Castle Rock Coworking: A Space by BrainHive

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Next Level Coworking: BrainHive’s New Project in Guatemala

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Only three minutes from Panajachel’s center: Castle Rock Coworking in the Calle de los Arboles / Calle el Rastro

Imagine a futuristic iron garden / art gallery / castle-like museum space right by a beautiful lake in one of the world’s most spiritual, natural and fun vacation spots in Guatemala. Packed with amenities ranging from thermal baths to a full stocked metal, wood and textile workshop and a maker lab, you can be hyper-productive and simultaneously have the time of your life.

► Feeling social? Get ready to connect with one of the many dozen impact projects in the full range of anything communal and ecological!
► Feeling sporty? Exercise, heal and relax at 3,000 feet above sea level!
► Longing for nature? There is nothing like the Atitlan lake!
► You’re a Techy, engineer or maker? Come to Castle Rock and let your visions take their most beautiful shape!

“A perfect space? Is there such a thing?” Asks the travel-tested digital nomad entrepreneur, having seen their fair share as they tend to do.

Well now we can answer him or her with confidence. Yes there is.

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Raul and Jacob at the building site


Introducing Castle* Rock Coworking – a Space by BrainHive

After traveling half the world for six years, I was able to secure a small plot of land from a well-known artist, Raul Barrios Vasquéz, in Panajachel, Guatemala.

Pursuing an experimental eco-architectural build consisting only of metal and vegetation we’re putting together something never before seen in the world. The structure purely consists of rebar (the iron bars used to raise concrete), mesh wire fence, normal wire, old rubber tires, truck tarp and bamboo.

Every platform and every piece of furniture is suspended from the ceiling. Vegetation planted inside the building will over time lift the mesh wire ceiling and expand the structure, creating enough support to perhaps one day plant the second column of vegetation and create a terraced vegetative growth, making Castle Rock the first house to undergo constant expansion by way of planned interior gardening.

*= Castle Rock was in 2018 renamed into JungleLab Coworking, to reflect our motion towards giving a more inclusive and inventor-friendly spin to our rising brand.

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Before starting the build, we had to clear huge amounts of trash, rubble and vegetation

Project Counts with Broad Support

Turning the 15,000 soul, 90% indigenous Maya-populated settlement of Panajachel into a haven for digital nomads, expats with special digital needs and locally vacationing entrepreneurs is no small feat. Even though the region is already heavily influenced by thousands of expats who have moved into this magnificently beautiful part of the world it is still quite virgin and until recently good Internet was hard to come by, which as everyone knows is the digital workers lifeblood.

Bringing advanced technology – not only digital but also in the sphere of robotics, mobility, wearables and virtual reality – will foreseeably influence the way tech is viewed and used by the local population. It was therefore really important to me to be able to count on local and also governmental and institutional support in Guatemala City to make sure I’d be wanted.

So far Castle Rock has received the blessing from such distinguished institutions as:

  1. The Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala,
  2. The exterior Chamber of Commerce of Germany,
  3. The founder of the Cuatro Grados Norte initiative Maria Zaghi and the ReviveAmatitlan initiative
  4. And about half a dozen other entrepreneur associations and foundations in the Atitlan region.

The synergy potential between BrainHive and many Guatemalan institutions and organizations due to one of their main challenges being in the development of efficiency on the managerial (and therefore planning) level is incredible and I am sure we will be able to create lasting impact.

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Busy in the capital: Castle Rock’s reception could not have been better


Castle Rock Could Help Prevent a Major Ecosystem Collapse

The Atitlan Lake is currently greatly threatened because too much untreated wastewater is entering it. Many environmental organizations are trying to prevent another algae bloom that could cause decades of ecological consequence but they are not making any real progress. There are political problems as well as cultural and of course money is never easy to come by.

Castle rock co-working could yield a great contribution to local communities in the form of design thinking workshops, hands-on eco-architecture/engineering workshops, internships and volunteering opportunities to both locals and foreigners to learn about digital business models, digital nomadism and the needs, wants and gives of the modern tech and startup world. This way, the light of the utopian spirit will – so our grit and petty politics may allow – reach to connect with the primordial beauty and serenity still present on the shores of the Atitlan to such memorably tantalizing degree.


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One of Guatemala’s many natural splendors: The Semuc Champey cascading falls


Castle Rock is a Home of the Free

In active protest against the extractive and exploitative, anti-human and anti-environmental mentality of business practice executed with ever greater, ever more insane ferocity, Castle Rock is intended to be living proof of the existence of a third way. The principles of excellent design must go beyond deceptive tactics to trick the human reptile brain and sell more things the world doesn’t need, poisoning and razing our resource base, producing a divided humanity competing for a single planet. Quite indeed a cosmic occurrence too rare to be wasted in such manner! Truth trusted that a genuinely more livable world is within our grasp, we must brush up daily and face the reality of a more and more saturated, more and more frayed field of conflict.

