In 2007 IPES bought the perfect piece of land to develop as an education and demonstration site. The land is located 6 kilometres from the colonial town of Suchitoto, in the heart of El Salvador. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty, surrounded by volcanoes, lakes and lush pastureland and home to a wide variety of birds, butterflies and animals.
The site consists of 20 acres of land which sweep across the Montepeque hill giving marvellous views of the surrounding mountains and lake. With its orange and lime groves, banana plantations, coconut palms, mango and cashew trees and fish pool, the site is ideal for further diversification. At the top of the hill there is forest which is perfect for developing nature trails. Steeply sloping and very stony, the site itself is a good example of the type of land worked by our communities.
The site is already demonstrating a wide range of simple, low cost practices to improve food production and enhance natural resources; the resilience of permaculture systems to flooding and drought caused by ever worsening climate change; use of cheap self reliant technologies for building, energy, water and waste. The site is currently being used for:
- running a year long permaculture course for 40 local community leaders
- work experience and experimentation site for students from 2 Salvadoran universities
- receiving visits from hundreds of individuals and institutions who are interested in learning more about permaculture
- demonstrating permaculture to farmers from the communities with which we and other NGO’s work
- practical experience and meeting space for members of the Ecological Network of Suchitoto
- IPES team trainings and internal meetings
- volunteer opportunities for both international and local volunteers