Stephen Brooks has over 20 years of experience working on the creation of thriving ecological communities, beginning in 1995 with The Punta Mona Center for Regenerative Design and Botanical Studies, which has become a world leader in tropical permaculture and an extensive botanical collection of useful plants. Tens of thousands of students have visited and have been inspired by this rotating community of change makers. In 2006 La Ecovilla was founded as a world model for sustainable living, made up of of 45 families from 25 countries. Ecovilla’s roads are made from recycled plastic, the septic is treated by one of Central America’s largest methane digesters and large communal gardens and orchards feed the residents. In 2008, Stephen co-founded Tacotal, neighboring La Ecovilla in hopes of helping lower income Costa Ricans and others who could not afford to live at La Ecovilla. Up the street from La Ecovilla, Stephen co-founded Tacotal which is co owned by 33 families and is 70 acres on the same river as La Ecovilla. His most recent addition is Alegria which neighbors La Ecovilla and is 170nacres and will include 100 more lots, an elder village, an event space as well as high school being created by a crew from The Green School in Bali.
Stephen co-founded and co-produces the annual Envision Festival, an educational and conscious celebration on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica featuring music, workshops, art installations and a host of activities designed to build community and inspiration around creating a sustainable world. Nearly 10,000 people attended the Envision Festival in 2020.
A self trained ethnobotanist, specialist in exotic fruit trees and permaculture education, Stephen has taught over 25 Permaculture Design Courses in both Costa Rica and Mexico emphasizing plant collecting, biodiversity conservation and creating value added fair trade products, which benefit local farmers and communities He currently does consultations and permaculture installations on many scales, from working with Hollywood celebrities to resorts and wellness centers to community development projects to small family farms. Stephen has become the go to in Costa Rica when people want to increase their biodiversity, nurture their soil and design the self sustaining project of their dreams.
A passionate speaker and educator, Steven has given numerous talks and lectures over the years, including several TedX series, and appeared as a host and correspondent on multiple TV shows including Edible Adventures for the Travel Channel, G Word for Discovery’s Planet Green and Save My Planet for ABC’s Livewell HD.