*** UPDATE: Dear Folks, we are now to be found at our new homepage. Please visit us at rawtreat.weebly.com ***
Welcome Home to Rawtreat Farm!
Rawtreat is a retirement project whose aim is to learn and practice living in peace with the earth and is the ultimate expression of my philosophy of life and spirituality. In this sense, it is a sanctuary that we live and work in according to the principles of permaculture.
The farm is 25 hectares, along the Rio Lagarto where you can always take a cool dip. The farm is in the middle of beautiful secondary rainforest, and there are other eco-farms nearby.
You can get here on foot, by bicycle, or by car. From Rawtreat to the neighboring town it´s only 3km. If you continue from Rawtreat a little way against the river´s current, you will arrive at the very abundant primary tropical rainforest where there are crystal clear waterfalls, including one that´s 10 meters tall with a swimming hole.
For volunteers and guests there is a simple house with running water and lots of room to camp.
Rawtreat is a project of one person that is part of a collective permaculture and gardening project of friends, mutually helping each other. We are interconnected, exchanging our harvests as well as advice and work.
Our neighbor Mayra and her family, as well as Max and Kama, who farm organically, are also part of Rawland (what we call Roland´s rawland), which are similar to Rawtreat. Another sister project is on the Carribean coast. Like Rawtreat, it offfers a 100% raw diet and a drug-free environment.
II. The Project
The purpose of the project is, first of all, to offer a free space for rediscovery and rebirth of the authentic self. We pursue our collective way of life to undo all the harm humans have created and the wounds inflicted upon the earth – as well as to humans and animals. To achieve this, it´s important to give every person the opportunity for free self-realization. There is no better basis for this than a holistic life on your own farm, run under natural conditions, living self-sustainably.
At Rawtreat you will find other people embarking along the same path, with the opportunity to exchange experiences, ideas, visions and love. Moreover, you will find a natural environment which can serve as the basis for a rest. For this reason, it is also an ideal place to detoxify physically and emotionally. It is a place for rest, meditation, self-realization and, most of all, for transitioning to a raw food diet.
As a learning project we teach each other mutual respect and responsible treatment of each other, of Nature and all of Creation. As far as we are concerned, as a community of individuals that share mental and spiritual understanding, we are all family.
This project offers a practical example of a simple life, living in nature. Here it is of primary importance to focus on the essentials of life, to separate yourself from everything unnecessary as much as possible without harm, to improve the quality and longevity of life.
Whoever wants to acquire practical experience and understanding, respect for self-sustainability and permaculture, can participate as a volunteer, which is especially useful for those who plan to someday have their own farm.
In addition to the 25 hectares of our farm, we have leased another 6 hectares that we want to buy someday. This precious farm is adjacent to ours and has many exotic plants and access to spring water. Building a house for guests in that space is a project we want to undertake soon.
You are invited to join the project if, like me, you want to live and work on the farm without owning property on the basis of trust, or if you´re a neighbor. There is the possibility of managing an already established project/business together which would involve taking care of the orchard, taking care of guests, or selling farm products on the organic market.
III. My Philosophy
For me, people have a special place among the earth´s creatures. What distinguishes people from animals is our intelligence and spiritual consciousness, which permits us to choose freely between the unnatural path of suffering, destruction and violence, or the beneficial way of divine province. This special position of humans also gives us a unique responsibility that conforms to Nature´s Law: the obligation to preserve and care for our divine creation, every representation of it and every species – for people and for all of life (including rivers, forests, ecosystems, etc.)
Here we also try to recognize the inherent value of every being, and the overall interconnectedness of all life. This doesn´t mean assigning value to each God-given creature based on their cost or utility to people, but respecting each being for who s/he is, based on their right to be respected and to live freely.
Profound ecology is today´s expression for this non-anthropomorphic point of new. This means nothing else besides recognizing the ancient understanding of living successfully in harmony with cosmic laws of ancentral towns. And only by understanding it in this way, as universal and interconnected, can people cure themselves and, consequently, the earth as well (although, the earth can certainly cure itself by itself). We hope that people will wake up to a sense of communal living.
