Artists with MCS * Archive * Books * Cartoons * Chemical Protection * Consultants & Counseling * Contact * Contents * Dental * EMF * Gathering Stories * Gulf War Syndrome * Help - Fast * Hospitalization * Housing * Home * Legal * Lighten the Load * Medical * News *
Personal Stories * Pesticide-Alternatives * Pesticide-Info * Pesticide-Poisoning * Photos * Products * Resources * Retreats * Toxic Chemicals * What Helps

Retreats
for Those with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Ontario, Canada
New Life Retreat, Center for Renewal and Healing. New Life Retreat is set on a 100 acre, eco-organic, quiet farm in the heart of the beautiful Lanark Highlands. Modern, comfortable facilities await inside this lovingly restored and renovated country home.
Environmental Sensitivities. At New Life our space is environmentally sensitive in terms of cleaning products, natural building materials and smoke-free environment, no perfumes allowed, or scented body care products. Contact retreat for
further details. http://www.newliferetreat.com/
 
Baja, California
EL SANTUARIO DE ENSENADA BLANCA
BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR MEXICO
 
MCS Contact: selene@slonet.org
E-MAIL:  baja@santuario.com
WEB PAGE:  www.El-Santuario.com
PHONE: Turning Turtle Tours @  805 541 7921
                                                     
Hola,
Our desire is to offer you a beautiful serene and natural healing environment. BE STILL AND DANCE is at the heart of what we offer you, encouraging you to work toward a quiet awareness of who you really are and what it means for spirit to become human.
 
We offer personal retreats for individuals or couples. We wish to facilitate your stay at El Santuario in a way that best serves your needs.  Whether you care to have some direction, personal sessions, mediation practice, or to just 'BE' in this beautiful, natural environment is your choice. 
 
Our casitas (cottages) incorporate natural materials allowing them to blend into the surrounding landscape. Each is palm thatched and has a shaded porch, paved with handmade adobe blocks. Double dutch doors and 8 feet of windows on each side provides a 360 degree view and as much ventilation as you desire.  Each casita contains either two very comfortable single beds or a queen size bed, hooks and shelving for clothes and personal effects, small tables and a light.  A cot can be added to accommodate a third person.  Bedding and towels are provided.   Two casitas rest on the beach while four more are nestled in the dunes, each with an excellent ocean and island view.  All casitas are private and surrounded by abundant vegetation.
 
El Santuario allows you to commune with nature in a safe and comfortable environment.  In creating El Santuario we have put to use many aspects of a sustainable life style. Electric power comes from our solar panels, and while adequate for most daily use, will not accommodate high wattage appliances. Let the wind dry your hair and perhaps try growing a beard!  Rechargeable batteries are encouraged and plugs are only located in our beach side kitchen.   We hope that during your stay you will become more aware of resource use and experience the pleasure of walking more lightly on the earth. 
 
The weather is seasonal with October, November and early December having warm days, 80s to 90 and warm water, 80 to 85. Late December through March are cooler with days 70 to 80 and nights in the 50s; occasionally cooler. Typical water temperature in the winter is 65 to 70. April, May and June start getting warmer; water and air temperatures are similar to October and November. July, August, and September are hot with days 90 to 105+ and water 85+. Water is especially clear and warm in the summer for great diving and snorkeling.
 
Our palm thatched composting toilets were designed for our environment by the Center For Ecological Pollution Prevention (Concord, MA) and are very pleasant and user friendly.  The nearby showers provide large, bright, cheery space for your personal needs. Wind-chimes, hanging plants and hummingbirds enhance even the most mundane of bathroom experiences!  Shower water is solar heated and while limited (water is our most precious resource) you will find it more than adequate for your needs.
 
A 30 foot diameter carpeted yurt is convenient for workshops, yoga, massage, dancing, and mediation, as well as for dormitory style sleeping if the need arises.  It's large thatched roofed adobe porch is a great space for socializing with an ocean view.
 