Whoever knew that being an impact entrepreneur would bring such joy with it? Without doubt it is a lasting joy, because it is the joy of knowing there can ever only be one way to live in optimism, looking further than the constant abyss eternally snapping at the heel of man. For BrainHive as for the rest of the world, this one way must be called what it MUST be guided towards: Forever forward.

Never backwards. Never still.

Forever forward and nothing else.

Giving, protecting and through spirited executive practice forever evolving to finer shape the concept of Loving Strive is the sworn mission of SolReign, BrainHive’s charity and artists’ foundation. Castle Rock is also constructed to be the House of Reign, BrainHive’s historic roots and philosophical underpinning, as well as the experimental laboratories of the Armored Core, BrainHive’s crowdfunding initiative for heightening human resilience in the face of the robot revolution.


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A peaceful space for much peace of mind


Castle Rock Comes from a Deep Sense of Purpose

“I have never met more capable and wonderful people than in the impact sphere. Could it be that the beauty of the soul shines through the beauty of the mind, healing the beauty of the heart and lastly radiating through the beauty of the body and flowing right into the designs these people create? The most rewarding part of being a good and competent person is the invariable presence of amazing and wildly competent people in your life.” When I’m asked what caused me to want to erect a permanent presence.

“It had to come the time that my journey’s learnings and boons acquired were given a physical shell in which to be manifested and brought to their highest form. The abundance life has given me, uplifted me through the wealth and abundance that others create in endless entrepreneurial strive calls for a dress worth its grace, and I have long delayed my action and squandered resources.

I owe it to the wisdom and prudence of responsibility to finally abandon the lifestyle of the nomad entrepreneur that I loved so much and take root. To grow a trunk sturdy enough to carry, embrace, and with confidence. Blossom, fruit enough to nourish this legacy and a world in dire want for better answers, answers of higher design. Founding Castle Rock never came to me as an option. Quite indeed, it came as an opportunity any bit as compelling as a most basic duty.”

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No longer a disengaged bystander: BrainHive has been continuously expanding its engagement in the impact sphere


How Life is like at Castle Rock

MORNING: Castle Rock is nestled between the forest and the mountainside- Quiet, yet only 3 min. away from the central square of Panajachel, 3 hours west of Guatemala City. That means you can either take your breakfast in our kitchen or you can head out to one of about two dozen cafés and restaurants with delicious, exquisitely healthy menu options only 10 to 15 minutes away.

NOON: After breakfast, it is time to get busy. You can do your work sitting, standing, lounging or even exercising using our brilliant furniture solutions and tech gadgets (available for rent). Every day there are courses, activities, cooking, arts and crafts and mastermind sessions to keep you active and help you connect with the people around you.

AFTERNOON: In the afternoon it’s time for you to do some exercise! Or lounge by the pool. Or one after the other. Or why don’t you go for snacks with fellow coworkers. Or maybe just chill. You can also go do some excursion to visit the volcanoes or one of the other villages. The region offers a huge wealth of activities and attractions- why don’t you do some research?

EVENING: In the evening it’s time to paaaarrrty in Pana, San Marcos or San Pedro- or to stay at The Castle do more work. Or maybe just have a quick wash with the thermal heater, dinner and meditate. Whatever you have on your mind, trust that you will find it here. By the way: We are not overly strict when it comes to unwinding by way of a little drink (or whatever).


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Get wild at one of many gatherings happening non-stop


Castle Rock was designed to be the perfect place to be productive and yet have a healthy and fun lifestyle. The environment offers a unique mix of diversion, exotic educational offers and healing / spiritual activities and yet everything is extremely affordable. The beauty of the Atitlan region is unrivaled, the landscape and the weather produce magical, surreal atmospheres and there is a lot of energy coming from the lake, at the bottom of which supposedly lies an ancient Maya artifact. Some even say it’s the actual alien obelisk that brought the Maya’s their famed cosmic knowledge!

Alas- If it let’s us work for 14 hours straight, call it whatever you will. Or maybe it’s the rich Guatemalan coffee… who knows!


Come Visit us!

Currently, the project is still in the building, budding and renovation phase and scheduled to be open for the general public by June 2017. However, a part of the building has been converted in an art gallery and can be visited (art is up for sale, check out Raul’s catalog). If you want to, you can join hands and become a volunteer to help build Castle rock even faster.

We currently also offer two beds for short-term co-living stays. Right now the sleeping conditions are still rather simple even though we were able to install electricity and wireless Internet. And while the Castle is usually wonderfully peaceful and quiet there is a Baptist church next door that three times a week produces quite a noisy mass in the evening which will continue to be somewhat of a molestation until we could erect some soundproofing. Sorry, but this needs to be warned of before you come. It’s really quite a religious mass.

Everything transparent, everything open and a spirit of sharing: That’s Castle Rock Coworking by BrainHive Business Planning- Your impact-minded startup consulting firm.


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Unique artistic beauty: The Castle Rock Gallery

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