My parents are 100% Ecuadorian. My father was born and raised in Alausi, Ecuador and my mother is from Southern Ecuador, Catamayo.
You might be familiar with Catamayo if you are familiar with Vilcababma (in the Valley of Longevity) there is a large and growing ex-pat community there.
Speaking of longevity, both sets of grandparents lived into their 100's. They told me the formula is low stress, clean food, moving your body and of course, love...
My parents bought the farm before they had any of us, about 45 years ago. They had in mind retiring there, or moving back to Ecuador sooner. Something always got in the way.
They did finally move back, in 2006 to retire.
Unfortunately, my dad became ill from 2008 forward, until he passed on in late October 2010. He was hard working, and I think one thing that kept him going was getting back to his country and his land. He always imagined us all returning and enjoying living there. He was always very proud of where he came from. He was an honorable man, with integrity and a love for simple things. He laughed, a lot and loud, always joking. He had many dear and old friends in Alausi. He contributed to his community in any way he could. He was, and is still very much loved there.
While sick in the hospital, he asked me to please keep the land
and do something with it. I said yes, of course...and here I am!
I basically took a PDC (permaculture design course), since I had heard so much about Permaculture being the answer to the many environmental and social issues of the modern world. I took the course and fell in love. I have always been a nature lover and once I discovered that our current farming practices of monocultures and GMO's (genetically modified organisms) are by far the most damaging to our environment than anything else we are doing, I knew this was the best use of the land. A teaching farm and demonstration site filled me with lots of ideas and excitement. My passion for permaculture was born.
This planet is paradise, custom made for human beings and all it's creatures, it's just that human's have forgotten. There is a disconnect, from the fact that we are mammals, we are nature! The further people get away from this knowing, the more harm we do to ourselves and the earth. As any animal would not destroy it's own environment.
My connection to nature is also my early memorable experiences in Ecuador. Both sets of grandparents, were connected to the land. My mother's parents were farmers, as well as my father's mother, was the care taker of my parents farm in their absence. My entire childhood was spent either on the farms or immersed in nature. I am very comfortable there, I suppose it's in my DNA, and if you think of it, it is in everyone's from our ancestry...
Human's may be "at the top of the food chain," so to speak, yet to me, having more intelligence and the ability to reason and talk makes me a steward. Responsible for all the creatures and the earth. Not a callus taker, consuming until there is little or nothing left for future generations? People argue, that the earth can replenish herself, yes she does, always coming back to balance, however that may mean people are out, since our species is not in equilibrium. I sometimes ask myself, this maybe the current evolutionary trajectory, and humans are meant to go? I also believe that the intelligence that created us makes no mistakes. Humans can have an enormous impact for good, we can actually help nature, work with her instead of against.
Everything I have ever fallen in love with in regards to earth stewardship, permaculture and what I feel I can do to make a difference is what I am committed to co-creating here...
"Permaculture, reforestation, sustainable education, health, shamanistic studies (ancestral wisdom), agritourism, voluntourism..."
The prophecy of the eagle & the condor is very fitting, as I am planning to host various experts from both North and South America, in a wide range of sustainable farming practices, with a focus on permaculture.
I am grateful to my parents for helping me re-discover my passion in sustainability and to be able to use this farm as an example for others looking to do the same.
Thank you for reading.