Enrolling now: 1 month residential retreat intensives and full-time residents.
(If you are already on location, please join our Whatsapp channel here as we also produce local events)
Basic Information about Authentic Relating Village
Authentic Relating Village is a newly-formed (January 2024) Intentional Community and retreat center near Ajijic / Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. We are about an hour from Guadalajara airport (GDL), or two-day drive from Laredo, Texas. Our focus is on community, deep-connection practices, creativity & self-expression, health & wellness, and conscious business development. We have room for 6-8 people each month at very low pricing of $250-$550 per person. The lower end of the scale is for double-occupancy at an adjacent hotel, i.e. a couple or close friends. Food and transport is extra.
There are four ways of engaging here:
The first way is to join one of our local Practical Relational Leadership Courses, on-the-ground here in Ajijic and happening monthly.
The second way is to join one of our 3-day, 7-day or 10-day Residential Retreat Intensives in Authentic Relating.
The third way is to come for a 1 month (or more) "Authentic Relating vacation". Do a deep immersion into our process which is called Practical Relational Leadership, experience this beautiful and popular Mexican expat destination, have as much fun and derive as much learning as possible, and then go home.
And the fourth way is to come with an intention of joining our community longer-term. This option will be especially interesting to people wanting to co-create an Authentic Relating intentional community. You can read about that on our Permanent Residence page.
If our initial experiment is successful, we may be looking eventually to buy our own place and create a full-on eco-village with agricultural operations and functioning as a kind of human transformational utopia.
The month-long option is well-suited to "digital nomads", people who run a business remotely.
We are especially interested in partnering with and supporting people creating AR businesses and related ventures. The Authentic Relating Village is currently the home of the Authentic Singles project and there may be income opportunities by helping us to develop that model.
We are enrolling now for the March 2024 (and ongoing) residential retreat programs.
Don't have time or money for a residential retreat? Check out our online Practical Relational Leadership cohorts beginning at the start of each month.
[Click here for the photo album]. Authentic Relating Village is currently located at a residential hotel in the hills above Ajijic / Chapala Mexico, on the shores of large Lake Chapala. We are about an hour from GDL (Guadalajara) airport, 400 miles west of Mexico City, and 2 days drive (650 miles or 12 hours) from the closest border town which is Laredo TX.
The 3-day and 10-day residential retreats happen at the on-site conference center which has 5 nice rooms suitable for singles or couples. There is additional space for 10 more people either in camping or staying at nearby hotels. We provide food at the 3 and 10-day retreats.
If you come for a 30-day retreat (which is required for people considering permanent residency at the village) we will host you in one of the residential units. The residential units are suitable for single or double occupancy and have kitchens. With the 30-day retreats you will provide your own food, but you can join the community cooking collective for as many group meals as we want to organize.
In addition to the bedrooms, the retreat center provides a swimming pool, an indoor meeting room, a large lobby suitable for yoga or other physical activity, and a temescal (sweat-lodge). We also have a mini-soccer field on-site and tennis courts nearby. Some of us are quite into tennis.
You fly into GDL (Guadalajara) International airport and take a taxi to here, which costs 460 Pesos (about $28). You can arrive anytime day or night, just let us know.
There are direct and relatively inexpensive flights to GDL from San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, Houston and maybe other places. The best rates are generally offered by local airlines (Volaris, etc). Check Orbitz or your favorite airline booking site for the best rates and timings.
Click-through the map below or else here to open a Google map in a new window.
Residential Retreat Programs Summary (Current as of February 2024)
The residential retreat program is currently being developed and not all offers are finalized or active. Please come back here later for more information.
See the Pricing page for the cost of these programs.
- We are enrolling now for 30-day (month-long) residential retreat intensives. Month-long retreats start on the 1st of each month. See below.
- We are enrolling now for local (in-person) Practical Relational Leadership Courses, happening monthly here in Ajijic / Chapala. See below.
- We have tentatively scheduled a 10-day retreat in late April or May 2024. See below.
- We have no 3-day or 7-day retreats currently scheduled.
For a description of the facilities and what can happen here see Location & Amenities.
To register your interest in any of the above, please review the instructions on our Contact page.
