Health and Climate: Lama Foundation is located at 8,600 feet elevation in the mountains of Northern New Mexico. To help prevent altitude sickness, some people find it very helpful to take chlorophyll tincture, beginning a week or so before arrival and continuing during the time at Lama. (Suggested dosage is 1 tablespoon in a glass of water several times per day.) Once at Lama, plan to drink lots of water as the climate is very dry. Summer sunlight is intense at the high elevation: bring good sunscreen, dark glasses and a sun hat, especially if you anticipate being outdoors. Daytime summer temperatures, moderated by the dry air, are generally warm and nights can be quite cool. There are summer rains, heavy at times.

Families: Families are welcome and encouraged at Lama. We seek to integrate children of all ages, as appropriate, into the summer. There is a playground for young children, and the great outdoors. Commonly, we are able to include children of older ages into work projects. Most events are open to children. However, Lama does not have the resources to provide childcare. For parents wishing to attend retreats, participate in summer stewardship, or considering residency there may be times when it is appropriate or necessary to find another responsible adult to help. We ask that parents take the responsibility to find childcare, through a friend, partner, community member, or other means.

Facilities: Lama's facilities are rustic and a major part of the Lama experience is being close to the earth. Our accommodations include prepared tenting areas and limited dorm space in yurts (separate for men and women). Dorm space must be reserved in advance (first come first served) and costs $10-$15 per night, on a sliding scale. For dorm stays, please bring your own sleeping bag (mattress, bottom sheet, pillow and case are provided). If tenting, please bring a waterproof tent with a good rain fly and two ground covers along with your bedding (rated 40° F or lower). There is limited space at no charge for pick-up campers and vans (by prior arrangement). There are no hook-ups and the winding mountain road prevents access by larger RV's. There are outhouses (no indoor toilets); indoor and outdoor showers; and no laundry facilities (although there is a Laundromat in nearby Questa). Our Lamassary store carries basic sundries only and there are no stores nearby. A flashlight is essential at night. Absolutely no pets allowed!

Meals: Our meals are vegetarian. We can accommodate special dietary needs and food allergies with advance notice. (Please contact the registrar with specific food needs. If you require special diet or medical items, please bring along what you need. Very important: because they attract bears, you may NOT leave any food or food wrappers in your car or sleeping area. There is no refrigerated space for personal foods, but limited larder space MAY be available upon request, when space is available. No meat, alcohol or drugs, please.

Wildlife: Lama Foundation shares the mountain with bears, and other wildlife. In order to maintain a harmonious relationship with our animal friends (notably bears), we ask that you keep no items in your tent or in your car that will attract them, such as food, soap, incense, shaving gear, camera film or toothpaste. It is safest to keep your tent doors zipped at night to discourage foraging skunks, raccoons, etc. We provide limited safe storage for items that attract wildlife.

Telephone use and contact with the outside world: Your visit to the Lama Foundation will be greatly enhanced by taking care of your personal business before you come, thereby giving yourself an uninterrupted visit. Cell phones generally do not get a good signal on the mountain. Lama's telephone use is emergency-only during retreats. Please bring a phone card for long distance calls. We have a couple of public computers in the Dew Drop building which provide access to the internet so you may check email from time to time.

Packing Tips:

  • The temperature may vary greatly between day and night, so we suggest dressing in layers.
  • Dress code is always casual at Lama and because we live close to the earth, things tend to get dirty quickly, so bring appropriate clothes.
  • If you are coming from a low elevation, we strongly suggest that you start drinking liquid chlorophyll with water several days in advance (1 tablespoon per glass of water). This will help prevent altitude sickness.
  • In order not to attract bears: pack all toiletries (including lotions, lip balm, camera film, vitamins, perfumes, toothpaste) in a separate bag to be left in the washhouse; do not bring any scented items into your sleeping area or leave these items in your car. You can put yourself in danger. We cannot over-emphasize this!
  • Because the water from the wash house feeds plants, Lama supplies biodegradable soap, shampoo and lotion. Please do not use non-biodegradable toiletries that will go down the sink drains.
  • Our solar electric system cannot handle the load from hair dryers, curling irons, toasters, or any other electrical heating devices. Please do not bring these items.
  • If you have clothes that you are planning to donate to charity, please consider bringing them to Lama's free-clothing room, "the Gypsy". The Gypsy is also there for you if you need an extra sweater, shorts, etc. Check our Wish List for other donations needed by the Foundation.

What to Bring:

  • Tent with a good-quality rain fly
  • Two tarps—one to be used as a ground cloth under the tent; the other to be used inside the tent to reinforce the flooring—this has proven to be significant in assuring dryness in sudden storms
  • Sleeping pad
  • Flashlight and a tent lamp (no candles or lanterns with an open flame)
  • Sleeping bag (good to 40° F) and an extra blanket for additional warmth
  • Clothes for variable weather
  • Sturdy shoes for hiking and/or walking in mud
  • Sneakers, sandals
  • Toiletries, including sunscreen, lip protection; lotion if desired
  • Medications, if applicable
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • A warm jacket, hat, gloves
  • Rain gear
  • Alarm clock
  • Water bottles—a must
  • Musical instruments
  • Journal, pens etc.
  • Art or practice materials
  • Camera
  • Phone card for long distance calls