The Team

ChrisChristopher 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.



MitchMitch 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.



SabrinaSabrina Kerin, Program Coordinator









Levis, Volunteer Manager









Héctor, Farm Manager








Nevis, Garden Manager







Salomar, Nursery Manager



Marina, Kitchen Manager



Erwing FloresErwing Flores, Homestead Manager

From 2013-2017, Erwing was exclusively in charge of Chris’s 1-hectare (2.5-acre) private homestead property that lies within Finca Bona Fide. He worked at the farm in various capacities for over 10 years, taking on various roles from fruit harvester to gardener to animal caretaker, and oversaw the successful operation of Chris’s property for 4 years. As Chris’s right-hand man, Erwing worked 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 was also the foreman for Chris’s private consulting business, Living Systems Solutions.




Copyright © Project Bona Fide 2015