A simple life doesn´t just mean a comfortable life, because today that kind of life is parasitic in general for the land and creatures with less power. I also don´t believe in a world run by the miracles of technology and machines. The true meaning of a simple life is to take the challenge of walking a different path from the multitudes. I want to believe in the rediscovery of the potential of the human spirit, which would make it possible for us to return to the central place within creation where we belong.
I see real intelligence in people who feel rich with the little they have; who focus on essential needs instead of searching for satisfaction in superficial distractions; who focus on direct living, instead of walking in circles; who are simple in means, rich in effect.
Here we distinguish between visitors and volunteers. From volunteers we expect a minimum stay of 6 months to live and work together. As time goes by you can lower the cost of your stay through your work.
Years of experience have shown me that for a project like this it´s best to only accept raw foodists, or those who are willing to embrace the diet, who will remain 100% raw throughout their stay. As the name ¨Rawtreat¨ suggests, a stay here only makes sense for people interested in sharing raw food.
A stay at Rawtreat should be possible for everyone, independent of your financial situation, under the condition that you are seriously interested in the project and want a fair exchange given your abilities.
With creativity, we can find ways to generate resources. All you need is willingness, good ideas, and love.
A Special Rawtreat
For those who bring seeds for our nutritious garden, we offer a stay with food on our farm for a certain amount of time. There are a few possibilities:
a.) If you buy from exclusive companies like Orkos or Tropenkost, you can bring/send us the seeds from the fruit
b.) Collect seeds from raw food that you eat.
c.) If during your travels you find extraordinary fruit, you can bring seeds, not just from Asia, but also Costa Rica. We also know of other projects that we are interested in. If someone visits one of those projects and brings us seeds, it would be incredibly enriching for our tree plantation.
As an example of giving and receiving, for 30 germinable Safu seeds I would offer a two week stay with food and housing.
V. Terms and Conditions
A) It´s possible to host you in the house, for which there are two options: The space on the first floor of the house, which also contains the communal living room, kitchen (with a fridge), and access to the bathroom and shower. Or, as a second option, you can make use of the beds on the second floor, while still having access to the community areas on the first floor. Otherwise, as a third option, you may sleep in a tent, still have access to the community areas of the house, and pay 2/3 the original price.
Food includes: different varieties of plantains and bananas, ripe and germinated coconut (both accessible all year), as well as seasonal fruits. Durian and Safu can be purchased for local prices.
Price (room and board): $8 (US) per day, per person.
As is the case with visitors, volunteers are offered room and board. If you would like to cut back on spending during your stay by volunteering, you can do so by helping out with farm work 5 hours per day, 6 days per week. You will receive tasks according to your skills, interests, and what needs to be done.
Staying for the first month will cost $8 per day.
Second month: $6 per day
Third: $4 per day
Fourth: $2 per day
Fifth: $2 per day
Sixth: $1 per day
B) Contacting Me:
I have created Rawtreat because I love nature. I avoid technology as much as possible and only use a computer when it´s absolutely necessary. Therefore, if you write to me in advance, you are invited to do so in the classic way: through snail mail. To contact me over email I ask that you express yourself as clearly and concisely as possible, focusing on what´s really necessary. We´ll have time to chat when we meet in person. For this reason I try to answer the most frequently posed questions on this webpage, and ask that you read it thoroughly. If you still have questions afterward, feel free to ask me. General questions about Costa Rica can be answered by other sources of information.
