The less I needed, the better I felt.
It's a short, but essential list.
Rain gear. Retreats, workshops and work-trades will be scheduled during the dry season early June thru late December. But better to have rain gear and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Non-disposable water bottle or canteen.
Sunscreen and mosquito/bug repellant.
Light long sleeved shirts and long pants that cover your ankles. We've beat back a lot bush to make things more comfortable here at SdV. And fortunately, we are located at too high of an altitude for the mosquitos that can cause many tropical illnesses. But. This is the forest. There are bugs. Some leave annoying little bites. Some folks react to bites more than others. You are here to enjoy the nature, not be irritated by it. In our experience, simply covering your arms and legs especially in the morning and early evening is the best way to avoid annoying little buggers. It's not a big deal. Just toss a shirt with sleeves and some pants in your backpack or suitcase and be protected.
Toiletries. Now, here is where we get a bit picky. We use natural filtration systems to clean all of the grey water--water used to wash and bathe--we produce at Sueño de Vida. Please only bring soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, etc. made from natural and biodegradable ingredients. A bottle of Dr. Bronners multi-use castille soap is always favorite stand-by. Trader Joe's and Desert Essence have a great soap with tea tree oil (not expensive) and Kiss my Face olive oil based bar soaps are also very nice (and easier to pack than liquid).
Notebook and pens. Sketchbook and colored pencils might be a good idea too. A good book or two. Yoga mat. Internet may be spotty. We will do our best to provide it as much as possible, but prepare to keep your mind entertained without it 24/7.
Small personal items to make you feel at home. I've travelled quite a bit on shoestrings and I can't tell you how comforting it is to have some small things like a favorite candle or painted box to make a new place feel more familiar.
Work/trade and workshop participants will also need to bring the following items.
Clothes you really don't mind getting dirty. Really.
Clothes you'd like to wear on your days off. It's nice to clean up sometimes.
High rubber boots. You can buy the boots for $10 in town when you arrive if you prefer. Everyone wears them here.
Gardening and/or work gloves with good grip and padding.
Protective eyewear. Wrap-style sunglasses work.
Your curiosity, questions, and willingness to learn. We really look forward to working with you.