off-line, you can rest and recharge.
It’s also a chance to experience a no-waste lifestyle, living with a light ecological footprint. There are tools and techniques available here, for you to take with you.
About the Refugio
The Refugio is a small homestead pioneered in June of 2004, on land so degraded by decades of unsustainable agricultural practices that nearly nothing could grow in the soil. Much has changed, with the dedicated help of many wonderful people who have come from all over the world to participate and experience life here.
This is the housing facilities for visitors. There’s a community kitchen, remarkable library, beautiful yoga deck, composting toilet, and outdoor solar shower. Accommodations include two private bedroom cabins, and a dormitory with two double, and a twin bunk bed. There are several garden spaces, and fruit trees, available.
The Refuge is a great escape from the trappings of modern society. Here, being off-road, off-grid, and off-line, you can rest and recharge.
It’s also a chance to experience a no-waste lifestyle, living with a light ecological footprint. There are tools and techniques available here, for you to take with you anywhere.
You can come to work on the land or buildings. You can come for a number of possible education offerings from the folk at Sierra y Cielo. You can just come to relax, be in the peace of nature among like minded travelers, and enjoy the hikes through the surrounding mountains.
You’re free to choose any combination of the above!
The Refugio is about a 15 minute walk from Sierra y Cielo, where visitors can take tours, participate in workshops, volunteer and intern to experience a regenerative homestead in action. There are also trails that take you to waterfalls and stunning views, and through several ecosystems ranging from dry scrub to cloud forest, all within 5 minutes to several hours hike.
•$5 laundry and soap fee.
•$5/ Night for visitors.
•$10/week for volunteers, who will be accountable for 4hr/day, 5 days/week.
*The Refugio is non-profit. All income from visitor stays go to costs of hosting guests including gas, soap, toilet paper, laundry, general upkeep of facilities, replacing broken items, etc. We try to keep things affordable, but do have ongoing operating expenses to off-set.
Important Considerations Before You Visit.
We really appreciate your intention to support Sacred Suenos, and are looking forward to your visit! We, at Sierra Y Cielo, will be living about 15 minutes away from you, but will still try to make your stay enjoyable. Below are some things that we think you should consider before coming.
The Refuge is off-road.
On average, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours hike from the trail-head. It’s mostly uphill, some of it steep. We recommend bringing ample water, and sun protection. There can be afternoon torrential downpours during the rainy season.
There is the option to hire somebody at Sierra Y Cielo to meet you at the trail-head with their horse, for $20, if you want help bringing up your things and food. The same fee goes for horse service returning. Later on, if you’re staying longer, there will be opportunities to learn the tricks, and pass the test, to just rent the horse for $10/day.
There is the option to hire a guide and horses, as well.
Most people prefer to stay up as long as they can, once they arrive. It sucks to forget something. Make sure you took care calculating how much food to bring. Sierra Y Cielo may have some extra produce to sell, and they even try to have extra stores of dry goods that they may be able to sell you. If you’re interested, ask for a list of available goods before coming up.
If you’re missing something, and it happens that someone from Sierra Y Cielo are doing a town run, it’s possible for them to purchase and deliver what you want, for a small fee.
The Refuge is off-grid.
There are a couple small solar panels, enough for some light in the kitchen, and to recharge headlamps, phones, and other small electronics. The only outlets are of the vehicular 12v DC port
(old cigarette lighter), and USB ports. There are no two pronged AC outlets.
There isn’t a fridge or any electric appliances in the kitchen. Eggs, fruit, and vegetables will keep for days, some for weeks. Milk keeps for days once opened, cheese will be fine for over a week.
For cooking, the Refuge kitchen is equipped with a propane stovetop, and a wood fired rocket oven. Please be frugal with propane use, not only for ecological principles, but because it’s a hassle to transport and refill the tank from town. The rocket fire will smoke when started, but within minutes should begin to burn the smoke before it can get into the oven.
You should bring a headlamp or other light source, ideally something that can be charged via USB.
The shower is direct solar, which means that the water is only hot when the sun is beating down on the coils. It’s pretty fresh at night. If you like that, you may also enjoy the nearby waterfall during the rainy season.
The Refuge is off-line.
You won’t find Wi-fi here! Though there is cell reception, getting cellular data at the Refuge is unreliable at best. This is your opportunity to enjoy the peace, and fully appreciate the beautiful world around you without any distractions.
