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MARCH 21-24th, 2019

$439 USD per person 

Join Ella Dufrene, Katie “Pinto” LeBrun, and Ryan Bean for our 4th annual Madre Tierra Spring Equinox Retreat. This retreat offers a 4-day eco-getaway in which you will take a break from daily routine to quiet your mind, connect with nature, and tap into your inner peace. Our intention for this weekend is to provide a safe space which promotes well-being and self-care through various alternative, holistic, and expressive therapy teachings such as Yoga, Art Therapy, and Hula-Hoop.



  • Daily Yoga classes.
  • 3-night accommodation at Hostel in the Forest
  • Linens & Towels
  • Daily delicious and healthy vegetarian brunch and dinner (3 brunch, 3 dinners)
  • All workshops
  • Use of Hostel property and all amenities (Glass house, library, screen porch, labyrinth, trails, kitchen, refrigerators/supplemental food storage, pools, lake, fire pit, garden, art space)


In order to register for a this retreat, participants must call the Hostel at (912) 264-9738 to sign up, at which time the Hostel collects a $100 deposit (refundable up to 10 days prior to the event, you can pay for the event in full when registering if you wish).

Spots are limited.

*Please send an email to ellarapha.art@gmail.com to confirm registration.


*While the retreat offers basic supplies, please bring your personal art supplies. *Snacks. There is a kitchen space to use between meals-please label and store in the community fridge if you get hungry in between meals.
*Organic bug spray and flash light.
*Long sleeved items that are light to cover up in case of mosquitos.
*Linens and towels will be provided, you can bring additional blankets.
*Cash to spend at the Hostel, there is a teacher/art gallery vending space with products for sale, or to pay for Hostel Coffee and merchandise.

***Cell phone use is not permitted in the common areas. Remember, we are here to unplug, destress, recharge, and connect with one another and nature. Please only use them in your lodging areas.

AIRPORT: The closest airport is in Jacksonville. The Hostel can make arrangements for your pick up, make sure to tell them far in advance to ensure transportation.

Meet the Team


Ella Raphalle Dufrene

Artist & Art Therapist

Ella Raphaelle Dufrene is a French-Haitian-American visual artist and art therapist currently residing in Miami, FL. Ella discovered a passion for the arts while flourishing in the pursuit of dance. However, after a severe foot injury, Ella focused her attention towards the visual arts and received a BFA at the International University of Art & Design in June of 2010. Strongly influenced by the abstract expressionistic style of her mother's art work, Ella began to experiment with the mixing of different mediums, creating ethereal landscapes in a universe parallel to the way she personally experiences life. Fascinated by the chemical reactions that different mediums produce as they merge together, Ella quickly understood the relationship between natural beauty of the planet and the infusion of her materials. She discovered that her paintings could possess a beauty beyond her control, similar to that of the universe. In 2009, Ella began to create, organize, and host her own exhibitions/events for emerging artists in Miami, FL. Ella has been featured in various exhibitions during Art Basel, at Jakmel Art Gallery, Art Miami, Conception Art Fair, and Arteamericas.

Ella received her Masters in Art Therapy from the Pratt Institute in 2015, and later began organizing wellness destination retreats in Colombia, which go by the name of Madre Tierra Retreats. Currently, Ella is based out of Miami, FL, where she works as an art therapist in hospice, as well as in her private practice, Lila Art Therapy Services, LLC. She has experience working with people on the autism spectrum/special needs children, drug/alcohol addiction, hospice, eating disorders, as well as adults and children in both individual and group settings.



Hula Hoop and Yoga Instructor

I have been teaching yoga, music, dance, hula hooping and other movement arts since I was a teen, and over the years I have enjoyed how the different art forms compliment eachother.  Today I teach with the underlying foundation of "Learning as a side effect of having fun" and look for ways to turn our daily activities into games and laughter filled collaborations.  After a few years on the road, teaching and performing at libraries, schools and retreats, I have settled down in Bend, Oregon to take advantage of more learning opportunities and to help build the movement arts and music communities of Central Oregon.

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Ryan Bean

Yoga Instructor

Ryan Bean is an acrobat, performer and Yoga instructor. Ryan received his yoga training at the foothills of the Himalayas in Rishikesh, India. He teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and power yoga, incorporating  Meditation and Pranayama into each practice. Partner Yoga and AcroYoga are at the core of his style and he may include these fun elements into a class to help emphasize community and trust within the group. Ryan brings a unique style, incorporating the traditional and spiritual practices of yoga learned in the ashrams of India with the playful acro practice. His classes are a mixture of spiritual, playful, powerful, and guided asanas to help you grow and work toward alignment.


