Baja Workshops — Find your fit.
Attend a 7-day week workshop for a deeper exploration of our core curriculum and added wisdom from our guest teachers. Or a 5-day Mastery Week that offers key curriculum elements with a greater focus on our guest faculty's work. Tuition is the same and previous workshops are not required to attend a Mastery Week.
Women's Week: Living with Purpose and Passion
Mastery Week: The Magic of Cross-Generational Wisdom
Mastery Week: Essence Leads to Power
Mastery Week: Power of Purpose
Mastery Week: The Soul of Money
Renewing Purpose: Modern Rituals to Navigate Life Transitions
Mastery Week: Cultivating Awe
Baja Workshops Experience
Many participants find that the greatest gift they get from their workshop experience is the time and space to focus on their own personal and career development. At MEA, we do everything we can to create that priceless sense of spaciousness. Our workshops are thoughtfully-paced and all-inclusive, so you can focus on learning, exploring, and connecting with your cohort.
Learning is the glue that drives our engagement in purpose, community, and our evolving wellbeing. Committing to learning for life is a commitment to staying healthier, continuing to grow and have an open mindset, and thriving as a human being. Instead of “lifelong learning”, think of it as “long life learning,” creating a life that is as deep and meaningful as it is long.
Our core curriculum is based on elements in founder Chip Conley’s book, “Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder”, but each workshop has its own unique set of topics, exercises, and discussions. Some people have called MEA “a lovely container for life-changing conversations.”
Themed weeklong workshops are grounded in four primary pillars based upon collaboration with academics and prestigious institutions like Stanford, UC Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale:
- Reframing Aging: highlighting what gets better as we get older
- Mindset: helping midlifers move from a fixed to a growth mindset in life
- Transitions: providing tools to help people navigate their midlife transitions
- Regeneration: introducing MEA’s four principles for living a life of renewal
Classroom & Cohorts
The entire MEA campus is our classroom (and the beach, the farmland, the desert, the tropical forests, and the mountains). The lion’s share of our “classroom” time together is spent in a bright, airy room, next to a courtyard full of bougainvilleas with comfortable seating for breakout conversations. It’s an indoor-outdoor experience especially with the welcoming nearby organic garden.
As for cohorts, we believe that wisdom isn’t taught—it’s shared. And this belief influences how we curate our cohorts. Some of the most profound learning you may experience might just happen during a stroll down the beach with someone who lives halfway around the world from you. Meeting an incredible, diverse group of people is one of the great pleasures of attending MEA. Cohorts average around 18-24 people, from all walks of life, brought together by a common desire to learn and stretch themselves in midlife and beyond.
MEA is located right on the beach in El Pescadero, a farming and fishing village near the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, just a short drive away from the “Pueblo Magico” Todos Santos. Here, the waves meet the desert and the mountains, and the night sky is so clear and dark, you can see the Milky Way. Come at the right time of year, and you may even see baby sea turtles making their way to the ocean, or the Humpbacks playing just offshore. While rural, the area has become increasingly popular for Americans and Canadians who’ve chosen to relocate here so there’s a growing collection of creative expats in the neighborhood.
Rooms & Groups
The rooms and grounds of our beachfront campus were designed by a team led by Oren Bronstein, Chip Conley’s longtime design collaborator. We have three pools (one of them a 25-yard lap pool) and two hot tubs, two steam rooms, massage rooms, an oceanfront yoga platform, a movement studio, library, organic garden, bocce ball court, and lots of comfortable seating nooks for relaxing, reflecting, and chatting. The number one comment we hear is that there’s always something new and beautiful to discover on the campus.
So do boutique accommodations and learning belong together? Think of it this way: When you’ve had a moment to exhale, and your shoulders begin to relax, you’ll understand what a beautiful setting can do for your state of mind.
Food & Beverage
This area attracts chefs from all over the world to explore “la costa del sabor” (the coast of flavor). The culinary tradition in the Todos Santos/El Pescadero area is well-known as there are few places in the world that have more celebrated restaurants per capita than our location. Most people who move to the area say that the culinary scene is part of the reason they chose to make this home.
Chef Tony Peralta sources fresh, local ingredients to bring the best flavors of Mexico and beyond to our plates each day. Almost all of our produce comes from our organic garden. Our cuisine leans toward healthy, but that certainly doesn’t preclude a few delicious indulgences. (Plus the occasional margarita if you choose to imbibe.) All meals are included in the cost of the workshop.
Our cohorts venture far beyond the classroom, but if we were to describe every activity we enjoy together, new students would miss out on one of the best things MEA has to offer: Surprise. In a world where most of our days are scheduled and predictable, there’s a certain joy that comes from doing the unexpected. We know it might feel weird, this state of not knowing the entire schedule, but our guest satisfaction scores - which are at the 99th percentile compared to comparable businesses - tell us we’re on the right track.