C) Contact Information:
Ray c/o Hans Deerberg, Apartado Postal 196, 60701 Golfito, Costa Rica, America Central
Tel: Max 00605-89454899
VI. How to get here
From San Jose, Costa Rica, the company TRACOPA offers buses directly to Rio Claro. One route goes to Golfito and one goes to Paso Canoas, Panama. Both stop at Rio Claro. When the bus is approaching Rio Claro, get off about 1 km before the town in front of the rice factory (you can ask the bus driver to leave you at the arrocera). The rice factory is immediately before a bridge. Take the road directly across the street from the rice factory. Follow this road about 20 minutes (walking) until you get to the first road on the left. There on the corner you will see our house on the main road, with bamboo surrounding the house. If you get confused, ask for the finca donde vive Ray (the farm where Ray lives).
You can also take a taxi from Rio Claro.
VII. General Visitor Information
-temperature from 21 to 35 degrees C
-dry season from January to April
We are in the lower level of tropical Costa Rican rainforest. We are on the south side of the Pacific Ocean, 150 m above sea level.
Our edible garden
In our gardens and orchards we have regional and exotic plants, some of which were transplanted and some which were grown from seed. Please ask me if you are interested in our list of plants. We also sell and exchange small trees and seeds.
We produce and sell raw cacao on our farm. To do this we take the seed out of its thin pod to dry it more easily and make it less bitter. We dry the cacao with care without putting it in the sun.
There are bikes that you can borrow to go to town or on longer trips. The cost will depend on the length of the trip, for instance going to town would be $1.
Possible activities include jungle tours, mountain biking the area, going to a waterfall to swim in the natural pool, going to see a nearby botanical garden, travelling to the beach, and visiting friends who have permaculture projects.
To bring: flashlight (preferably a head lamp), a sense of humor, tranquility, and an ability to handle nature (princes, princesses, super sensitive people or people with a fear of spiders won´t be happy)… Also recommended are: sandals, rainboots, natural bug repellant, thin clothes with long sleeves/long pants for mosquitos, work clothes that you can get dirty, sun hat, rust resistant knife, umbrella, bathing suit (you can also skinny dip in most places since they´re remote)
Changing money: you can change euros or USD in most major towns and cities. There are also ATMs.
Donations: Things that you no longer need may be useful here, for instance bedclothes, books/magazines for the library (novels, scientific, entertainment), music in MP3 or DVDs to watch on a laptop, musical instruments, tools (hammer, pliers, bicycle tools), rope/cloth for making hammocks, seeds (ask what kind I need), blankets, backpacks, mosquito netting (or thin cloth that can be used as mosquito netting), bicycles or bicycle parts
VIII. Thank you…
My rich and blessed life wouldn´t be what it is If I hadn´t received love, respect, and support of friends, only some of whom are mentioned here. Other friends and numerous guests have also contributed. Special thanks to my father and genetic family, my spiritual family: Luci, Andy and Mirga, Sebastian, Yam, the Caracol family, Mas, Roland… and everyone that isn´t mentioned, my blessings.
 For me self-realization is the same thing as (re)activation of the authentic self. Unfortunately human civilization has deprived most people of an understanding of their real needs that their inner selves crave, due to socialization, brainwashing, and the depravity of this system. Rawtreat is a space free of all this.
 A natural environment is one in which you don´t use harmful or addictive substances, like processed food, frozen food, food cooked above forty degrees, cigarettes, marijuana, coffee, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, television, cell phones, accosting music, unnatural perfumes. A computer is welcome, especially to listen to music and watch DVDs.
 In life everything should be seen as interconnected. As a holistic project, life here includes a huge variety of activity to satisfy us. Maybe you will also find your path.
With respect to raw food, through my experience and observation, I came to the conclusion that in the long run those who are successful and happy in this lifestyle understand that raw food is more than just a philosophy of eating, but also recognize that only a 100% raw diet can successfully bring you to real spiritual clarity, emotional equilibrium and physical vitality.
Some people believe they can eat healthy based on short-lived satisfaction. Although raw living can appear uncomfortable, especially for older folks, only purposeful action and physical activity with a raw lifestyle can be the basis for happiness and internal peace.
Most people don´t believe in a raw food diet because of the social and emotional challenge and because they have never lived 100% raw so they haven´t ever achieved a holistic, tranquil and satisfying life.