If you really need to connect to the internet, albeit not a fast connection, you can get a hotspot at Sierra Y Cielo for 1 cent/MB.
There is an old cell phone at the Refuge, to contact a facilitator, or receive calls from outside. We can put some money on the phone for you, if you need to make any calls.
Sacred Sueños Refuge Rules
All guests are responsible for purchasing their own food. There are many stores in town in Vilcabamba, as well as an organic market on Saturdays. We are available to help carry up supplies with our horse for $20/run. Guests who show they are capable of handling the horse without our assistance can rent the horse (when available) for $10/run.
Sacred Sueños is an Andean regeneration project. All visitors are expected to respect this project, not only being more conscious about the consequences of our actions, but also being more proactive in living a regenerative lifestyle. Here are some rules to respect the space and to experience regenerative praxis:
Waste, Garbage, and Pollution are Not Acceptable.
• Anything that goes into the water (soap, shampoo, detergent, rinsings, etc.) must be biodegradable and non-toxic. You can buy natural cleaning products from several stores in town. Even better, buy Sierra Y Cielo products, further contributing to Sacred Sueňos.
• Minimize all plastics, cans, etc. that you bring up to Seed Camp. You are responsible for bringing your garbage back down.• Organic waste is diverted to burnables, compost, or a number of Sacred Sueños farm animals, if you wish.
• The Seed Camp toilet is a bucket system. If you can, urinate elsewhere. Always sprinkle enough sawdust to cover your poop, and add more if you urinated. There will be spare buckets to change, once the current one is 3/4 full. Do not contaminate the humanure system with non-organic waste. Sierra Y Cielo sells menstrual cups and quality cloth pads to replace disposable feminine hygiene products, if you like.
Soil Fertility and Biodiversity Will Always Improve
• Pets need prior approval before coming up. They can cause havoc with the local fauna and flora.
• No cutting plants outside of the paths and trails, and no digging without the previous consent of a facilitator.
How We Interact with Human Beings Should Also be Regenerative
• Respect the privacy of cabins and property belonging to other visitors.
• Keep the communal areas clear of your personal clutter. There are cubbies around the kitchen, to store some personal items that you may not want to carry around from your cabin.
• It is important to give feedback whenever you have a negative experience, whether it be with a fellow visitor, or with a facilitator or any aspect of Sacred Sueños. Active aggression is not permitted. Passive Aggression is detrimental. Open Communication is the only means of conflict resolution. If you’re not sure that you can resolve a particular conflict with somebody else, you can request mediation from a facilitator. Yves, from Sierra Y Cielo, offers workshops on Non-Violent Communication.
• Honor yourself when you need personal space, but encourage yourself to cook, eat and play with those around you. Being off-line means that you have the opportunity to connect deeply with strangers in a way that is difficult to achieve where addictions to social media can hinder real interactions.
• Be considerate of communal spaces, such as the kitchen, library, toilet, shower, deck, and land, as well as your cabins. Be conscious of how you can manage a space, tool, etc. in a way that it is in better condition when you return it for future visitors to enjoy.
• Don’t take any kitchen items out of the kitchen/deck space. Return all tools to the tool room, and all books, cared for with love, to the library.
• For the sake of the battery (the biggest ecological footprint of the solar power system), please recharge electronics only during sunlight, and be as frugal as you can with the kitchen lights at night. When the solar controler light goes from the upper corner to the center, unplug everything and turn the kitchen lights off until the controler light returns to the top corner.
TRY TO GIVE MORE TO A SPACE THAN YOU GET FROM IT
• You are encouraged, though not obligated, to put some energy into improving the Refuge. Light maintenance and decoration is nice. Trail clearing is great. The communal gardens are open for you to use as you wish.
• It’s important to have the pay it forward perspective: Appreciate everything that others have done before you, and acknowledge that everything you do will be appreciated by those who’ll come after you.
• When enjoying the fire pit, or utilizing the rocket oven, always try to collect more firewood than you consumed, to leave more for those who come after you. Also, clean the pit/stove of ashes between uses. There is a bucket available to store ash for agricultural purposes.
• Please ask a facilitator to approve of any larger projects, earthworks, or anything that needs to consume resources. There will be an old phone available in the kitchen, to contact a facilitator.
• Upon leaving Sacred Sueños, please share your experience with fellow travelers, like and share our social media, and rate us, if you used an external app, site, or program, that offers that option. We also appreciate your feedback, given personally!