How does this program support Wildland Firefighters?
We offer plant medicine programs for the mental health and well being of Wildland Firefighters in the lush rainforest of Costa Rica.
Our programs are designed by Wildland Firefighters and traditional plant medicine facilitators and support firefighter's in experiencing rejuvenation through contemplative practice, nervous system recovery, emotional support, and meaningful connection to nature. Work practice opportunities that lend us firefighter forestry skills, help conserve our 7,500 acres of protected rainforest.
Our program integrates health and wellness for firefighters while providing invaluable restoration work to the rainforest.
ALL INCLUSIVE RETREAT
7 days at our riverfront rainforest sanctuary
2 plant medicine ceremonies
Daily yoga & meditation
Deeply restful private accommodations
Farm-to-table meals 3x daily
Rainforest & waterfall excursion
Manuel Antonio beach trip
3 or more individual counseling sessions
Ample free time for rest & contemplative practice
The practice of sitting in silence and stillness helps slow down thoughts and let them pass as they come. A greater sense of well-being naturally arises accompanied by feelings of compassion for oneself and an ability to let go of unhealthy coping behaviors.
Our plant medicine programs are led by highly skilled and experienced ceremony leaders with a minimum of 15 years of experience. We draw about diverse backgrounds and expertise and are grounded in solid traditional lineage training and practice with plant medicine. You will be held in great care throughout the entire process of your journey with us.
CONNECTION TO NATURE
This program takes place in a deep pocket of nature. Being in nature establishes an inner balance by living in harmony with the seasons, rhythms, waters and forests, animals and plant life. Our bodies have the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health - this process is aided by being in nature.
NERVOUS SYSTEM RECOVERY
The location of our space is deeply supportive to rest and rejuvenation. The sound of the forest, the river, and the peaceful, safe energy cultivated in this space allows people to fully let go, drop their guard and experience a true state of relaxation, unaccompanied by feelings of restlessness.
“The key to enlightenment is that everything is ‘chopping wood and carrying water’ and that if one does everything mindfully then it is all the same.” - Zen Proverb
Through combining mindfulness with work, we aim to embody a stabilized sense of peace, clarity and fulfillment during physical work.
Our programs offers space in a peaceful rainforest retreat setting for firefighters to connect to one another. One of the healthiest parts of firefighting is the connection of crew members. This program embraces this connection while removing the high stress and high stakes from the situation. Instead this bond between firefighters is experienced in a setting of restoration.
Why do Wildland Firefighters need support?
Wildland Firefighters experience rates of suicide, depression, anxiety, addiction, alcoholism, and PTSD at rates up to 10x higher than the average population. This quiet epidemic of poor mental health has been largely unaddressed in the Wildland firefighter community.
Many Wildland Firefighters work tirelessly to protect our forests, homes and communities, and their demanding work can sometimes have negative impacts on physical, mental and emotional health. These men and women work sixteen-hour days for fourteen days straight with extremely inadequate pay and have only two days to rest and recover before going back out on another assignment.
Prolonged periods of arduous labor in smokey, dangerous environments, inadequate rest and nutrition, constant vigilance, prolonged stress and cumulative fatigue can all wreak havoc on the body’s natural equilibrium. Periodic intense, life-threatening situations, near misses or tragic losses can result in trauma, grief and sometimes PTSD, and without the tools or the time to process these experiences some firefighters may turn to unhealthy coping strategies.
As wildfires increase across the globe, now more than ever there is a need to support our firefighters on the front lines.