After attending MEA, you'll become part of a dynamic network of people from all over the world. We have 26 regional chapters as well as a Corazon subscription program for those who want to go deeper in their learning after graduating. Our alumni have the opportunity to meet regularly, both virtually and in person. Small group and larger town hall meetings keep everyone connected and engaged and there’s a weekly newsletter keeping everyone abreast of what’s new in the MEA world.
If you’re interested in learning more about our community, visit the MEA Facebook group. When prompted, please answer the three simple questions designed to keep the group filled with engaged folks, and you’ll be automatically accepted. Additionally, you might also check out co-founder Chip Conley’s daily blog Wisdom Well which is quite popular with alums.
Tuition is $5500 for a private room or $4000 for shared accomodations. You may also apply for financial aid during the application process. 7% lodging taxes and $100 service fee will be added to your final invoice.
Our goal is to help you feel supported and open to new possibilities during your stay here. We’ll take good care of you, so you can take good care of yourself. Tuition includes:
- Ground transport to and from SJD airport
- Upscale room accommodation
- Three meals per day — fresh, locally-sourced and largely organic with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, adult beverages (alcohol)
- Curriculum and 160-page workbook
- Yoga and meditation
- Off-campus explorations
- A few festive parties
Available offerings not included in cost of tuition: massage, shamanic sessions, Reiki, surf lessons, and more.
We are committed to nurturing our environment, our community, our staff, and you. Stewardship of this beautiful place is lovingly baked into everything we do and there are opportunities to give back while in attendance, if you feel compelled.
Hear what our alums have to say.
Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in MEA. It was the best gift in my adult life. I now encourage rural people to recognize their worth; to live into their potential. I wanted you to know the positive differences MEA makes in my life, and subsequently in the lives of some rural people in our Kansas community.
I want to reiterate my HUGE thanks for a fabulous week at MEA. If I didn't mention this already, I have $40,000 in student loans for my M.A. in Leadership Studies at a prestigious private college and truly believe I learned more and had access to more relevant content in my week with you all than my 2 years in school!
MEA came highly recommended by friends who previously attended. As I took a deeper look into the experience, MEA felt perfect for me. Unfortunately, my financial situation proved to be challenging and I was becoming disappointed that I might not be able to attend until I found out about MEA's scholarship program! Not only did I walk away with a newfound appreciation for the value I can offer others, but I also became a part of a community focused on mindful aging and embracing the beauty of liminality.
MEA came to me during a big transition in my life. I was in the process of selling my business and looking at what I wanted to do with the second half of my life. As I took a deeper look into the experience, MEA felt like it was hand-crafted for me. Simply put, MEA changed my life, not in an intellectual way, but in an emotional way. It was the transformational experience of love, through the teachers and staff and the community. Through it, I was able to touch something inside of me that was never touched before.
It makes me quite emotional to think about being in Baja a year ago with all of you. Even for an experience designed to change lives, MEA was the most radically transformative journey I've ever embarked on, and I can't tell you enough times how grateful I am. Upending our lives so dramatically has been both incredibly humbling and rewarding. I don't think I would have had the courage to move the family to Copenhagen and start a new career without my time at MEA.
After my stay at Modern Elder Academy, I left a more evolved and rested person. I also left with a deeper understanding of what people were looking for in this next phase. If an existential crisis is looming for my generation around longevity, I do believe there is hope for us. We have it in us to create a movement that finds a natural place for people rethinking the stages of their lives.
MEA brought me back to myself, who I was meant to be. Attending the academy gave me the jump start I needed to not only get back to work, but to start a new career. Come break bread with us!
I wish we’d taken a before and after photo of the group because the internal changes were matched by dramatic physical transformations as each person unfolded into the person they wanted to be. Highly recommend to anyone interested in exploring the roles they play in the world and how they want to change as they enter a new stage of life.
MEA helped us transition to the next step in our journey. We put behind what didn’t serve us any longer, gained clarity on our life’s purpose, and strength to realize it. The curriculum emphasized the idea of evolving from a fixed mindset that holds you back to a growth mindset that allows you to learn and renew your place in the world.
The Modern Elder Academy is more than just a breathtaking destination or the latest trend in the longevity market. It’s an experiential journey into what is possible if we allow ourselves to step out of the comfort of who we think we are, and allow ourselves to be who we could be.
MEA is a beacon for the soul, not fading, but seeking renewal and inspiration for the next phases of life. Our cohort shared the feelings of gratitude for this very unique opportunity to experience the magic essence of the place, the people, and the transformative benefits of an adult gap year.
MEA is a unique opportunity for transformation; a chance to begin, as Chip says, to “make space in your life to see what emerges.” The insights you will learn, the wisdom you will gain, and the friendships you will develop, will be with you and benefit you for the rest of your life.
MEA is transformative! It is the opportunity to think BIG, explore what’s possible, find your inner shaman, dismiss your inner critic, bond with incredible wisdom sharers, overflow in gratitude, soak in Baja’s beauty and plan the next incredible chapter of your story (in ways I didn’t consider before). Find your possibility and soar at MEA.
