Centro de Retiros de Luz de Compasión

Luz de Compasion Retreat Center

Canatlan, Durango State, Mexico

If you are interested please contact LuzdeCompassion

Land Description

The Concept

Luz de Compasion offers an excellent situation for people wishing to have land for a more spiritual retirement or for short and long retreats of a more serious nature. Luz de Compasion, a nonprofit organization, was established by Jhampa Shaneman, a meditator of over 7 years of long term isolated retreats. The three acres of land is set in a small valley of apple orchards close to the quaint Mexican town of Canatlan in the state of Durango.

Jhampa wanted to offer land for inspired individuals to do private retreats with little complication. Although it is not necessary to be in retreat the structure of the organization is for people wishing more privacy and contemplative time.  The attractive feature is that individuals will have a contract for use of the land and house. This means their investment is an asset and can be resold if they so wish. This is possible because of the lenient building codes and zoning of Mexico. Mexico also offers warm weather and excellent support infrastructure to help one attain their meditational goals.

Those wishing to do long meditation retreats will benefit from this center.  Meditators experience one main problem when trying to do long retreats. This is finding supportive people to assist with necessities. Most retreat centers offer facilities at a high price making long retreats almost impossible. In Canada the average cost for a three year retreat is ten thousand dollars each year.

The location is reasonably isolated. It has electricity, a dirt road for delivery of goods and excellent Feng Shui. The main property is rectangular. The north south axis is 150 feet wide and east west axis 700 feet. The eastern end of the property is bordered by a small river. This is considered excellent Feng Shui. The land also has mountains to the east, north and west with an open southern view. You can view images of the land here.

Luz de Compasion is offering 18 lots of 1521 square feet (12 x 12 meters). Each lot will have access to water, sewer and electricity. Due to the high cost of subdividing the land the lots are not purchased but you use it with a contract. This will give the owner full control of their investment. The nonprofit organization will ensure the land is maintained during periods of absence. The owner has the rights to use the house as they so wish. The main objective of the land is a conducive meditation environment.

Questions and Answers

If you are interested please contact LuzdeCompassion

The Agreement

The property use is a contract between the organization and the individual. This specifies that the owner understands the use of the land is for retreats or for a long term meditative environment. Examples of appropriate usage are for short or long retreats and even a location for end of life practices. It is completely suitable to live full time at the property provided the meditative environment is maintained.

The property contract is inheritable.

The contract can not be broken but if unsuitable activities were conducted such as constant loud noises, parties or similar non-meditative activities then the rules of the contract would dictate a fine or similar penalty.

Questions and Answers

The Land and Construction


The land on which the retreat center “Luz de Compassion” will be constructed is located 40 miles northwest of the capital city of the state of Durango, in northern Mexico. The altitude is 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) above sea level, annual average temperature of 15.4 C (60° F), and a semi-dry climate with little precipitation throughout the year. The property is surrounded by farmland, where apples trees are cultivated. There is easy and quick access to the federal highway.

Within this beautiful and hilly property the clear blue sky and red-orange afternoon sunsets lead to the starlit sky with fresh and revitalizing nighttime air. The atmosphere and conditions provide for the perfect seclusion that invites a contemplative and meditative experience, all within easy access.

You can view the land and Google Earth images on these pages. There is also a Yahoo Earth Image which is much clearer on one link.

View Larger Map

The Land and various views

Maps of where Luz de Compassion is to be found

360 view of Land

2 Google Earth Images 1 & 2 (two images to view from high in the sky)

Google Earth Image very clear and closer to earth The property is upper center of image, right side of road (sorry I can't mark it with this site)

The Lots

The individual lots are 12 meters (39 ft) by 12 meters (39 ft) on a north south axis. 144 meters square or 1521 feet square

Questions and Answers

If you are interested please contact LuzdeCompassion

The Retreat Houses

You can build your own house to the design you wish within certain limitations.  For example not taller than 2 storeys.  There are few other limitations.

If one wishes the organization can arrange for a contractor to build a house.  The specifications for some houses this contractor has build are an external measurement of 5 meters (16 ft) by 9 meters (28 ft). The construction material is brick. This ensures complete environmental harmony and a lack of industrial pollutants. The southern side of the house can have a covered porch of 5 meters (16 ft) by 2 meters (6.5 ft).

The principle interior room can be 4 meters (13 ft) by 5 meters (16 ft) with two windows on the east and west side. A small kitchen of 4 meters (13 ft) by 2 meters (6.5 ft) is on the southern side with one window and an external bathroom and shower would be placed on the northern external wall. This design is based on the experience of many meditators of both Tibet and Western countries. It also allows for the use of proper Feng Shui placement of the bed and meditation seat.

The interior walls can be finished by a natural plaster or adobe mud and the floor with ceramic tiles. The external door and three windows can be metal and the interior door wood. The kitchen can have a counter and shelves installed.

It is possible to have a wall enclose the lot to give complete privacy for the individual. These and other considerations would be initiated by the owner themselves and the contractor.  The estimated cost of this particular house is US$14,000.  It may vary slightly if some of the materials used are adjusted to the owners specifications.


This image above is the house we offer for US$ 14,000 (approximate )

Other styles for consideration are below. These are just suggestions. These will cost on average between US$14,000 to $18,000 depending on materials used.

