Cost $1995 includes a shared room with breakfast – there are six small singles at no additional charge, upon request, for those who are the first to register and send in their deposits. When those are gone, a few singles will still be available (in huge rooms) for a supplement of $350 for the week. In full disclosure, the double rooms are the largest! $1895 for those who are Patchwork Alums (does not include individual transportation to and from Villa Boheme, special excursions, optional activities, or gratuities.) $500 non-refundable deposit. Balance due March 1st. Registration Form We have priced the retreat to include only breakfast, so participants will have lots of opportunities to try the delicious cuisine available on the island, both in restaurants and at small markets, and you will have plenty of free time for snorkeling, kayaking, bike riding, beach walking and so on. Food on the island is quite reasonable. You should budget between $30-$45 per day. There is a kitchen available for your use at our retreat center, Villa Boheme, with plenty of refrigerator space. Many of the rooms also have refrigerators – some of the double rooms even have kitchens. The retreat includes
- 8 days, 7 nights, shared accommodations with breakfast;
- morning yoga
- morning writing circles;
- evening writing sessions
- all instruction and materials;
- workshops on the craft of writing;
- individual consultations on your manuscript or your writing life.
And Optional Activities
- Welcome Dinner on April 9th, Dinghy Dock, the friendly neighborhood restaurant next door. Patricia will cover the first $25 per person toward your bill!
- Afternoon outing by boat, captained by our host, Rico Rossi, to a wonderful snorkeling beach. We all split the cost of this.
- Closing dinner on April 16th at an elegant restaurant nearby. Patricia will cover the first $30 per person toward your bill!
Travel to Culebra: Because it’s part of Puerto Rico, you don’t need a passport, special shots, or to change money. Flights are reasonably priced and you can search all airline prices at www.kayak.com. You can even set a fare alert there and take advantage of a sale if it comes along. You should fly into Luis Munoz Marin (SJU), the main aiport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Transportation & lodging in Puerto Rico: You will land in San Juan at their main airport, Luis Munoz Marin (SJU). From there you either fly to the island via a small local airline (fare avail at www.airflamenco.net or www.capeair.com or www.viequesairlink.com) or board your pre-arranged van to the Fajardo ferry dock, about 2 hours away (expect to pay approx $65-75 round trip, per person). From the dock, there is a regularly scheduled ferry service to Culebra ($2.00 adults, each way). The ferry trip is also about 2 hours. Once docked at Culebra, you’re just a few blocks from Villa Boheme. You can walk or take a local van for about $3.00 each. FYI: Past participants rave about taking the local airlines. Don’t worry, we will all share flight information so you can organize groups to travel together. Details on all local transportation options will follow in the Information Letter you will receive after registration. We recommend arriving in Puerto Rico no later than April 8th, a day before the retreat, and staying in San Juan overnight if using a van service. Those who arrive on Saturday should land in San Juan no later than 10:00 a.m.on the first day of the retreat. If you plan to use a tiny connecting air service (there are 3) you have more flexibility. We encourage you to enjoy the beach by staying one or more extra nights at Villa Boheme or elsewhere on Culebra or nearby Vieques after the retreat. You may wish to spend your last night in San Juan so that you are closer to the airport for your departing flight. If you have to fly out the day the retreat ends, we suggest a departure time after 1 p.m. but later is better, to give you plenty of time to get back to the airport. Staying in San Juan: There is a wonderful historic section of the city and www.tripadvisor.com can help you find a terrfic place to stay. Their reviews are often quite helpful.
About our Retreats
Our retreats include people with a wide range of yoga and writing experience, from beginners to professionals. We are all enriched by the diversity. While we will offer a daily schedule of suggested activities, writing and yoga sessions are optional: your time is your own. The yoga is practiced each morning for 1 1/2 hours, before breakfast, on the shady harbor deck at Villa Boheme. Yoga is offered in a safe, supportive environment with a deep respect for every practitioner regardless of their level of experience. Modifications of poses will be offered to make the yoga accessible to every body. Special sessions for individuals can be arranged, if needed. The writing is done in structured groups for about 3 hours each morning, with additional sessions one afternoon and several evenings. You will have opportunity to write in an encouraging, confidential and inspiring setting, in response to exercises we suggest. You will be invited to share what you have just written, and to respond to the writing of others with what is fresh, what you like, what you remember. Patricia will meet with individual writers to discuss their manuscripts or issues relating to their writing life and offer workshops on the craft of writing. While Patricia and Jane will always be where the schedule calls them, for you all activities are optional, and the entire week should be considered free time. Pick and choose from organized activities to make your own schedule. Take as much time each day as you’d like to set off on your own or with others. Villa Boheme is sunny, sleepy and relaxing, so you can climb into a hammock on the patio and enjoy the view of Ensenada Bay. Participants can also take a swim, or rent a kayak for a paddle in the ocean. The snorkeling and scuba diving around Culebra are outstanding. Rent a bike or a golf cart and explore the island and its many beaches or walk to town to enjoy the local shops and restaurants. Local bodywork professional will be available by appointment at Villa Boheme. The retreat is designed and facilitated by Patricia Lee Lewis with Jane Mortifee.
