The road to the 14th International Permaculture Convergence

Tierra Martínez and Beatriz Ramírez, Mexico, 2001

Tierra Martinez and Beatriz Ramírez are the Founders of the Ná Lu’um Permaculture Institute. This Project was born 18 years ago in the heart of the Riviera Maya in Mexico, in a Mayan Community in Noh Bec-Quintana Roo.

Tierra Martínez, from his love for the earth and his example, always teaches integration of the Permaculture lifestyle. As a family we began to practice this methodology in our every step. Soon after, our daughters Itiba and Sophia were born, they gave us the impulse to continue, with the purpose of leaving them a better world and teaching them to take care of it and take care of themselves.

We left Mexico with the idea of ​​expanding this movement, and sharing this methodology with all the people who were, like us, searching to reconnect with nature.

Tierra = Earth

But we felt that something was missing to connect this methodology with the regions of Latin America. We therefore took on the task of learning more about our indigenous peoples and combining that ancestral wisdom with permaculture, in order to learn how to care for the territories we inhabit. We found that we could link permaculture with that wisdom and thus began to introduce ancestral methodologies in our courses, sharing ways of connecting with that subtle energy.


We began to be thankful for all that Life gives us, we also began to remember that we are part of the Earth, and through songs, meditations and pre-Hispanic musical instruments we understood the importance of recognizing the 4 elements (Water, Fire, Earth and Wind), the 4 seasons and the 4 cardinal points that, together with Heaven and Earth, gave us other points of view on what surrounds us and is part of us.

And so began a quest for the integration of further knowledge, strongly connected to alternative education and other learning methods, in a constant search of movements that were more united and support working together.

The family, 2016
Permaculture Design Certificate course, Colombia, 2018
Ná Lu’um Permapprentices, Argentina, 2016

After an intense process, Tierra has a dream and begins to go to national, regional and international meetings, where his idea was to propose Argentina as host to the International Permaculture Convergence (IPC). He participated in the IPC Cuba in 2013, where India was selected to host the IPC in 2017. It was in Cuba that Tierra understood that, to be able to apply for Argentina, it was very important to organize an international event. Thus was born the idea of organizing the 4th CLAP (Latin American Permaculture Convergence) in 2015, during which there was clear support from the Latin American network for the IPC to take place in Argentina. After that meeting, Tierra travelled to the IPC UK in 2015 where he proposed Argentina as host, and that time the nearly 1000 people who were in London at the Convergence Assembly agreed.

In 2017, Tierra and Beatriz presented at the 13th IPC India the proposal of what the 14th IPC Argentina would be in 2020.

This step encouraged us as a group to develop many extra activities within the Ná Lu’um project and gradually begin to shape an event of these dimensions.

Throughout the World Tours we have developed in recent years, searching for more learning and understanding, and wanting to share this, we realized that we need to primarily know how to transmit this knowledge to children and young people so that it will last and they will continue with this movement. In that way they will come to respect and interact with the world, because much of this can only be transmitted through creating an education that regenerates human beings, society and landscapes.

It is here that we feel it is important to understand that from an educational perspective we have been trained to live in fear and not act in search of something better, but settle for what is not even basic for our personal and collective process.

This is how we chose the theme of the 14th IPC “Children, Youth and Regenerative Education”, inviting people who can inspire us on these topics.

Tierra Martínez facilitating a Bioconstruction session in a PDC course in Guaporé, Brasil, 2015

Along the way, and while promoting and listening to our Permaculture colleagues, we realized that the movement in the world is fragmented and that humanity and the world are going through a very difficult time. Neoliberalism is numbing us; the loss of biological and cultural diversity is leading us to create a monoculture that is disconnected from the needs of the earth. We do not realize that we depend on the resources that the earth provides and are devastating them; it is no longer the problem of a few but of each and every human being that exists on earth. Global warming is accelerated by the indiscriminate felling of our forests. Extreme poverty, violence and globalization keep us very busy, trying to survive and reach the end of the month. It is ever more difficult to live with dignity.

The resulting stress is generating disease, food is contaminated with agrochemicals that are harmful to both nature and all of us. Because we are so busy with feeling good, we do not realize that we are pulling down with us all Life on earth. It is no longer enough to apply the learned techniques, now we need to reconnect with the pain of the world and how to regenerate life on earth.

Children of Ná Lu’um family and of participants of PDC course in Colombia, 2015

As general coordination team of this IPC we feel that there is still time. We feel that it is possible to stop fighting with governments, to learn from our differences, and to listen to our wise elders who are still in the Territories; and that it is possible to unite from the heart for the purpose of the regeneration of the social fabric within permaculture throughout the world, as well as with many other movements that seek the regeneration of life.

Everyone does what they can based on their experience, but by wanting to change and knowing that in the differences lies our strength, we can unite to develop a global design that allows us to go beyond sustainability.

The initiative is to regenerate movements, starting from the local and spreading to the global. We do not want to go out to protest without a proposal of change, let’s go out with concrete solutions and actions.

The Organization Team of the IPC Argentina invites you to be part of the change, joining with your colleagues in your country to generate local, united and alive movements. This way we protect ourselves, help each other, and design the steps for a more lively and united movement.

We invite you to generate processes to identify representatives of your country or region to attend the International gathering in 2020, so that together we can design the deepest foundations of the World Permaculture Movement, based on genuine and coherent alliances.

Permaculture Diploma, Eco-Centro Madre Selva, Misiones, Argentina, 2018

The event will be held at the Eco-Centro Madre Selva, an Experimental and Educational Center, as well as the home of the Ná Lu’um family, the host of the IPC in the months of November and December 2020.

The Madre Selva Project born two years ago (2018) is a 22-hectare plot in the jungle of Misiones Province, in the heart of Colonia El Paraíso, near El Soberbio. Colonia El Paraíso is a settlement that needs help with the recovery of family and organic agriculture, where the indigenous Guarani tribes are being displaced from their territories by the government and the large transnationals who devastate the land.

This family project seeks to be the example of sustainable practices where children will have artistic and cultural classes, women can learn crafts to generate cooperatives working with local products; it is where an Eco Neighbourhood generates jobs for the people of the settlement and where the Ná Lu’um Eco-School receives young people who want to learn permacultural practices.

The main focus of this project is the impact, at the local and personal level, of the existing population, and on the strengthening of the family nucleus, thereby generating food sovereignty, decent housing, stable and fulfilling jobs.

Today 20 people work in the Madre Selva center, both local residents and foreigners wanting to learn and teach.

Ná Lu’um is host to the 14th IPC

In the area there are several Guarani Mbya villages, the ethnic group from the Misiones (also called Paranaense) Jungle, which covers areas of southern Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. This culture is still alive but struggling for the conservation of its territories. These tribes are slowly disappearing and with them all the knowledge of a livelihood in the jungle, where they have been guardians for generations.

We need the Guarani communities to persevere and continue with the transmission of their culture and the care of the Misiones Jungle. The intention of the IPC is to invite them to talk to us about their knowledge, and to come together to help them and help us.

The IPC Argentina Council is pleased to invite you to our house, your house, so that together we can work on the regeneration of the social fabric of the worldwide permaculture movement.

The Madre Selva project, the headquarters of the Ná Lu’um Institute, invites you to join the change we want to see in the world.

See you on the way.

The IPC Argentina Organization Team:

Tierra Martínez

Beatriz Ramírez

Luciano Kordon

Cândida Shinn

More information:

Website –

Email – contacto [at] ipc14argentina [dot] org

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