Christopher Shanks, Agricultural Director
Chris is a teacher and permaculture enthusiast specializing in whole systems design, ethno-botany, horticulture, mycology, and ecology. A graduate of the University of Vermont, he has studied ecosystems and cultural anthropology in Spain, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, Hawaii, and both coasts of the United States. Chris designed much of the Bona Fide farm since 2002 and continues to mastermind the design of the various farm systems.
Chris combines his dedication to Project Bona Fide’s mission with his own work in the professional design world. He is the founder and CEO of Living Systems Solutions, a small for-profit design firm based in Nicaragua, and is the COO and Director of Sustainable Systems at Aqua Wellness Resort in Gigante Bay, Nicaragua. He also teaches permaculture design courses on-site at Bona Fide and in Costa Rica. In his spare time, Chris can be found masquerading as a builder, a mason, a bamboo fanatic, and an avid motorcyclist.
Mitch Haddad, Educational Director
Mitch is an educator and project leader specializing in sustainable and ecologically sound community development initiatives. He holds joint degrees in Latin American Studies and International Studies from Providence College in the United States. Since joining the Bona Fide team in 2010, Mitch has managed various community projects and leads the education and volunteer programs on the farm. He coordinates experiential learning curricula for high school, university, and service-based student groups at Bona Fide and enjoys teaching sustainable development, natural medicine, and earthen building workshops.
Outside of Bona Fide, Mitch is a student group leader with programs such as LeapNow and Where There Be Dragons. He also teaches permaculture design courses alongside Chris at Bona Fide. When he’s not practicing carpentry or natural building, Mitch enjoys gorging himself on guavas and continuing to refine his jamming, fermentation, and chocolate-making skills.
Sabrina Kerin, Program Coordinator
Sabrina grew up outside of Philadelphia and studied International Political Economy and Spanish Language & Literature at Fordham University in the United States. She has experience working on a number of community-driven initiatives both in the U.S. and abroad in Peru, China, India, and Argentina. Passionate about food security issues, sustainable living systems, and getting her hands muddy, she is excited to work with Project Bona Fide as a Program Coordinator.
Erwing Flores, Homestead Manager
Erwing is exclusively in charge of Chris’s 1-hectare (2.5-acre) private homestead property that lies within Finca Bona Fide. He has been working at the farm in various capacities for over 10 years, taking on various roles from fruit harvester to gardener to animal caretaker, and has now been overseeing the successful operation of Chris’s property for over 3 years. As Chris’s right-hand man, Erwing works full-time overseeing private construction projects on the property, leading a team of 5 employees to maintain the property’s plant and animal systems, and implementing improvements to the site for Chris and his private guests. Erwing is also the foreman for Chris’s private consulting business, Living Systems Solutions.
Levis, Volunteer Manager
Héctor, Farm Manager
Nevis, Garden Manager
Salomar, Nursery Manager & Reina, Nursery/Garden Assistant
Marina, Kitchen Manager