Meals
Fresh fruits (papayas, oranges, mangoes, dates, limes) and vegetables (organic whenever possible) as well as pastas, nuts, cereals, bread, tortillas, cheeses are offered along with fresh fish. Local goat cheese is a delicious treat and fresh salsa and homemade tortillas are almost always available. Drinks include teas, juices, coffee and water. We encourage you to squeeze your own fresh oranges and limes for juice. A variety of foods will be offered for breakfast and lunch with the time, choice and preparation up to you. For breakfast you might squeeze juice and pour a bowl of cereal or scramble eggs and make toast.  Lunches may consist of cheeses, tamales, fresh veggies (tomato, avocado, lettuce) tuna and perhaps cold salads.  Dinner is a hot meal and includes one or more of the following:  fresh fish, clams, enchiladas, soups, rice, lentils, pastas, beans and a variety of salads..  Women from the local village will assist in food preparation, we also encourage group participation in cooking and cleanup.  If we know your special dietary needs in advance, we will make every attempt to fill them.  We will provide meat on request but do not normally incorporate it into our cooking. Alcohol is not provided but also not prohibited if used judiciously.  We are a smoke and drug free environment.
 
El Santuario is not a resort, but rather a place for inner exploration in nature. We encourage meditation and contemplation.  To heighten your experience it is possible to take wonderful hikes in the canyons or mountains, walk or jog the mile long beach, use our fun water toys to explore the bay, or snorkel off the point.  It is also possible to arrange a boat trip to explore the islands or the coast with the village fishermen. However, our main goal is to provide you with a place in nature in which to nurture your inner spirit. We request you remain here for the duration of your retreat and schedule visits to other Baja activities before or after your stay with us.
 
Loreto (population 8,000) is located about 25 miles (45 min) north of El Santuario.  While that is also the closest point for e-mail and fax/phone we do have access to a telephone for emergencies. El Santuario is approximately 700 miles south of Tijuana.  At present, Aero California (800-882 8880) has one non-stop daily flight from Los Angeles to Loreto.  Aero Mexico also provides flights. It is also possible to fly to La Paz and take a 4 hr bus trip north to El Santuario or to take an 18 hr bus trip south from Tijuana. Remember, at the airport you will need a passport or original birth certificate to be issued a visa. Upon arrival you may either rent a car or take a taxi. If you plan on taking a taxi please let us know so that we can make arrangements for the best possible rate.  Rates vary from $8 to $40 U.S./person depending on the number of people.
 
Rates are $65 per day and $400.00 per week per person double occupancy, including meals.  Fees for additional recreational activities such as horseback-riding or kayaking, or for counseling can be arranged.
 
Chemical Fact Sheet
Plane Flight
As of March 2001, AeroCalifornia fumigates empty planes once a month while empty on the ground. Pesticides are not used in flight while passengers are on board. Use the bathroom on the plane because the bathrooms at the Loreto airport reek of pesticides.
 
Driving 
There is a border crossing between Norte and Sur California that has been known to spray cars with pesticides.
 
The Retreat Center and Casitas   
The six casitas are on or near the beach. Two are near the casita/bathrooms and four are a short walk away. The bay is undeveloped. Pesticides have never been used on the premises except the low-toxicity boric acid. Ammonia and Windex have been used but can be avoided upon request. Bedsheets can be washed in pure soap or baking soda upon request. Periodic windstorms stir up a lot of dust but other days are crystal clear with blue skies and water. The casitas have an open-air construction (palm leaf roof) that cannot be sealed shut. All four sides have windows that can be opened. Finishes were used in the casitas in 2001 before the hot summer so should be outgassed. Walking in the sand to the kitchen and bathroom will build your leg muscles.
 
Kitchen
All four sides are kept open unless there is a sand storm. Propane used for the stove and refrigerator quickly dissipates. Water for cooking and cleaning is transported from a spring and piped into the kitchen sink. Bottled drinking water is also available. Chlorine is occasionally used to clean the water pipes but this can be avoided with advanced notice.
Hot water is only available through heating on the stove.
Dawn detergent is used for dishes; you might want to bring your own tolerated brand of dish soap. Organic vegetables may be available but cannot be guaranteed. Bring your own snacks as long as it's not fresh fruits or vegetables (prohibited by customs). You can even fly in with a cooler of food. Two dogs and two cats spend time in the kitchen.
 
Bathrooms
Compost toilets are well ventilated. We are very glad to give the showers a thorough cleaning with baking soda and lots of fresh water in case of residual fragrances. If you schedule during a non-busy time, you can have your own shower. There are no fragrances in the toilet areas and all cleaning is with baking soda.

Contents
Housing