Our working farm provides the ideal food forest environment for demonstrations, hands-on experiences in off-grid, permaculture and ecological design through community service.

Applying for Internships

Programs Offered

Other Useful Information


The day starts at 6 AM every morning and interns participate in projects until everyone meets for late lunch prep in the afternoon. After the day ends, interns take a break. Some relaxation includes playing music, reading, good conversations with new found friends. Shown: Romey Aspden (Johannesburg, South Africa), Eva Machado Hernandez (Canary Islands) Natalie Baxter (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Applying for Internships

Our selection process is based on basis of general good health, positive and enthusiastic attitude, skills and fitness as applicable and a deep sense of gratitude for life and nature.  Please use our Intern Application form.  Our questions are provided on it.

Minimum stay for Internships is 30 Days, a fee of $400 covers instruction and offsets farm costs.  The stipend, offered all interns includes:

  • Daily raw vegan meals and fresh fruit snacks.
  • Covered bamboo platform, tent and bedding.
  • Free time to explore and enjoy the farm.
  • Tuesday and Thursday local pickup and drop-off to farm and buses.
  • Tuesday trip to Tinamastes Organica Feria (organic farmer’s market).
  • Wifi (for your own device).

Interns work a 30 hour week. Mealtime prep and cleanup is not included in the 30 hours. Afternoons are open for personal activities. Market Tuesday visits are an option. Laundry is available for $5 per load, or interns can hand-wash their clothes. Interns are responsible for keeping honest track of their hours.

A day in the life of an intern at La Joya del Sol

The community gathers in the Rancho at 6 AM to prepare delicious, energy sustaining breakfasts. We consider mornings a sacred time to focus our energies for the day. During meal prep, the kitchen comes alive. There are minor chores like putting away dishes from the night before, sweeping the well-worn floors, or gathering herbs, edible flowers, and greens from the garden for our “spoothies”.  Sitting down to breakfast, we decorate our own plates with the wonderful fresh fruit and foraged food that is always in abundance for our meals. Before eating, we give gratitude to our food. Everyone gets to share their own manner of thanks with the group.

After breakfast, we clean up the plates and utensils from our meal.  We then head off for a lesson guided by Eric Rivkin.  Projects are focused on the needs of the farm and to expand the student’s  knowledge as an intern. Past projects have included the building of a Hugelkultur planter, bamboo platforms for the tents, plumbing from the spring, cacao processing, growing micro-greens, or the making of rich soil by composting or feeding bio-mass to the existing food forest.

Interns work for 6 hours a day on the focused project for the day with Tuesday and Thursday off.

Raw vegan meals are prepared and eaten as a group.

A break around 1 – 2 PM is taken for a very filling afternoon raw vegan meal. Most meals are made from Eric’s recipe book, “To LIVE For!”, but sometimes one of the members of the community will create an original dish, or we go free-style with a favorite that we have had before. There is always an emphasis on communal food preparation, and everyone has the opportunity to learn how to prepare beautiful dishes.  Our mealtime offers the intern a firm foundation to continue healthy living after leaving the farm.

After lunch, we continue the remaining work from the morning before breaking for the day. Afternoons are free-time and interns can hike one of the many groomed trails that populate the farm or to swim in natural pools by the waterfalls. Some interns choose quieter pursuits like reading from our extensive lifestyle-focused library, hanging out in the hammock, or communing with other interns and guests.

On Tuesdays, we offer a trip to the Tinamastes Organica Feria (farmers market). Sometimes an intern will volunteer to stand at a booth that we have there and sell our produce and items in exchange for a Saturday or Sunday off. Some interns stay at the farm to enjoy the farm as they choose.

Evenings, we casually meet back at the Rancho, which is optional. Interns are welcome to create their own meals, but many feel that the two previous meals are sufficient and filling enough that snacks are enough, so we sometimes encourage Eric to make us something amazing like a fruit nice-cream or maybe some guacamole and veggie chips.

Sometimes, if the mood catches us, we play music together. We have plenty of drums available for an impromptu drum circle. Every once in a while, we have a movie night. We have created a movie screen from white fabric and bamboo that we project some popular movie that the group has voted on.

  • Bathroom and Outdoor Tent Area
  • Bath House and Laundry Room
  • Family Tent
  • Tent Platform - Private Environment
  • Tent Platform On Trail
  • Side By Side Tent Platforms
  • Tent Platform Looking Out
  • Rancho Bano Upper Level
  • Bamboo Solar Clothing Rack
  • Hanging Tent In Orchard

Lastly, we prepare for bed in our tents. This is an individual experience, but the sounds of the jungle, and the sound of rain (during the wet season), inevitably lulls us to sleep where we equally experience peace and serenity from fresh air, good company, great food, and a job well done.

Programs Offered

General (Covers all areas of study)

Note: This is the current Viva La Raw internship available at this time. We have listed all specialized learning focuses that we will offer at various times at La Joya del Sol. The General internship is a variation of the following specialized learning focused studies creating a foundation for holistic, independent, sustainable living.

Raw Food Practices

For as many ways as there are to eat cooked foods, there are the same for preparing raw food. Beautiful dishes such quiche, tacos, nori wraps, masala, cookies, pies, and cheese can be recreated with un-cooked, unprocessed, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains and legumes.
The Raw Food Practices internship includes the use of kitchen preparation tools and techniques, creative food techniques including knife skills, food combinations as well as how to create well-seasoned foods without the use of salt, sugars, and oils.

Raw food practices include the preparation of whole food spices and herbs grown on the farm. Shown: Organic turmeric.

Organic Food Agriculture

Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system that promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health.
The goal of the Organic Food Agriculture internship is to share site-specific management practices that maintain and increase long-term soil fertility without the use of synthetic inputs, as well as how to prevent pest and diseases without the introduction of harmful poisons into the agroecosystem.
Shared will be jungle farm fruit and vegetable gardening, as well as working with indigenous plant foods native to the region.

One of the key goals for organic farming is soil preservation and long-term enrichment and fertility practices.

Permaculture Practices

Permaculture uses organic gardening and farming practices with the emphasis on integrating a lifestyle that has less impact on the environment. Sustainable farming relies on the assurance that natural resources in use are conserved.

During the Permaculture Practices internship, students will be exposed to dynamic problem-solving techniques that address the local environment of the farm as well as its place within its community.

Sustainable living includes living foods that nourish us.


Buildings and structures support life. They promote joy, harmony and well being for all those living in and around them.
The main emphasis of the Bio-Construction internship is to learn to use materials local to the region in which the structure is being built, and attempting where possible, the use of natural materials such as earth, rocks, bamboo, and plants in their natural state with limited processes (meaning to not change the materials chemically by the addition of industrial products or poisons). This internship includes participating in the construction of projects that will serve the farm.

The main emphasis of the Bio-Construction internship is to learn to use materials local to the region in which the structure is being built.

Other Useful Information

A Skype call is used frequently to touch base and answer questions and solidify travel plans.  Please send a Skype contact request ahead of time to lajoyadelsol  Be sure to give your full name in the message/ introduction so that we know who you are and can match your application to your contact easier.

  • We provide useful information about What To Bring. Please take a moment to read this page.
  • Our Fee Schedule page lists costs to help you plan your trip.
  • How To Get Here? It is easy.  We provide GPS coordinates, visual markers, a link to Google Maps and instructions.  For people requiring transportation, we list our trusted suggested partners for travel to and from the farm.

If you have any further questions that we have not covered, please Contact us.  We will make every attempt to get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance for your interest!