Differences and Similarities between the retreat formats
The difference between the various offers lies in the level of programming (or scheduling) you get on each retreat, and/or the personal attention you will be getting from us. The month-long retreat has minimal scheduling (only 2 hours weekly being required, which is attendance at the PRL Course). The 10-day retreat has 4-6 hours a day of programming, plus participant-led events. The 3-day retreats have programming for 10 hours per day on the first two days, with the third day open to participant-led programs, recreation and/or Circling. You may request 1:1 sessions of bodywork or coaching for individuals and couples as an extra layer of support, at an additional cost
All retreats, regardless of duration are designed as immersive experiences in community. The permanent members of the community will participate in your retreat if they can. The retreats have scheduled classes and activities, but beyond that we encourage retreat participants to make their own offers, teach classes, organize fun things to do, etc., to whatever extent is possible within the schedule. Meaning that, the programming is not fixed, it is "emergent" according to the desires and skillsets of each person in the retreat. We call this "an experimental community of love in action" or maybe "a community of fun, love and transformation".
3-day and 10-day retreats are catered (3 meals per day). The month-long retreat you are responsible for breakfast and lunch and have an option to join our cooking collective for dinner.
1. The month-long retreat
The month-long retreat is the pre-requisite to becoming a permanent member, however you are welcome to come and experience a month-long "Authentic Relating vacation" lived in community, even if you have not the desire or possibility to join us permanently.
The month-long retreat immersion is the least structured of all our retreats, and also the most affordable (see Pricing). Your only commitment / obligation is to attend our weekly PRL session (which may be conducted with local participants in town), and our weekly all-hands community organizational meeting, which is simply syncing-up about what's going on, organizing our cooking collective (if you choose to participate in that), and scheduling fun things to do together.
2. The 10-day retreat
We are tentatively scheduling our first 10-day retreat in the second half of April 2024, or else in May 2024. The schedule will include, at minimum:
- An enhanced (3-hour) PRL session on days 1, 3, 5, and 7
- Other programming to be determined by the current community members (and/or the participant's desires and possible contributions). This may include neo-tantra teachings, yoga, parts work, our proprietary health and well-being system called Authentic Fitness, etc.
3. Local (in person) Practical Relational Leadership Courses ("PRL"), happening monthly here in Ajijic / Chapala
We run our flagship Authentic Relating offer, the 4 x 2hr Practical Relational Relational Leadership course monthly in Ajijic and/or Chapala. Please Contact us to meet-up in person so we can get to know each other. Click here to find the next scheduled Ajijic-local PRL.
Click here for the monthly online (global) PRL courses, and to register.
4. The 3-day retreat
There are no 3-day retreats currently scheduled. However, we would like to produce an ART International Level 1 Course at some point.
ART International courses take place over 2 days with 10 hours of programming each day. We would offer a moderate-cost option to extend the retreat to 3-days, with participant-created programming on the third day.
Questions / Comments?
Reach out to us from our Contact Page
Chapala is a fairly authentic mid-sized Mexican town with a great market, cultural and recreational facilities. It borders the large Chapala lake. The lake is pretty, but not suitable for swimming or boating.
Our location is in the hills above Chapala. Its just 4 miles to Ajijic (15-25 min with traffic) and 5-10 minutes to Chapala. Ajijic is a famous expat retirement destination, with a lot of people interested in spirituality and human transformational technologies, "refugees from Western culture" and the like. Ajijic also has a high density of other intentional communities, most of them sourced from ACIM (A Course in Miracles). Ours would be the first AR intentional community in the area, maybe in the world.
Climate & Environment
We are in the so-called "Western highlands" area of Mexico, with pleasant climate year round. Winter is perfect weather, but all seasons are okay.
The winter season (popular or tourist season) goes from December to April or May. During the winter, the population increases significantly from Canadian and American winter refugees. Winter is cool at night, comfortable during the day, dry and usually sunny. It starts to get hot in May or June, which continues through July and sometimes August until the rains start. Houses here usually do not have either air-conditioning or heating. It's cool at night in all seasons.
The expats in Ajijic are an odd mix of retirees, spiritual seekers, "consciousness geeks", saints and weirdos. There is a high density of spiritual communities here and a large expat social club called the Lake Chapala Society.
Nearby Guadalajara is a modern town with medical facilities rivaling the US, but less than half the price. "Medical tourism" is popular here, such as for dental work.
Ajijic has a large number of vendors catering to the expats and tourists, making it possible to find and buy health-foods and other specialty items that Mexicans don't use. There is a good supermarket in Chapala and a Walmart in Ajijic, but its nothing like Walmarts in the US. Expect to pay a 20-30% premium for most consumer goods, and more for specialty food items.
