COVID Safety Measures
Our commitment is to protect the health of those who come to Vallecitos while respecting the personal health practices of our community. We follow current County, State, and Federal (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines, along with additional safety protocols appropriate for our remote retreat setting.
We will keep you informed as we continue to update our safety guidelines as the appropriate protocols regarding COVID evolve.
Our requirements for the 2023 season are as follows:
Vaccination: Effective May 1, 2023, Vallecitos will no longer require proof of COVID vaccination, but will continue to implement rapid testing and masking protocols.
Negative COVID Test: All guests, staff and teachers are required to self administer a rapid antigen test (provided) upon arrival at the center. Individuals will not be admitted to the retreat if the test result is positive for COVID.
For residential retreats that are 7 nights or more, practitioners and teachers will be administered a second antigen test on the morning of day 5. (Day one being opening day). Masking in all spaces will be optional if all test results are negative. If anyone tests positive in the second round of tests, masks will remain mandatory indoors for the duration of your retreat. Staff members who leave the center and travel to town will continue to wear masks.
Mask Policy: When indoors, wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth (N95, KN95, or KF94) is required. Weather permitting, nearly all practice sessions will be held in our outdoor practice tent. Masks are not required in outside spaces. As stated above, masking indoors will become optional as well for retreats 7 nights or longer where a second COVID test is administered and all results are negative. Please plan to bring your own supply of masks. For those taking the Vallecitos shuttle, we encourage mask use on the shuttle. You will be asked to leave the retreat if you do not fully comply with masking requirements.
Physical Distancing: Honor physical distancing and maintain 6’ when indoors.
Food/Meals: Wash/sanitize your hands and practice physical distancing when getting your food. We ask everyone to please take their meal outside to eat.
- Do not enter the kitchen. Cooks will wear masks while they are preparing meals.
- Food will be served in the dining hall on the buffet table. Everyone is required to use hand sanitizer prior to entering the dining hall.
- You are welcome to go into the dining hall throughout your stay, but please limit your use of this common area.
Practice Spaces: Please be prepared and know that nearly all group sits and meditation periods will take place in our outdoor practice tent. At the discretion of the retreat teachers, there may be limited sessions in the meditation hall during which masking will be required. You are welcome to use the meditation hall and loft as you wish, following the guidelines of masking and distancing.
Bathhouse: You are welcome to use the bathhouse and we expect you to limit your use of this shared space. Continue to practice physical distancing and mask wearing. As an alternative, please remember there are many outhouses available on the property.
Sick Policy: For the well-being of the entire community, we ask that any symptoms of feeling physically unwell, including COVID symptoms, must be immediately reported to Vallecitos staff so that a test can be administered. If anyone tests positive for Covid while on retreat, the retreat group will be informed. Vallecitos will make available a new round of rapid tests for those who wish to take them. If anyone tests positive for Covid, they must exit the retreat as soon as arrangements can be made.
Pre-Arrival: Please take great care in the ten days before you travel to minimize your risk of exposure to the virus: we suggest avoiding crowded events and using an effective mask (surgical or N95/KN95 when traveling).
Please note: Vallecitos does not have the ability or expertise to support you should you test positive for COVID. We are able to accommodate your brief stay while you make travel plans. Please consider this in advance so that you are prepared and have a plan in place in the event you must leave Vallecitos.
The elevation of the ranch is 8,800 feet. Visitors often experience mild symptoms of elevation related illness, including fatigue, headache, dizziness, gastrointestinal upset, sleep disruption and mild shortness of breath. These symptoms often subside during the first 1-3 days but can persist longer for some. In very rare cases symptoms can escalate to a more threatening condition with shortness of breath at rest, persistent coughing, and exercise intolerance.
Prevention is key.
- Acclimatizing: If you are able to sleep a night or two at a lower elevation prior to your arrival, it will help speed the body’s process of acclimatizing (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Denver).
- Hydration: It is critical to stay well hydrated starting several days prior to travel and during your retreat. Hydration is the key to preventing altitude related illness.
- Take it easy: Do not overdo it the first day or two. Stop early when you start to feel fatigue or any prolonged breathlessness.
- High Carbohydrate Diet: Increase carbohydrate intake (pasta, rice, pancakes) to 70% of total calories. This means reducing fat intake.
- Avoid Alcohol, Tranquilizers & Sleeping Pills: All of these things slow your body’s adjustment to elevation.
- Medication: There is prescription medication which helps prevent illness and speed acclimation. If you have a known issue with being at altitude, please consult your doctor before coming.
If you have ongoing medical conditions, a visit to a medical provider familiar with the demands of altitude travel is helpful before your trip. You should address any acute medical issues such as sinus infections, bronchitis, or chest pain with your doctor before you travel.
We can accommodate CPAP machines. We power the CPAP machines with solar powered batteries. There are several considerations to understand when bringing your own CPAP.
- Please note that every CPAP machine’s power usage is different and we cannot guarantee the power supplied will be sufficient for every type of machine.
- For optimal results, please turn your CPAP machine to the lowest setting that is sufficient for your safety to ensure that it will last all night.
- Since our batteries are solar charged, please know that the batteries may not reach their optimal capacity when the weather presents mostly overcast days.
- We only have two casita accommodations equipped with solar batteries to support CPAP use (casitas 3 & 4). You must register for a CASITA if you plan to use your CPAP with our solar batteries. We will notify you after registration if we need to coordinate any other arrangements.
- You do not need any special equipment to use our battery power set up. Your CPAP will plug into an extension cord outlet just like a wall plug at home.
- We must receive advance notification via your registration form if you intend to use a CPAP machine on your retreat.
Having a fragrance free center stems from our commitment to building an inclusive community. Help Vallecitos be accessible to all by planning ahead and bringing only fragrance free products for use during your stay. This includes lotions, shampoos, feminine products, deodorant, essential oils, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, to name a few. It is helpful to know to steer clear of products labeled unscented as they are often masked scent. It is best to look for products that say “free of fragrance and dyes”. One often missed are natural scents such as coconut or essentials oils as these are still scents that can cause harm to others. Thank you for your consideration.
Contact information for your family and friends in case of emergency.
Participants are asked to “unplug” while on retreat at Vallecitos. However, if there is an emergency and you need to be contacted, your family and friends may either call (505) 469-9017 or email email@example.com.
Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center is on a remote ranch and one needs to be able to walk on uneven surfaces with relative ease. Please e-mail us if you additional questions about disability accommodations.