Combining Yoga and Writing
The practice of yoga, the joining of body and mind, can open pathways into the feelings, memories, stories and images embedded in the tissues. Writing workshops during the retreat are designed to help you shift your awareness and write from those deeper levels of consciousness.
Through Hatha Yoga, we will get in touch with our kinesthetic sense of self. We will use special meditation techniques to slow the mind and create a sense of the sacred. No writing or yoga experience is required – only a sense of adventure.
Beginning and experienced writers will find a supportive, encouraging context in which to write from their deepest selves. We will write in response to exercises offered by Patricia Lee Lewis, MFA. In a small group, writers will be invited to read their work aloud, and the group will offer simple affirmations of what is done well and what stays in the memory.
Culebra is known as “Isla Chiquita” (small island) and “Ultima Virgen” (last virgin). Culebra was founded on October 27, 1880 by Cayetano Escudero. The first inhabitants of Culebra were the Tainos, a peaceful indigenous tribe that resided throughout the Caribbean. Legend has it that pirates also used Culebra as a hideout. The colonization of Culebra started in 1880. Spain conceded the island, along with Puerto Rico to the U.S. at the end of the Spanish-American war in 1898. Located 27 km (17 miles) east of Puerto Rico and 19 km (12 miles) west of Saint Thomas, its dimensions are about 11 km (7 miles) long and 5 km (3.5 miles) wide. Its total area including surrounding Cays is 7,000 acres. The capital is Dewey, where Villa Boheme is located. Dewey contains most of the archipelago’s 2000 inhabitants. Culebra’s per capita income is around $9,000 per year. Coral reefs around the island are considered some of the most spectacular of the entire Caribbean region. Beaches at Zona and Playa Flamenco are called ‘diamond dust’ beaches for the spectacular white sands. The leatherback turtles climb onto Playa Brava to lay their eggs in season. On February 27, 1909, a bird refuge was established on the island, making it one of the oldest refuges in the U.S. system. Since then much of the island and the surrounding 23 islets including Culebrita are protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a nature preserve, making the islands one of only two nesting sites for giant sea turtles in the U.S. The Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, 600 ha, protects large colonies of sea birds (with approx. 85 species), particularly terns, red-billed tropic birds and boobies, and nesting sea turtles. The refuge is accessible by ferry or by plane from San Juan. The Mount Resaca Refuge insures the preservation of one of the few remaining large blocks of dry sub-tropical forest on Culebra.You can visit the surrounding cays by chatting up the local fishermen or by arranging dives through local operators.
Walking distance from the town of Dewey and fronting the water, our retreat site is situated perfectly for both convenience and privacy. The large, private veranda overlooks a scenic harbor where you can enjoy a refreshing breeze while relaxing in a hammock and idly watching the busy coming and going of small boats.
Accommodations: Each bedroom is carefully appointed and fully equipped with air conditioning and an en suite bathroom/shower. Some single rooms are available on a first to register, first to receive, basis. Double rooms are large, have kitchenettes and balconies.
Villa Boheme’s spacious veranda offers a beautiful view of the still unspoiled Ensenada Honda bay. Here we will enjoy, all to ourselves, 200 feet of boardwalk and waterfront hammocks.The patio area includes a fully equipped community kitchen and two full bathrooms for convenient beach clean up.
Meals: We will have breakfast together at Villa Boheme. For lunch and dinner, you can sample a wide variety of fine dining restaurants, casual beachfront cafes or snack shacks. There is also a small market or two where you can buy and prepare your own food at the Villa Boheme kitchen. You will enjoy the traditional food of Puerto Rico, plentiful vegetarian options and fresh fish around the island.
If you have special dietary needs, you might bring some of those foods with you. They may not be as available on the island as they are here.
About the Staff
Patricia Lee Lewis lives and works at Patchwork Farm Retreat in western Massachusetts. She shares the world with trees and stones, chickadees, writers and bears, and leads weekend writing retreats and weekly workshops in her mountain cottage at Patchwork Farm, throughout the United States, and yoga and writing retreats at sacred sites around the world – Guatemala, Mexico, Africa, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Spain, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica.
Jane Mortifee has completed the 500 hour RYT certification. Her approach to teaching is to make yoga safe and accessible for practitioners of all levels. She has studied various forms of meditation, focusing on Tibetan Buddhism for the last 17 years. Yoga is a constant companion.