My MEA experience was life-changing. It wove a sense of peace into my life that still remains, an inner sustenance that eases and empowers me. Best of all, I found real and unexpected friendship with a cohort of some of the most authentic, gentle, truly inspiring people I've ever met.
Modern Elder Academy provided a pivotal opportunity as I stepped into mid-life to unplug, relax, recharge, and reconsider the way that I was orchestrating my life. The beautiful surroundings and food were nourishing for my body, the community connection I felt with my cohort was salve for my soul, and the content and coaching that I received provided practical tools for moving forward. Now, the ability to connect to other alumni on social and professional levels is invaluable!
Envisioning yourself in a workshop, but have questions?
Baja Workshops FAQ
We've broken up our FAQ into 4 different categories to help you find the information that matters most to you. Click between the category filters to read through the most common questions we receive from our guests.
What’s the application process and what is the likelihood I’ll be selected if I apply?
What are the greatest benefits you’ve heard from your graduates?
I’m not aspiring to be elderly. Why are you called the Modern Elder Academy?
How do students get to the Academy?
Is this area safe?
What’s the weather like and what should I pack?
What’s the daily schedule?
How big is a workshop cohort?
What’s the application process and what is the likelihood I’ll be selected if I apply?
How do I get Financial Aid?
Why do 5-day and 7-day workshops cost the same?
What is the cancellation policy?
What is your COVID-19 policy?
Is the campus regularly disinfected to guard against viruses?
What happens if I have a medical emergency?
What if I require a special diet?
Is there a gym on campus?
Consider it an investment in your future.
MEA tuition is $5,500 per person for a private room, or $4,000 per person for a shared room. Full-tuition attendees must deposit 50% upon application, with the balance due 30 days prior to arrival.
Please note: beginning January 2023, a 7% tax and $100 service fee will be added to your final invoice.
MEA workshops offer a unique, educational and experientially-dense program with world class teachers and a community of like-minded travelers. Our idyllic oceanfront campus provides a rich container for deep learning in an intimate cohort setting. Thus, cancellations impact MEA unlike other travel destinations. And, we do understand that we’re living in a new world when it comes to COVID-19 and travel. So, if you must cancel, we will do our very best to fill your spot in a workshop. See our policy under Payments and Cancellations.
We know that our entire society is made stronger when everyone has the opportunity to learn, participate, and grow, regardless of economic status. To support diverse learning we are committed to having a portion of our workshop participants receive an award. We offer two levels of financial aid on a need-aware basis.
The financial aid request is included in the workshop application form. Please be aware that we have more requests for aid than we have available.
Applying for full tuition is the only way to guarantee you’ll be accepted into your preferred workshop.
Applications requesting financial aid will be in a shared room with another participant of the same gender. Our Gold level will be placed on an upgrade list for a private room should one be available. This is not guaranteed. Exceptions for specific medical or personal conditions may be considered.
- Gold: $1,250 award (Participants are responsible for $2750 tuition.)
- Platinum: $2,500 award (Participants are responsible for $1500 tuition.)
- Please note: beginning January 2023, a 7% tax and $100 service fee will be added to your final invoice.
We will announce Gold-level awards or offer alternatives within 5 business days of application submission. We will announce Platinum-level awards no more than 5 weeks before the requested workshop start date.
Once accepted, full payment is due within 5 business days. Failure to complete payment within this time will result in your award and application being canceled.
Deposit and Tuition Payment Policy
For full-tuition students, a 50% deposit is due at the time of your application. Your acceptance will be confirmed within 3-5 business days. If we’re unable to confirm acceptance, your deposit will be automatically refunded. The balance is due 30 days before the start of your workshop.
Financial aid applicants will be notified of acceptance either within 3-5 business days for Gold Award level or within five weeks prior to the start of the workshop for Platinum Award level. The remainder of tuition is due in full within five business days of the award notification.
Our Refund Policy
As you read through our policies, please note we highly recommend purchasing Allianz travel insurance to cover unforeseen illness, travel complications, flight interruptions, and other emergencies. You can also get multiple quotes from Square Mouth.
Our 24-Hour Cancel Policy
Planning a trip to Mexico can be complicated. Rest assured you can cancel your workshop application and request a full refund of your deposit payment within 24 hours with no penalty.
Other Cancellation/Credit Requests
In the unlikely event MEA must cancel a workshop due to unforeseen circumstances, you will receive a full refund.
For participants needing to cancel after our 24-hour grace period, our policy is as follows:
30 Days or More Prior to Your Workshop Start Date
MEA understands life events can pop up, making traveling to your planned workshop not possible. Should you need to cancel your attendance to your planned workshop, MEA will provide a 1-time credit to move you to a new workshop within 3 months of the original workshop start date, based upon availability. There will be a $125 change fee added to your final invoice.
Should you not be able to attend one of the offered workshops or there is no remaining availability to move you, MEA will provide a refund minus a 5% administrative fee.
Less than 30 Days Prior to Your Workshop
Your deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect you from unforeseen circumstances that may prevent you from attending for any reason including, but not limited to illness, travel interruptions, family emergencies, etc.