From Us, to You! An Update September 2023
"Whoever claimed that all was lost, allow me to present... my heart!" -Fito Paez
As the season turns and Novalis temporarily closes its doors until January 2024 for a much-awaited trip north with our now 1-year-old Caleb to meet his family, our endeavors at the center continue to thrive. These past months have seen a dynamic transformation, with our focus set on crafting a brand-new kitchen dedicated to the preparation of an array of medicinal plants. Responding to the fervent wishes of many among you, we are excited to announce that we're well on our way, with an 80 percent completion rate for our forthcoming meditation and yoga sanctuary, la Casa de Bien Estar. Yes, the dream of our space to stretch, dance, and move is taking tangible form.
In the realm of forest management, starting this October, we embark on an ambitious project to clear the paths and trails weaving amidst the towering Brazil Nut trees. This undertaking extends beyond mere cleaning; it involves marking the boundaries of our vast project, spanning over 2000 hectares. By the banks of the Piedras River, our cherished farm, we've already commenced clearing a two-hectare stretch for the cultivation of cacao trees, copuazu, guaba, and the delightful bobinsana. Furthermore, yuca and plantains will soon sprout, destined to grace our tables as a testament to self-sufficiency.
For the past three years, Novalis has not only been a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts but also a warm home to a Machiguenga family. Hailing from a different part of the Amazon, this indigenous family, consisting of 20 to 30 members spanning four generations, has seamlessly woven themselves into the fabric of our community. It is worth noting that they are at the helm of the remarkable projects outlined above.
Leaving one's homeland is undoubtedly challenging, but when home resides within the heart, distances seem to melt away. Witnessing our extended family take on the vital responsibility of nurturing our precious forest fills us with immense pride. We've always maintained that our achievements are the product of collective effort, and this belief has never rung truer.
We've already unveiled our retreat program for the upcoming year on our website. Your engagement in reviewing and spreading the word would be deeply appreciated, for your unwavering support and trust form the very bedrock of our mission. Stay tuned, as there are still exciting activities on the horizon, soon to be revealed. And especially the work of our new team members... Fatua, Floriane and Breanna. We will have several new retreat offerings from them including a women's retreat with Fatua, retreats in the French Language with Floriane, and Land & Plant Immersions, called Ways of the Amazon with our Machiguenga friends and Breanna.
Without further ado, we bid adieu, sending heartfelt wishes for the best to each and every one of you. Warm embraces and affectionate regards.
Cassandra, Juan, and our new baby Caleb Jeronimo + all our team <3