You can right mouse click on any plan and save the image to your computer and review the plan more easily that way.

Spanish words: recamara =>bedroom bano=>bathroom cocineta =>kitchen sala =>sitting room

Questions and Answers

If you are interested please contact LuzdeCompassion








of Land





Questions and Answers

These are based on people's questions as they are asked. So this section will grow as time passes.

Can I have a phone work there?

Yes, it is possible to even have a Canadian or American number there!

What you would need is an internet supplier via a satellite dish which is available for about US$60 per month.

With this you then apply to Vonage (Canada or USA) and set up an account for as little as US$22 per month

Then you have a US or Canadian number but it rings in Mexico. This does not require a computer, it is just like a regular phone.

Cellular Phone Reception?

Yes, Telcel the national network is available from our location. You can buy a cell phone for US$30, a one time fee,

and then just pay a little each month for time. If your existing phone has roaming you can use it.

Can I have access to Internet?

Yes, there are cyber cafes in Canatlan but the above answer also allows you to have it at your site.

The obvious solution would be for several of you to purchase the satellite dish to lessen cost.

Don't the above questions defeat the idea of a retreat place?

Depends on the individual, if they are serious they will not have these extras.

As some people want the best of all worlds though, these things are available.

Can I just live there full time?

Yes, as long as you live a quiet life and don't bother others who are doing full retreats.

Could I come there to die?

Yes, one idea of this center is to offer such possibilities for those who want to die peacefully in retreat.

It is not the idea of the center being a hospice center but more a location where one could practice Powa

or similar end of life practices to be able to exit gracefully and without problems. It would not be problematic

though to have someone come by and help with cleaning and giving limited hospice care. The cost would be minimal.

If you are interested please contact LuzdeCompassion

Are there plans for the development of more private locations?

Yes, it is our hope to purchase some land on the mountains around this area for people who wish extreme isolation.

There is also the possibility of another location close to Guadalajara that is the top of a mountain.

This site is already owned by a Buddhist family and they are open to offering land for people to build very secluded huts.

Can I design my own house?

Yes. It has to fit onto the site location of 12 X 12 meters. If you purchase 2 lots you can build a bigger house.

The design is subject to approval and has to be something one can build in Mexico.

If you are interested please contact LuzdeCompassion

Do the sites have septic and water?

Yes, all the sites have septic and water.  The water is from the local river and not

suitable for drinking but it could be filtered.  There are 5 septic fields on the property for the houses.

Is the water drinkable?

No, the water at the location is suitable for watering plants and showers. Each site is plumbed with water under pressure.

Good quality filtered water is available from Canatlan at an inexpensive price. Personal filtration systems in your house are also

a possibility.

Are there fruit trees on the land?

Yes, the land is presently growing apple, peach and other fruit trees. They are young though and will

take some years to mature.

What else is on the land?

The west side of the property will become a large group retreat complex and the center of the property has a stupa.

Is there a monthly fee?

Yes, the fee will be approximately US$ 20 per month. This pays the taxes and for maintenance on the land for the fruit trees, etc.

If there is a repair necessary for the water or septic this will be shared by all owners equally. The only equipment for the water is a pump

and for the septic would be cleaning the line or repairing the septic tank.

Visas for a long retreat?

Canadians and Americans get a 6 month visa at the border. It is possible for the non-profit organization to

sponsor someone for an FM3. This visa is good for a year and is renewable. The FM3 does not require the person to go to

the immigration office to renew it. So someone could do 2 or 3 years in isolation without coming out of retreat.

If you are interested please contact LuzdeCompassion


There are several large chartered banks in Canatlan with ATM's. The ATM's allow you to

withdraw on your Canadian or US bank account.

Vegetable Garden?

There is a communal space available to grow vegetables. You could do this on the roof of your house

or in the communal space.


It is reasonably hot in the summer and clear and cold in the winter.  90% of the time the skies are clear and blue.

Occasionally it snows one inch in January but this melts within 2 days. There is rain most months for short periods of time.

Construction Materials?

The main material will be adobe.  This is very insulating for the houses in both hot and cold seasons.

We are also looking at straw bale construction which is very suitable for this area of Mexico.

If you are interested please contact LuzdeCompassion


There is an hourly bus service to Canatlan from the main highway. It takes 15 minutes to

walk to that road and the bus takes 10 minutes to arrive at Canatlan.

Local Stores?

Yes, there are 2 small Mexican stores in Posoli, the little village 2 kilometers from the land.

The main store sells most items like basic Mexican goods like vegetables, water, cheese and tortillas.


There is a small newly build hospital 12 kms away from the land.  I have not been inside but it

is brand new and the town of Canatlan is modernizing itself.


There is a big police station in Canatlan.  It is the central location for the police of that area


We are considering to mix solar and electricity. Your house should be wired but electriciy is

extra. Our thoughts at this time is solar as it allows for greater flexibility for the individuals.

There is underground electrical wiring on the property to each house.

If you are interested please contact LuzdeCompassion


You can drive your car in Mexico but only for 6 months with a regular visa.  With an FM3 you get

a yearly permit for your car. Parking is not beside your house but at the entrance of the property.

This is to ensure quiet for meditators. You can deliver goods to your house in your car but you will park

it back at the entrance.