Be the Change – Internship Program – Summer 2017

Are you seeking for a deeper Permaculture experience, acquiring new skills and applying theory and system design into practice?

Welcome to our 4-week Summer 2017 Permaculture Internship Program!

We have created a Permaculture path where you will be immersed in our community and learn intensively through a series of classes, “hands-on” sessions, intimate walk-and-talk activities, interactive exercises and more. Our vision aims to connect the participants to a well-developed permaculture site and local community, while delving into multiple topics to get a deeper understanding in holistic system thinking. Through this extended and diverse experience, we aim to seek a feeling of empowerment within ourselves while gaining confidence in regenerative design techniques, which ultimately leads to having a positive impact on our current world situation.

In the past 7 years, both Escola da Terra (Waldorf education) and Terra Alta have been involved in the education of hundreds of people that have initiated projects that are still active and thriving around the globe. We expect this course to be a continuation of that and to be an intensive and immersive learning experience.

This program includes a 2-week PDC – Permaculture Design Course – with an internationally recognized certification awarded to graduates. Furthermore, the program will circulate around the topic of water, a most essential part of managing a holistic permaculture system. The course will also feature a broader perspective on social permaculture, regenerative agriculture, natural building, whole systems thinking and the application and relationship of these fields within permaculture.  

In addition to the courses, we will be immersed in the day-to-day management of the site, actively engaging with and implementing new projects.  Various topics will be discussed in further detail in a classroom setting with dynamic social permaculture facilitation. This combination of academic theory and hands-on immersion is a fast-track to gaining a comprehensive grasp of permaculture and confidently taking the next steps ideal for your life situation. We will have six contact hours per day. In the days that courses aren’t happening, there will be ample time for beach exploration and social interaction. 

Dates: August 6th – September 3rd 

Internship Fee: 1190 euros  ( EARLY BIRD 1140 euros until 27 May )

Early booking is recommended since our courses fill up very quickly 

****includes camping accommodation and all meals that are delicious and homemade with a focus on organic and local****

For more information and to register contact at the following:

“Permaculture gives people a place to be a part of the solution”
Rosemary Morrow

Suited for 

  • Project developers
  • Students looking for practical experience and holistic perspective
  • Permaculture Designers, artists, architects, landscapers
  • Small land holders 
  • Ecologists and Restoration Worker
  • Activist
  • Designers
  • Landscape architects
  • Land developers
  • Artists
  • Farmers
  • Urban Gardeners, NGO-members, 
  • Community members
  • People in urban and settlement planning 
  • Social workers  
  • Environmental educators 
  • School teachers
  • People looking for nature connection

Internship Program Details 

The program is a blend of our summer PDC and actively guided time at Terra Alta while also branching into the larger community.  Below is the general framework.

  • Permaculture Design Course – for detailed info about this course please visit HERE
  • Natural Building
  • Forest management
  • Social Permaculture Strategies for Community and Project Development
  • Food Preservation and Fermentation (Sourdough, Sauerkraut and Kombucha)
  • Project tours in the local community
  • Introduction to Water Management in Permaculture Systems and action learning Project on Watershed Regeneration at Terra Alta
  • Regenerative Agriculture and Organic Gardening
  • Introduction to Herbalism for Self-supply
  • Urban Permaculture 

The program will circulate through an ambiance of community living were we will play music around the fire circle at night, hike the beautiful coast and watch magical sunsets, stretch our bodies with yoga, cook delicious organic meals and bake bread and pizza in the cob oven. Ultimately, we will build a sense of well-being that will make us feel happy and alive while learning about traditional skills and ecological design!

The facilitators and Hosts

1 full-15 (2)Pedro Valdjiu – facilitation and hosting

Already in his youth, Pedro Valdjiu dedicated his life to arts such as music and filmmaking. For more than 20 years he has been profoundly impacting the Portuguese music scene with his internationally successful music project Blasted Mechanism.

His work and his powerful drive are primarily the result of constant research and reflection of meaning and passion in life which ultimately brought him to permaculture and a holistic approach to cultural transformation.
Together with his companion Rita Seixas, he founded the small community and permaculture educational project Terra Alta, as well as the Rudolph Steiner inspired school Escola da Terra.
Through his special talents for designing and manifesting dreams and ideas as well as the ability to recognize and empower the gifts of others, he has become a true inspiration for friends, students and the permaculture world.
To know more about Valdjiu Click HERE
201408_05_0206 2

Henrik Ellerbrock  – facilitation and hosting

Growing up in the metropolis of Berlin, Henrik developed a particular sense of what are the urgent matters to address for establishing a global societal transformation. Through various projects for peace education and conflict resolution in southern and eastern Africa, as well as work with A. Boal’s “theatre of the oppressed” in various Berlin high schools, he understood clearly that social changes cannot be imposed from the outside, but have to grow from within.

