WHAT MAKES US TICK?
3 VALUES to
RESTORE BALANCE to the planet
1 Environmental and Human Well-Being
to bring balance to a conscious culture that over-values Profit and Production
2 Learning & Teaching
because we have a habit of Doing Without Thinking
3 Community & Cooperation
to bring balance to our hyper-Individualistic and Competitive conditioning
How We Got Started
Set atop a ridge in the valley of San Juan de Dios in Costa Rica, Cascada Elysiana (or Elysian Falls) is a Natural Wonderland, featuring one of Costa Rica's most beautiful waterfalls, accessible only to us and our neighbors at Finca El Encanto, an organic water buffalo ranch across the river.
Our orchards and hiking trails are a reforestation project 30 years in-the-making, exquisitely designed by Eugene Mitchell, who sought to rehabilitate the land surrounding these majestic falls, which had previously been deforested for cattle ranching.
In the late 1980's, Eugene began seeding fruit trees, hardwoods, ylang ylang, cinnamon, cacao and bamboo, beginning the process of restoring his newly acquired ranch land to a tropical rainforest. In time, the neighboring jungle along the waterways filled in the gaps with all of the requisite species to restore the local ecosystem. He began lining the hiking trails to the waterfall with ornamental jungle plants, he planted patches of herbs and covered small rolling fields with peanut grass. In January of 2017, Eugene handed over his project to us.
We were taken by the balance of natural and human design, the tranquil beauty of this place and of course by the incredible waterfall that is effectively private to Cascada Elysiana and to our neighbors across the river. It didn't seem possible that this could be a place that someone could actually call "home." But it was, and now it is :)
Mak & Stephen
Jan 2017 - present
In 2014, Steve's Austin-based home building company designed and developed the first new-build Passive House in Texas. The Passivhaus Institute of Germany has refined and standardized a system for building using passive energy, greatly reducing the CO2 footprint of homes and other buildings.
After his first glimpse of Costa Rica in 2011, Steve committed to moving on from American home-building altogether in order to create a more sustainable life for himself in this beautiful country.
He has brought his love of eco-design to Cascada Elysiana, where we are working on various off-grid and passive systems such as compost toilets, solar water-heating, micro-hydro energy, living roofs, bamboo and rustic wood building, etc.
In 2016, he was certified as a Radical Honesty Trainer by Dr. Brad Blanton and has teamed up with John Rosania of Honesty Lab in LA, coaching and leading workshops designed to help folks get over their troubles and be freer, happier, healthier and more connected by being more honest.
Mak has studied in France and taught in Spain and has a passion for languages as well as psychological health and eco-living.