From Africa to Guatavita

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Versión en Español

What we thought was going to be a 10 months trip became a year and a half adventure which took us through mountains, savannas, cities, villages, neighborhoods, seas, rivers, lakes, islands and volcanoes.

Africa, a continent of surprises, rhythms and magic, so diverse and rich in nature, culture, music, flavors, smells, dances and laughs. A place which allowed us to learn by the hand of it´s people about their territory, which showed us amazing secrets, and made us vibrate to a different frequency, understanding about ourselves, about the capacity to weave individual dreams, adding the communal component of collectivity, where magic is alive in the instant, in the present moment.

A voyage full of personal, couple, family, community, and team challenges. Where we acquired tools to continue our path. We learned, shared, taught, and received life lessons. This path took us to New York, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia and Morocco. The more we walked, the deeper within ourselves we traveled. From Africa, where we come from, the origin, we come back to Guatavita, where this discovery and connection process started.

Initially we took off to be part of a social leadership program, the Acumen Global Fellowship. What we thought was going to be a personal process to gather technical tools to scale our work, was really a collective journey with twelve amazing people from diverse corners of the world: Bhutan, China, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Rwanda, France, Colombia, Lithuania, India and Sri Lanka. We deeply examined why we undertake the work we do, and the purpose of our personal and collective processes. We weaved connections with entrepreneurs from all over the world, people who believe a better world is possible, and who make it happen.

We could also explore fantastic places and realities. From planting at an urban farm in Williamsburg by the Hudson River, to dancing in rapture to the tunes of the five rhythms in order to reach our inner core. We could learn from herbs and medicinal plants at local apothecaries, and taught yoga classes at public libraries. We received so much inspiration, which prepared us for the next stage of this journey, crossing the Atlantic from New York, over Africa, to Kenya.

Kenya, a country who shares so much with Colombia, where the connection among cultures is evident, as we find ourselves smiling, heart to heart, dancing to the beat of drums which remind us that life is one, and is now and that each of us have the responsibility to create, live and walk it.

Nairobi was our home for a year, where a blank canvas, day by day, started to take form with the certainty that something big and powerful would unfold in front of us. Having the opportunity to support local projects we got to know this city, vibrant and fertile ground to dream and make those dreams come true.

We took part of a very special and lively team, which uses football as a strategy to promote resiliency and happiness in girls, boys and teenagers, which live in contexts of social vulnerability. Fútbol Más inscribes itself in the heart of the neighborhoods, working with the principal agents for change: children and their communities.

We learned by the hand of local community leaders from Mathare and Kibera (the two biggest human settlements in Kenya) lessons acquired by walking with them, dreaming, creating, and making things happen. They taught us about resourcefulness and resilience, about simplicity, community and happiness. We supported the initial design of the youth leadership program, joining trainings, tournaments and community meetings.

Africa Yoga Project, an amazing and impactful initiative within youth all over Kenya and other African countries, allowed us to be part of their incredible project. Through sharing their stories we where able to discover the most hidden corners of Nairobi, and the great gift of getting to know empowered community leaders who inspire whole communities.

We certified as Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga teachers. This type of yoga stands for leadership, community, service, possibility and transformation…on and off the mat. Baptiste Vinyasa Yoga has three main elements; asana, the physical practice of yoga postures; meditation, the practice of focusing the mind; and inquiry, the practice of self-transformation. These three elements encourage students to step into their full potential by discovering their passions, creativity, and developing the confidence to step into new and big possibilities in their lives

Through this personal journey of introspection and acceptance we met incredible people with different talents (drummers, professional dancers, artists), linked by the practice of yoga. We created together an offer of yoga ¨Drum n Yoga incorporating the strength of the African drums and traditional dance, promoting connection, empowerment and community.

We also had the opportunity of being part of a social enterprise, which, through technology and design provides solutions to tenths of thousands of families who live in energy poverty. Today more people die by inhaling within smoky kitchens, than deaths from tuberculosis, malaria and HIV together. BioLite develops technologies for cooking, solar lighting and energy storage that transform lives. We had the chance of starting the Kenyan office and develop an amazing team of people who believe in the power that business with purpose has to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

In the same way Africa, colorful, joyful and real, transformed our lives and gave wings to our dreams. Today, from the distance, we remember this lively territory as the place where we where not two anymore. We bring from Africa a beautiful seed, Mara, who gives new energy to all we do.

Today, from La Juanita, we slowly digest and are thankful for this beautiful journey we traveled. We came back to plant again in this magic territory. We reopen the doors of this space, a transformation and wellbeing ecosystem, to share lessons and ideas, weave realities, dream, and build the world we want for our sons and daughters

From March on, we again open the hotel at La Juanita, and offer this live laboratory to create in community. We will be sharing workshops and experiences, hosting hands, minds and hearts that want to plant with us.

Stay tuned, as very beautiful things are coming soon.