Cristo Morpho

Buena Vista, Costa Rica

  • Last updated: August 29, 2018 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: August 29, 2018

Mission Statement

We are a spiritual and sustainable community. We have been offering a volunteer program for 5 years during the winter season. Seeking to connect with like minded people or an established community seeking a location for a year round eco-village.

This passage has been somewhat prophetic for us….

“I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house.(hired local workers and volunteers) I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. (Locals in Buena Vista raise cows, pigs and goats and chickens) I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart.” (Ecclesiastes 2:4-8 New International Version)

Community Description

Being a part of Cristo Morpho Community is invigorating. It’s a safe place to express your feelings. Every action, no matter how small, is important. A web of beautiful connections between people happens once you start to serve and live among our community with an open heart. When our community gathers together, we eat, pray, dance, and make glorious music. When together, we provide love and support for each other. We sit close enough to reach out and touch one another. We listen with open hearts as we share the intimate parts of our lives. When problems unfold or decisions must be made, we pray about it. We find a clear consensus among the community before any decision is carried out.

We are currently categorized as a seasonal community. We gather primarily from November to May. We have several volunteers and visitors who are the foundation for the Cristo Morpho Community. Cristo Morpho is a Vermont based mutual-benefit non-profit, which means it was created to serve our members. The programs that Cristo Morpho offers are non-denominational. Within Cristo Morpho Community we accept you as you are, regardless of your beliefs, physical attributes or emotional state. Our position is to respect other religions, cultures, and traditions. Many of our visitors and volunteers have faith in Jesus. As a spiritual community, we actively participate in other spiritual pursuits such as yoga and fitness classes, indigenous traditions, non-violent communication, and share circles. We live as a sustainable community. We grow our own food, have gravity-fed water, compost, and recycle.

History of purchase….
In 2005, the funder purchased nearly 100 acres of land with a three-bedroom home in Buena Vista, which is on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. This land is designated as the future site for our sustainable spiritual community. We are the stewards of this beautiful, rainforest land with a 40-foot waterfall, and the famous translucent, blue morpho butterfly is frequently seen fluttering above the three brooks. In the morning, I wake up to the howler monkeys, and at dusk the parrots squawk and toucans soar from the treetops.


Randolph C. Phelps is a native Vermonter and a resident of Costa Rica. He is the founder of the Vermont non-profit, Cristo Morpho, which established a sustainable, spiritual community located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, called The Cristo Morpho Community. During winters, he directs the Cristo Morpho Volunteer Program. This is a Christ-based program that focuses on immersion into the community through individual service projects, and fostering spiritual growth. In 2006, he purchased nearly 100 acres in Costa Rica, which includes a forty-foot waterfall, in the canopy rainforest region of Buena Vista.

For ten years he was a regular volunteer during summer months at various spiritual communities in upstate New York. He served in the wellness center at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck and assisted with mountain retreats at The Abode of the Message in New Lebanon. Randy is a certified yoga therapist, specializing in chronic conditions and restorative postures. He is an Integral yoga teacher and a regular volunteer at Satchidananda Ashram (Yogaville) in Buckingham, Virginia.

I wrote two books which are on our website: Swan Song & the Cosmic Guru as an enjoyable way to invite people who resonate with my story, to become a part of our sustainable, spiritual community.


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Spiritual or Religious Community
  • Programs & Activities: Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Small Town or Village


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 97.5 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 0
  • Planned number of residences: 45
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Natural built structues, Lots to build on
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental, Work-exchange
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)
  • Additional Comments:

    Luz Eterna del Espiritu is the steward over the land management program and maintains the buildings on the property. We plan to place a large portion of our land into a conservation program overseen by the Biological Corridor. This program protects the land with strict guidelines that don’t allow the cutting of any trees, removal of water, or harming of wildlife. It’s important to conserve the Buena Vista land, which is borderline endangered rainforest. We possess the watershed, the highest points where fresh water sources originate. Our mountain-spring water has been tested. It is delicious and safe to drink and with regular testing can be sold as natural spring water.

    There are hundreds of prime laurel trees, which are widely used for internal and external construction, general carpentry, and furniture; and it’s very good for pulp paper production. We have used laurel trees for all of our construction projects, which includes a community kitchen, a deck on the house, and the yoga gazebo. We also have hardwood trees that are termite resistant on the property. It is quite viable and profitable to plant and harvest rainforest hardwood trees we have planted 500+ hardwood trees in two lots about 3 acres total.


  • Adult Members: 15
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Most of the residents in Buena Vista live off the land and are hardy farmers. They use 4×4 vehicles, quads, motorcycles, mountain bikes, or horses for transportation. Life is filled with simple tasks when living in the rainforest. It is not uncommon to see a local woman walking to town barefoot to buy her rice, beans, sugar, and coffee. What is more amazing is when she returns carrying thirty pound of supplies on top of her head.