LeVar Carter

Chef de Cuisine

Soil-to-plate foodie, artist, yogi and teacher, LeVar is a California native and avid traveler, picking up inspirations and techniques all across the United States, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, London, Sweden, Paris and the south of France. Central Virginia is home-base, where he tends organic gardens and orchards, teaches yoga, and creates fine and performance arts. His culinary style, honed in commercial, home, and communal kitchens, is based in an appreciation of quality ingredients highlighted by world fusion flavors, and he specializes in vegetarian and vegan dishes. He hopes to inspire people to cultivate their health and vitality with beautiful, delectable, sustainable, and nutritious food.

Workshop Description

Yoga & Acro Yoga

Ryan Bean

Ryan Bean will be leading us in our Yoga and Meditation sessions. Ryan Bean is a acrobat performer and instructor and full time yoga instructor and Reiki practitioner.  Ryan received his yoga training at the foothills of the Himalayas in Rishikesh, India. Ryan specializes in power yoga with a primal theme; incorporating Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Meditation, Pranayama, and other styles into his unique style of flowing yoga.   Ryan brings a unique style, incorporating the traditional and spiritual practices of yoga learned in the ashrams of India with a playful acro practice. Ryan's classes are a mixture of spiritual, playful, and guided asanas to help you grow and enjoy your practice more each class. The daily yoga sessions will focus on learning how to create and maintain your own mediation practice, as well as utilization Pranayama to quiet the mind. In addition, participants will understand the benefits that the physical practice of yoga has on our nervous system and gain a scientific perspective on why we practice. Yoga classes will be provided every morning.

Altered Books: Equinox Transitions

Ella Dufrene

Art therapist and founder of Madre Tierra Retreats, Ella Dufrene, will be teaching us how altered books are utilized in art therapy as a means of self-expression, self-exploration, and facilitating life transitions. In this workshop, you will explore an art form wherein a published book is recycled, reimagined, and transformed into something completely new as a way of discovering alternate realities and new possibilities in your own life. All materials will be provided as well as demonstrations of creative techniques using various materials to create your own altered book.

Heartful Hooping

Katie "Pinto" LeBrun
Come with me on a journey into and around the circle.  Incorporating elements of yoga, journaling, dance, partner work, and meditation into a the afternoon, you will experience the hula hoop in a completely new way.  While providing us with support and guiding us through movement, the hula hoop teaches us about our body, our reactions, and holds us to exist purely in the present moment.   It doesn't matter whether you have never touched a hula hoop or if you are an experienced practitioner, this class will teach practices that are both accessible and challenging to all levels.  

Musical Awakening

Katie "Pinto" LeBrun
Celebration through song and sound.  Using our hands and our bodies to create music, we will explore art through music and movement games together.  After some time getting comfortable in our voices, we will practice exercises in writing music as a group, and open space for any participants to share music that is meaningful to them, creating a sacred container of sound. 


Thursday, March 21th

11-3pm                     Check-In

6pm                             Dinner in screen porch

8pm                             Opening Ceremony and presentation of theme in Library followed by Full Moon Circle & Fire Songs

Friday, March 22nd

*Fruit/Yogurt/Granola available from 7:30-9am

8am                               Yoga with Ryan Bean Glasshouse

9:15-10:45                SanCulpa/ViCulpa Intention setting with all instructors

11 am                           Brunch

1-3pm                          Altered books Group A

1-3pm                          Hula Hoop Group B

4-6pm                          Hula hoop Group A

4-6pm                          Altered Works Group B

7pm                               Dinner

8pm                               Evening activity TBA

Saturday, March 22nd

*Fruit/Yogurt/Granola available from 7:30-9am

8am                               Yoga with Ryan Bean Glasshouse

9:15-10:45               Creating a practice - yoga, meditation, what do you need, what will you bring back- with all  instructors

11 am                           Brunch

1-3pm                          Altered books Group A

1-3pm                          Hula Hoop Group B

4-6pm                          Hula hoop Group A

4-6pm                          Altered Works Group B

7pm                               Dinner

8pm                               Dance Party


*Fruit/Yogurt/Granola available from 7:30-9am

8-9am                          Yoga with Ryan Bean

9:15 - 10:45             Closing Circle, earth mandala, sharing and discussion

10:45-11:30            Pack up and check out

11:30                           Brunch and good bye!


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