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in Santa Marta Colombia

Earthen Dome + Traditional Roof Workshop


The mission of this Superadobe building workshop is to construct an extremely resilient family home for the founders of Happycultura in Paso de Mango, Magdalena, Colombia. As their family continues to grow, Leo and Keila need a safe and durable house that will allow them to welcome a new member to their family. 


The vision for the building is to solidify the presence of Happycultura and Finca La Guardiana in the northwestern region of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. La Guardiana will be able to continue to showcase the technique of Superadobe and the appropriate uses for natural buildings in a "Dry Tropical Forest."


The aim of the building course is to provide an educational experience that will give the necessary skills to students to be able to construct their own Superadobe building. We will be constructing a 12 foot cylinder with a 9 foot apse dome attached. The cylinder will be 2 levels and will incorporate a wood roof that is more traditional for the area in Colombia. Rough plans and inspiration photo shown below:

 Plans for course build from client in Colombia. . Inspiration photo from New Ruins Venado in Oaxaca, Mexico.


Course Dates:

Choose between a month long build or two week options for participation:

Part 1 - July 17th - July 30th

Part 2 - July 31st - Aug 13th

Course Schedule Components:

Part 1 : July 17th - July 30th

Introductions to Design

Center Compass with multiple Apses

Laying Foundations  

Superadobe basics

Laying technique

Height compass navigation & installation

Placing Forms


Drafting Lesson

Base Plaster Mixture Lesson

Build Structure Base for the Traditional Roof

Part 2 : July 31st - Aug 13th

Finishing a Dome with an Apse

Superadobe basics

Laying technique

Height Compass Navigation

Pulling forms

Capping of Dome

Traditional Wood Roof Design on part of build

Drafting Lesson

Base Plaster & Final Plaster Lesson

Weaving Palm Roofs


Host Family

Leo, Keila & Silvana

The Happycultura project was born 4 years ago. First, we 

focused on the distribution of native bee hives (stingless bees) in

the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta with purpose of conserving the tropical forest and its native flora. This allows the inhabitants of the forest to be able to use native bee honey as medicine in their daily lives. Today, Happycultura is represented in a territory called Finca La Guardiana. At the Finca, our project is family oriented. We work with techniques of bioconstruction, production of natural products (vegetable and essential oils, soaps, medicinal preparations) with our daughter to fulfill a dream of living in harmony with nature. Our home is located on a past indigenous settlement and we currently work with native crops from the mountain range like those once did living here before us.


Logistics for workshop:

- Organize your flight into Santa Marta, Colombia.

- If you are a Spanish speaker, you may consider flying into Barranquilla.

-Proficiency in Spanish is not mandatory but highly encouraged.

- Transportation to build site from Santa Marta Historico.

- Please bring your own rain & bug proof tent.

- 10 positions available.

Facilities on site:

- Water & power is available

- Wifi available from Neighbor

- Outdoor Shower

- Composting Toilet

- Outdoor Kitchen

- Chef on site

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Nearby Sites

All sites listed below are walking distance from the build site:

- Waterfalls & Rivers

- Cacao Farm

-Jorge's Coffee Farm

-Caoba Nature Reserve

-Sierra Maestra Permaculture Farm

-Finca Carpe Diem Hostel with restaurant

-Town of Bonda with markets 15 min motorbike ride away

Additional Activities with Host Family

-Coffee, Mango, Cacao Harvestings/Processing

-Avocado processing to make cooking oil

-Appropriate planting of food and native crops

-Food Harvesting in a Jungle Environment


Part 1

Part 2

Both Parts

July 17th - July 30th, 2022

$1800 usd

July 31st - Aug 13th, 2022

$1800 usd

July 17th - Aug 13th, 2022

$2600 usd

  • Half down as deposit to acquire spot

  • Full payment required one week before arrival

  • Deposit made via website, remainder can be paid via ; Venmo (mojavecenter), Paypal ( or CASH PREFERRED! :) 

  • Alumni enjoy 25% off

  • Bring a friend & enjoy 15% off - (one friend only, discount goes to you!)

  • Discounts for returning students & bring a friend discounts will be taken off the remainder payments due

  • Cancellation policy: if you need to cancel last minute we will refund 50% of the deposit made

Experience Includes:

- Complete the structural building phase of home made from the Superadobe building techniques in a jungle environment. 

- Introduction to Plasters

- Professional instruction by The Mojave Center staff

- Optional recreation to nearby sites and farms

-Healthy meals during course for any dietary restriction

- Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner is made with love from our chef

Sponsored Student Program:

We are now able to sponsor one student, per workshop. This looks like a discount on the price of the workshop for one student in exchange for help on our logistics team. Responsiblities primarily include kitchen meal prep and nightly clean up. To apply please click this link. 

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