Meet Irene Alpizar
Mz. Permaculture Pinup Showcase Model
"We don't need to dream of a different world. The choice is to take action in this one by making a committment to Nature Conservation, Regeneration and the Protection of all Life."
-- Irene Alpizar
Born in Costa Rica, Irene is passionate about all energetic connections with Nature and equally enthusiastic about helping people move toward physical, emotional and spiritual health through natural techniques and lifestyle modifications. She considers herself a seeker and follower of all Metaphysical, Ancestral and Shamanic wisdom healing and admits she is constantly studying techniques and methods for using the vital energy.
Irene has studied medicinal plants and therapies at the Applied Herbal Therapy Institute, the Pranic Healing Course from Institute for Inner Studies 2013, the Holistic Medicine for Woman from Essentia with Dra.Mercuri. Acupressure, Auriculotherapy, Bioenergetic Massage from ESMENTA School in Guatemala. She is an International Certified Red Tent Activator by DeAnna L’am. Irene facilitates and empowers women and girls to have a better relationship with their cycles, to accept and appreciate their body, and to reinforce their feminine intuition and sexuality through self-love and self-awareness. For the last 3 years, Irene worked as both a facilitator and coordinator for the production of the Red Tent at Envision Festival. She is also the leader of a monthly gathering focused on rediscovering the sacred feminine and empowering women to live a life based on self-love and self-awareness, and respecting Mother’s Nature rhythms.
In 2016, she moved from capital of Costa Rica, San Jose, to some family land in the rural town of Cobano. This move was to initiated to embark on the journey of building what she calls "a family healthy house" which would use only recycled and local materials. The house utilizes the Traditional Costa Rican Building method of walls with a mixture of mud clay, sand and straw. In the permaculture world this construction technique is generally known as COB.
Since 2017 she has been leading Permaculture introduction courses at the permaculture farm and developing eco-village of Rancho Delicioso. She teaches permaculture theory and activates people with hands on work. Some of her favorite classes she teaches include plant-medicine, fermented foods, and natural building. Irene enjoys this posiiton as she claims it helps promote positive thinking, conscious awareness, and change.
With Green Wave, Irene has recently started consulting a holistic IB school, Futuro Verde, for their permaculture integration.
Keep reading to peep Irene's interview!
How have you been doing in this transformative year of 2020?
With the world in recess I choose to be like Nature and adapt. I create a line of local products for natural body care, prevention care and medicinal treatments.
How was growing up in Costa Rica?
My childhood was surrounded by Nature, in a community where there was no electricity although our house did have a refrigerator and some electrical appliances (Atari - ha) since my father solved with car batteries. So, in the end, we did have some self-sufficient electricity. My greatest fun was climbing the trees and enjoying the river. Around the age of 11, my family moved to San Jose in search of a better education for my older sister and me. This was quite difficult to adapt to because of the treatment and disrespect to Mother Nature by those that lived in the big city.
We had a garden that my mother cultivated with many ornamental plants but as the family grew, the garden was reduced and turned into cement, although my father planted a grape plant on the sidewalk of the house and this plant became very strong and large. So much that it went up to the roof of the house. It was beautiful, the whole neighborhood loved thisbeautiful plant and we ate grapes from it.
When did you first realize you cared about the planet?
Once I left my parents' house, I looked for places to rent with gardens so I might be able to maintain contact with the Earth. I find gardens therapeutic because it is a very personal moment when we can give love and attention to the Earth. Personally, I delight in observing the dynamics of gardens. In 2012, I started learning about hydroponics. This was my beginnings to grow my own food but it seemed to me a method that was quite dependent on sutrates for the growth of plants. I enjoyed it a lot, but at the same time I needed contact with the Earth. In 2013 I decided to seek knowledge about how to plant in the city and I discovered a community garden inside the public library of Tibahuerta that would provide my first introduction to permaculture.
In 2014 I moved to Alajuela, as I missed the dynamics of Tibahuerta so much, I decided to create a community garden with my partner Wendy Arce. Together we applied the permaculture knowledge that we received in Tibahuerta and we studied and searched for information for pests or details that we did not know how to solve. It was a beautiful experience. That same year I had the opportunity to go to "Medicine from the Edge". It is a special workshop-conference. This was very inspiring for me, as I met many of my future teachers as I began my studies related to medicinal plants.
In 2017 I did my first Permaculture Design Course (PDC) with Porvenir Design and in 2019 another PDC for an Herbalist path. I resonated with the permaculture ethics of Fair share, Care of People, and Care of Earth.
Who are your teachers?
What are you most passionate about within the permaculture movement?
The idea of respecting a persons' transition and the perspective of sharing personal abundance.
Tell us about connecting to Earth.
As part of the practice of my study of flower essences, I was required to contemplate for hours to create strong bonds and establish a connection with plants. This meditative act I find fascinating. I delight in new species that sprout in my garden as well as insects, animals or trees, once you create that bond with the Earth, it is magical and it guides you. Earth teaches us to flow and change without fear. Earth offers us sustenance and beauty. Earth inspires us with its colors and shapes. We are surrounded by nature, it´s a matter of paying attention and understanding Her language.
"We are all important part of the ecosystem and every action counts and affects the whole system. Spread seeds everywhere: seeds of flowers, seeds of trees, seeds of chants, seeds of compassion, seeds of inspiration, seeds of intentions, seeds of love." -- Irene Alpizar
What do you think a sexy future looks like?
Sexy is to see more people involved, especially the drastic ones who decided to change their lifestyle to get in contact with Nature and break the patterns, creating new memories, changing for a regenerative and sustainable ways of living.
Sexy are those that take real responsibility for themselves (spiritual, mental, and physical) for all of their consumptions, assuming their consequences.
Sexy are all who plant food forests.
Do you have any advice for those who wish to visit Costa Rica?
I urge those who wish to come to know or enjoy Costa Rica to look into and join a sustainable and environmentally conscious tourism company. The high consumption of both electricity and water is impressive and generally there are no regulations, so I ask you not to bring garbage, do not buy what you think will turn into garbage. Consumption generates a lot of pollution. Consume local, stay in small hotels and not in large commercial chains such as Barcelo, Riu, Marriott, Best Western. They are drying our soils and constantly polluting our waters. If you want to get bananas from Costa Rica buy the brand Varcli, and pineapples from the Meralco. These are my suggestions of the brands that are friendly to the environment or at least not too bad.
This interview has been brought to you by Permaculture Pinup, a project of Green Wave (501(c)(3) nonprofit). If you liked this interview, love what we are doing, and would like to see us continue please consider supporting the Green Wave sponsored project, Pinuya Nursery. Over the ages, womyn have been likened to trees. The Pinuya Nursery is nursery to foster trees that will go to creating a food forest that will provide food for an entire village and reforest the land.
Thank you for helping us heal the Earth!