Things to do
Non-social recreational opportunities (i.e outdoor adventures, sports etc.) are somewhat limited here, and the lake is not swimmable. Chapala does have tennis courts, I am very involved in the tennis community here. There is a softball league in Ajijic. There is hiking in the hills above town. The ocean (Puerto Vallarta and adjoining towns which include surfer-village Sayulita), is about 5 hours drive west. A 3-4-day excursion to the ocean might be fun for us to do together. The route passes by a 13,000 foot extinct volcano that might be fun to climb.
We may have group excursions into town which may include visits to the other communities and to their events, to the nearby volcanic pools, movie nights, etc. The other communities include Namaste Village and the Villa Del Angel.
If you are a musician (even beginner) please bring your instrument(s). There is a drum circle in town and free yoga on Ajijic plaza.
Our location is not great for public transportation if you don't have a car or motorbike. Taxi and private drivers are available. I do have a beat-up 4-seater, manual transmission car that I am willing to lend out for short trips. We are building two electric bicycles which we will make available to community members and will get you into town, although not at night as the roads into town don't have shoulders.
Note about bringing a car into Mexico
To drive a car into Mexico beyond the "free zone" which is roughly 30 miles past the border, you need what's called a "Temporary importation permit". This is fairly easily obtainable online, via a $400 refundable deposit that is taken on your credit card and refunded after you leave. The easiest way to do this, however, will be to do it on the Mexico side of the border after you cross at Laredo TX. Budget 1-2 hours for this and make sure you have all the papers necessary (google "Mexico Temporary Importation Permit"). Talk to me as the place is hard to find and the process not obvious.
The drive from here to Laredo TX (closest border town) is a bit costly given tolls and price of gas, but it's possible. For a longer-term stay you will want to consider bringing in your car. You would need to exit the country after 6 months, possibly immediately re-entering it either with or without your car.
For the rest, with the default visa (whether you come by air or by car) you can stay here 6 months. You renew the visa by exiting and re-entering the country. There is not normally a problem with visa renewal.
Driving during the day in this part of Mexico is safe and sometimes quite scenic. If you come and you have time, I recommend that you skip the toll roads.
Month-long Residential Retreats Pricing
The first hotel option has 3-4 units available, all with kitchen. Pricing is $550/mth per person single-occupancy and $375/mth per person double-occupancy. The second hotel is located 2 miles away (5 min. drive), costing $375 /mth per person single occupancy and $250/mth per person double occupancy. My fees of $50-75 per person per month are included in quoted rates. My fee is for organizing, running the program and the marketing / admin work. Food and transport are not included in the base price.
If you come with an intention of becoming a permanent member, we ask for an additional $150-250 to cover your weekly check-in / coaching meeting with your community mentor. We will also make introductions for you and take you to see other communities, and generally up our level of attention on you.
10-day Residential Retreats Pricing
The 10-day residential retreat program is currently being designed. Pricing will likely be in the $1000-$1200 range, all inclusive.
Practical Relational Leadership Courses ("PRL") Pricing
The local Practical Relational Leadership Courses start at the beginning of each month and go for 4 sessions x 2 hours. The price for the online (global) groups is just $100 and the local price is 1500 Pesos. If cost is an issue, scholarships are available.
3-day Retreats Pricing (Residential or not)
We have no 3-day retreats scheduled, but pricing will be about $400 for the retreat, plus $100-150 approximately for food and accommodation, if wanted.
Program Requirements, and How to Apply
In the startup phase of our residential program, we want people who have some experience in AR (ideally leadership experience), or else deep experience in compatible modalities such as NVC. We want people who have a high level of self-responsibility, skill in communication, and who understand the "90-10 rule" (which is that anytime you are triggered, its 90% about you and 10% about the other person). Since the first month includes a PRL course (4 x 2 hour meetings), please also read the Expectation setting for the PRL courses.
If any of this is of interest and you want to take it further, please do the following:
- Follow the instructions on our Contact Page to write me an email and a whatsapp.
- If we haven't already met, I will send you a link to book a discovery call
- I will need a $100 deposit to reserve your spot and full payment by the 15th of the prior month of your arrival. You can paypal "friends and family" to [email protected] or Venmo to @marcbeneteau or (603) 631-4271. These fees are non-refundable in principle, however we'll do our best to refund if you need to cancel and I have no non-refundable deposits at the hotel.