After several years of work to create societal awareness for global political issues in Berlin he decided to move to Portugal in 2010, hoping to find a more authentic way of life. Here he met Pedro and his family and joined the Terra Alta project, purchasing the neighbouring land.
Since that time he has studied permaculture intensively as well as related aspects of sustainable living. Through pertinent observation, constructive ideas and an eye for detail, he quickly became an essential part of the project and every day is living the dream of an alternative regenerative life.
To know more about Henrik Please Click HERE


Sarah Daum  – facilitation 

As a child, Sarah spent a lot of time in the woods from where her sense of care for the earth arose. As a teenager, she dedicated herself to herbal medicine, which lead her to a deep feeling of connection with the land. She then engaged in environmental activism and travelled around Europe and Latin America learning earth-based cultural knowledge and permaculture. Engaging in permaculture gave her the opportunity to build up cultural structures that support life instead of just protesting against environmental destruction. During her studies in geoecology she researched the water quality and sustainability of the water retention landscape of Tamera ecovillage in Portugal. She also trained herself in wilderness awareness and took part in permaculture projects around Europe and in India. Over the last years, she led the set-up phase of the permaculture education center at the swiss ecovillage Schweibenalp and is now teaching permaculture, herbal medicine and deep nature connection, inspired by the cultural knowledge of indigenous traditions.

To know more about Sarah Click HERE


Rita Seixas – hosting

Is a deeply dedicated educator and community leader as she helps to bring transformation through nurturing children’s education and welcoming course hosting through attention to detail. She is the co-founder of Terra Alta and Escola da Terra A Waldorf School in a village nearby Terra Alta. She is highly connected to Antroposhophy, a spiritual science created by Rudolf Steiner, which frames this amazing work with the next generation. She is also a very talented artist in the areas of crafting, painting and drawing which translates into retrofitting spaces with both functionality and aesthetic beauty. Devoted mother of 2 girls, she is on the cutting edge of education in Portugal leading a School with her full heart and soul.

The Host Site

Terra Alta is an aspiring off the grid holistic education host site and gives you the chance to be immersed in a landscape of learning. It’s located in between Almoçageme and Ulgueira, two quaint villages just above the sea and situated for easy access to the amazing beaches called Praia da Adraga and Ursa. It’s easy to reach from Lisbon and Sintra and gives access to our amazing sunset cliffs and beaches. Terra Alta offers a wonderful example of small-scale intensive systems working towards being off the grid. Because the site has had several years of Permaculture management, it is easy for students to immerse themselves in the principles of landscape development and holistic infrastructure development. The following Permaculture elements and functions are on display amongst others:

  • Small-scale Earthworks to capitalise on impervious surface runoff
  • Extensive Food Forest of subtropical, temperate, and Mediterranean species corresponding with the earthworks
  • Hot & Cold Composting (Vermiculture) systems for boosting soil life, picking up on waste streams, and cycling nutrients
  • Food Preservation and supporting local economy of food production
  • Small Intentional Community focused on adult education through Permaculture courses but more importantly holistic, Waldorf and Permaculture inspired education for the children of the local area
  • Natural Building techniques utilized for dwellings and outdoor cooking and social spaces
  • Renewable Energy technology featuring solar panels – we provide charging only for mobile phones due to limited amount of energy.
  • Internet available one hour a day via Hotspot.

In case you want top know a bit more about our vision go HERE 

 And to meet our crew HERE

And to meet the land and how we apply Permaculture HERE



During the courses students get a chance to experience a permaculture garden more intimately by camping on the land. In a semi-wild area, we have created level terraces among the trees, mushrooms and stones for people to pitch their tents out of view from the rest of the garden.

There is also the possibility for some students with their own bus/camper-van to stay on the land, although space is limited; so if you are interested in bringing a bus, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to accommodate everyone!



From the outdoor communal kitchen, we provide 3 meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner included in the cost of the course (except Sundays when the students are free to feed themselves!) 

Prepared with love, the food is always diverse, fresh, healthy, homemade and vegetarian. By that we also help to stimulate the local food economy by purchasing what ingredients are not grown at Terra Alta from the local organic “Cooperativa” and other local producers and processors.


What to do near by

In the break day you can go to Praia da Ursa, the wild beach 30 min away walking. There is so much to visit in Sintra… its a world heritage area full of incredible monuments and gardens planted with an immense variety of trees.  We have created a page with some of the local features that you can visit HERE