The Research Program involves 1+ month stays at the Choza and supports individuals actively researching and working on a project that leverages the unique environment in rural Costa Rica. This program is for those conducting original work.

Researchers Overview

The Research program is the "why" and the content of our community. The Choza environment is a physical location to allow individuals to immerse themselves in the jungle surrounded by primary rainforest, in a rural Costa Rican farming community, in a progressive Central American democracy. As a group of people, Researchers curiously engage with the local community and other Researchers, Fellows, and Hosts, to actively listen and push bounds for their study by serendipitous collaborations that occur at the Choza. The Researchers see the world as an active laboratory of engagement, curious about new hypothesis and dedicated to active experimentation. The Choza is your laboratory to conduct your experiments and projects.

Researchers Experience

The Researchers main project will be to self-explore their topic of study while also being an active member of the Choza community. Some days, Researchers will be holed up in their favorite nook on the property pouring through their topic with deep dedication, whereas other days, the Researcher may participate in a Choza community project, such as assisting another Research with their project, support the Hosts and Choza staff for harvesting the land or supporting a construction project. And as a small group living and working at the Choza, the Researcher will also assist in the day-to-day live at the Choza including food preparation and other general contributions. In short, you can expect the following from your experience as a Researcher:

  • a combination of intellectual time and physical contributions on the property;
  • the opportunity to deliver an Advance (our word for a retreat) or Community Event;
  • a lightly facilitated experience with a majority of time self-directed opportunities for peer feedback, cross fertilization and blue sky/green hat thinking;
  • shared meals and shared cooking;
  • a maximally rural setting in the mountains of Costa Rica; and
  • basic but beautiful accommodations.

Whilst the Choza is a community, your project(s) are your own and this program is best suited to self-sufficient individuals who are independently motivated and can manage themselves, stay in active communication through online channels, and are comfortable learning to participate in collaborative decision-making processes.

Potential Topics

We carefully select a few Researchers based on topics that uniquely can be explored at the Choza. Previous projects include the exploration of a community Internet Service Provider and a Jathropa crop for an indigenous source of biodiesel. Feel free to propose your own research topic, and below are a list areas to stimulate your thinking:

  • Reconciling progress, technology, and our natural environment;
  • New modes of organizing and human systems;
  • Perspectives on sustainability as applied to multi-planetary species;
  • Permaculture projects for the tropics;
  • Community collectives for internet and infrastructure projects;
  • Sustainable land management, landscaping and erosion prevention;
  • Natural building techniques; and
  • Sustainable energy system design.

Proposal Review

The Choza community prides itself in being idealistic when setting a vision and very practical when setting goals and an action plan for implementation. As we review potential new Researchers, we are looking for that correct combination of big thinking with practical implementation as well as the correct personal chemistry with other Researchers, Fellows and Hosts during your tenure. Below is an overview of some selection criteria:

  • Evidence of ability to execute;
  • A clear proposal with demonstrable outputs, timeline, and an understanding of resources needed, if any;
  • Ability of this work to impact and support the work of others globally;
  • Potential for cross pollination with other projects and spaces;
  • An open source philosophy; and
  • Self-reliance, ingenuity and creative problem-solving.


If this sounds like a community you'd like to join, we want to hear from you! The application process is quite straight forward, so just jump in and tell us about yourself!

Step 1: Create a profile on the Embassy Network.

Step 2: Apply to be a Researcher using the application form.

Step 3: As a community, the Choza Core team will review your application and we'll get back to you! Responses take a couple of week for the first review, and we may get back to you to expand on some items for greater insight into your research.

Step 4: If you are accepted make a reservation request online via your Embassy Network profile. Please note it is important that you clearly state that you are applying for the Research Program so we don’t book you in as a guest! Remember that the Choza is a hilly environment so please contact us beforehand if you have a physical disability which we need to be aware of.

Any questions? Send us an email.

The Choza wood shop is available for building artisanal furniture to the staging location for the assembly of a timber constructed building

As a cob oven in the background dries, the extra cob material, made up of straw, clay and sand, is utilized for an art project.

Researchers are setting up an internet hotspot at the Studio. Once connected, researchers posted their solution to Reddit.

Seedlings in the Vivero start with the correct species and organic material but will grow to be part of reforestation projects across the Choza property.

A host supporting a project for seasonal structures built out of bamboo. There are green, running bamboo, yellow bamboo (pictured) and Guadua growing on the property.