Envision Festival was curated from the ideas and innovations of constructing a holistic experience involving Permaculture, healthy and worldly foods, music, and community. The founders of Envision are experts in Permaculture and thrive on creating sustainable thought-provoking communities for knowledge, practice and intuition.
Stephen Brooks, Sarah Wu and Josh Wendell are founders and leaders in revolutionary agricultural and community based practices throughout Costa Rica. With their combined efforts, they have founded numerous self-sustainable and educational organizations after moving to Costa Rica from the states decades ago. They found each other through developing nationally known programs, land projects and workshops to educate people on earth-focused healing and operative practices. They have all contributed to Punta Mona Center and opened their own practices throughout Costa Rica.
Josh Wendell, the owner and director of Selva Armonia Retreat Center, a sanctuary deep in the jungle, that hosts world-class teachers, healers, yogis, facilitators and nature-enthusiasts to celebrate, teach and share. Wendell also owns Maracatu Restaurant, a healthy and natural place to dine in Dominical, Costa Rica. Wendell is an expert in organic gardening and has been studying medicinal plants for over 16 years. His vision of a healthy and sustainable Earth drives him to teach and share his passion throughout his different ownerships including Envision Festival.
Sarah Wu, our “Contemporary Witch” and expert Herbalist, leads various projects in nutrition, holistic cooking, women retreats and herbal medicine, among her involvement in countless health and wellness oriented mission trips. Sarah is the Co-Founder of Medicines from the Edge: a Tropical Herbal Convergence and she beautifully curates the Village Witches at Envision Festival, which includes a healing sanctuary, sacred fire, elixir bars, herbal first aid clinics and participates in numerous educational workshops. Her passion for plants, permaculture and multidisciplinary studies create a holistic approach to wellbeing and health for our mind, planet and spirit, and it pours into every intention she sets. If you want a taste of her recent magic, explore her offerings the brought to the most recent Cosmic Convergence with Village Witches Herbal Clinic.
Stephen Brooks came to Costa Rica looking for sustainable alternatives. He began by opening a educational tour company for students in the States and Europe to come explore the beautiful surroundings of Costa Rica, as well as to show the students the destruction that was occurring. From rainforest destruction, decimation of indigenous cultures, and calamity of elimination that was taking places in these beautiful places.
Brooks strives to provide students, landowners, businesses and neighbors regenerative solutions and strategies to increase quality of life. Stephen is an avid and passionate ethnobotanist, plant collector, permaculture designer and educator, operator of education environmental and botanical tours, implements permaculture gardens and food forests on home and many hundred acre scales, and community developer. He is the co-founder of both Medicines from the Edge: a Tropical Herbal Convergence and Envision Festival.
Brooks creates ideas and solutions. From these solutions, The Punta Mona Center for Sustainable Living and Education was born. Now, almost 18 years later, is one of the worlds best example of tropical agriculture and has an extensive collection of useful plants from around the world on 85 off the grid beachfront acres. Thousands of people nationally have traveled to stay, learn and grow at Punta Mona. People’s lives have been heavily influenced and they have helped to spread this idealism throughout the world.
A conversation with Stephen dove into talk of community, permaculture and design. Brooks explained that it’s important is that Envision wasn’t founded by concert promoters. The goal wasn’t to promote music but to challenge and provide new ways of celebration and sustainable living.
Brooks moved to Costa Rica in 1995 to challenge the design of land, people, fire and the set economic design of the US. They brought the first permaculture course to Costa Rica in 2001 and have taught a 4 or 5 a year ever since. He explained that it’s unfair that macro-design of the land, people and water are not causing any benefit but hurting all of these necessary elements to healthily thrive and survive. There way no holistic thinking involved in this way of life.
Setting solutions and curating ideas from these problems is what made up Punta Mona. Brooks explained, “The goal was to create an alternative. I didn’t know exactly what to do at first, but I knew that things needed to be different. We began with taking all the fallen wood from our land, growing our own food and creating our own water system.”
He explained further that socially and spiritually things needed to be different. Brooks wanted there to be no diversity from the founders, workers, volunteers and guests. He stressed that they were all in this community together creating jolting experience and changing their way of life.
He elaborated, “We wanted to create these experiences that people would come to and be like ‘Wow, I can’t imagine living any other way.’ The connection with each other, the land, food and our resources has been striving. The last 25 years we’ve been demonstrating a different way of living and an overall different way of doing things.”
Brooks talked about how once going to Burning Man he realized he was not alone with this way of thinking. He wanted to bring all of his Costa Rica friends to Burning Man and realized then he should bring the inspiration of Burning Man to Costa Rica. The Envision Community, like Punta Mona, gives people that the jolt of a different way of doing things. Experiencing a different way of living and inspiring change.
Fast-forward to 2006 and Brooks created another community housed on 47 acres of land. 45 families from 25 different countries currently live on the self-sustainable land. The parents of the children created a school system that thrives in environment education.
Brooks talked about the overall goal of the project, “How can we merge where we live with what we eat? How can we be better stewards of the land, beyond our borders? How can we design beyond our lifetime? For our children and their children. So we can take care of them and our parents.”
In 2014 the project was expanded and right down the road they purchased another 170 acres to build another 100 lots. It will feature an elderly village and an educational system that is like an “Eco-University.” The goal is to create and educate people to be better designers so that they can self-sustain and pass on the necessary knowledge.
“We need to radically change, so that’s what we are doing. We are questioning everything… Where the water comes from, where our food comes from, and how we heal when we are sick. The way that we raise our children. The ethos and vibration that we are spreading is to create a permanent culture. That’s what permaculture is, how can we thrive in an environment and knowing where our resources are coming from and going after,” Brooks said.
About the Author
Writing to unveil the knowledge and passion that makes up the inter-workings of Envision Festival & continually perpetuating towards a divine intuition and a community of forward-thinkers.
We take sound sound seriously. The dance floor is our temple. With each stage a sculptural masterpiece and Funktion-One sound system sending chills through your body, we spend the entire year masterfully crafting an all-night jungle beach celebration you'll never forget. Some sounds blast you away, while others will hug you closely. It’s crisp and holographic. Come prepared for a deep journey designed to invigorate all your senses.
Breathe, flow, and explore your freedom through physical expression. Our bodies are the vessels in this world that serve as the foundation from which we can discover our highest potential. Explore stages, spaces, and yoga shalas designed so you can completely let go and be wild in the natural environment of Envision. Release; The jungle is here to spot you.
Living is an art form. At Envision we curate a 360 degree immersive art environment that blends the edges of the canvas with the world around it.
Come as you are, leave as you want to be. We know our paths emerge from different directions, and we respect the stories and experiences that make us who we are now. No matter where we come from, or how our paths intertwine, we’re all about progressive inclusion.
To care for others we must first take care of ourselves. Experience and explore mindful practices for food, activity, medicine, and more that will nourish a lifetime of joyous behaviors and self-care rituals.
You are apart of something bigger. Discover the community you always knew existed - brought together by all of our similarities, and transformed by all of our differences.
We think long term. The 12 principles of permaculture are echoed throughout every undertaking at Envision. Before each decision is made, and before each shovel is dug into the Earth, we are dedicated to considering the future impact of our actions.
Strengthen your source connection. Envision supports you with a space where you can explore a deeper understanding of our common oneness with nature and each other.