    In the center of Buena Vista there is a large, newly constructed, modern school. It has a full kitchen and solar power. Michael, the bilingual professor, has a home next to the school. He is very hospitable, and the students are adorably sweet. I enjoy making the kids banana smoothies, and sometimes we watch a kids’ movie on my laptop. The school is the hub for community gatherings such as soccer games or potluck meals. On Fridays, the students and members in the community volunteer to clean and assist to maintain the grounds.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Trial period of living on the land or as a volunteer

  • Additional Comments:

    Stock is available in Luz Eterna del Espiritu, which is the Costa Rician SA who is the steward over the land.


  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Privacy Requests

    Men and women have separate sleeping quarters. We ask that you respect these designated rooms as their private and safe space for each gender, and do not enter them. Please do not open other people’s personal bags, belongings, or private items.


    If you have any special food requirements or allergies, it is your responsibility to let us know. We will do our best to accommodate. We serve healthy produce from our orchards and gardens. When possible we purchase organic food at the local farmers’ market. We do serve meat, on occasion, but are respectful of those who are vegetarian or vegan. We request those who have high protein demands purchase and bring additional snacks. Please bring high protein items, like chai seeds for shakes. Nut butters can be purchased locally, but they are rather expensive in Costa Rica.

    Drugs and Alcohol Policy

    We have a no alcohol or drug policy for our volunteers and visitors while in Buena Vista. We ask that our volunteers do not go to bars or consume alcohol in nearby Puerto Viejo, Bribri, Hone Creek, or Cahuita. If you are unable to comply with our drug and alcohol policies, please reconsider being a volunteer or visitor. Volunteers that violate this policy will be asked to leave the program. Visitors will be asked to leave the premises.


    We have a policy of no nudity on the Buena Vista property. The Latino culture often dresses skimpily and both men and women can be flirtatious, but they frown on nudity in public, and it is disrespectful to their culture.

    Volunteer and Visitors Relationships

    Volunteers are encouraged to touch, hug, and show affection toward other volunteers, staff, and visitors. Please be cautious regarding male/female interactions and request permission to pray or touch when it may cause discomfort. Volunteer relationships are not encouraged or discouraged. Married couples that are visiting may sleep together if a private room is available.


    If a volunteer wants a friend to spend the night in the home, it must be approved by the volunteer coordinator in advance. Costa Rican guests are not encouraged to stop by unannounced, for security purposes. .


    Our Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs are affectionate creatures. They keep the property secure and love to roam around the property.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 25
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)
  • Additional Comments:

    We have been primarily volunteers and visitors in the past. Open to renting or selling stock / land to individuals, families or an established community after a trial period.

    Our future direction will be decided by those who are active participants in Cristo Morpho Community. On our land in Buena Vista there are lots designated for orchards, vegetable gardens, building a retreat center and family homes. There is approximately 200 hectares of land, surrounding our property, that can be purchased through our community for a very reasonable price. We have negotiated land prices with our neighbor and have a contract to purchase 125 hectares that border our land. It is about one half pasture land.

    We have plotted out a dozen lots with excellent views of the rainforest. It would be an ideal spot for building a small community surrounding the fruit orchard and gardens. This land is currently pasture land rotated for 60 cows. We have an interest in raising livestock such as horses, cows, goats, sheep and chickens.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are totally off grid.
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%


  • Common Facilities: Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Large Scale Kitchen
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: No, it is slow.
  • Cell Phone Service: Not good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: No, this community does not permit alcohol use.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Our land imarch2013 197s designed to provide for the needs of the Cristo Morpho Community. There are community fruit tree orchards and gardens that we started planting in 2006. One of the first orchards planted was citrus trees. We have grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, limes, and lemons.

    We have planted several phases of fruit trees since 2005 (usually about 150 each time) and harvest a few hundred pineapples each year. Spices, such a turmeric and ginger, grow in abundance. We also grow our own sugar cane, coffee, avocados, and cinnamon trees. There are hundreds of indigenous guava trees on the property. It is great for making juices or jams. Of course, we grow a variety of coconuts, bananas, and plantain.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, Native American, Unitarian Universalist, Paganism or Earth Religions, Atheist
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

1. SunDo Retreat Center, 45 South Main Street, Suite 90, West Hartford, CT 06107-2402 (860) 523-5260 Barnet, Vermont (802) 748-3371

2. Omega Institute, 150 Lake Dr., Rhinebeck, NY 12572 (845) 266-4444

3. Abode of the Message, 5 Abode Rd., New Lebanon, NY 12125 (518) 794-8090
4. Saluk Academy

5. Himalayan Institute, 952 Bethany Turnpike, Honesdale, PA 18431 (800) 822-4547 (570) 253-5551

6. Satchidananda Ashram (Yogaville) 108 Yogaville Way, Buckingham, VA 23921 (800) 858-9642

7. Mount Madonna, 445 Summit Rd., Watsonville, CA 95076 (408) 847-0406

8. Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, PO Box 309,57 Interlaken Road Stockbridge, MA 01262 (866) 200-5203

9. Rising Tide, 5102 Swift Road, Sarasota, FL 34231, USA
(941) 776-1140

10. Art of Living Art of Living Retreat Center 639 Whispering Hills Rd, Boone, NC 28607

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Community Affiliations

finca Inti is another nearby community and volunteer program


sustainable, spiritual, yoga, volunteer, indegenous, community,