At the beginning of January, the whole team gathered at our headquarters in Puerto Varas, Chile for the “Karün summer week”, where we went over last year's result and the plans for this coming year!
We had different meetings where each area presented the specific results, conclusions, and their plan for 2019, but it didn’t just work! We enjoyed after office activities, such as climbing and relaxing by the lake, as well as a delicious breakfast and dinners.
As the whole team was in Chile, we took this opportunity and invited 4 special Karün friends from abroad (US, Canada, and Somalia) to join us for a few days in Patagonia; getting to know the team, meeting some of the local entrepreneurs who work with us and enjoying the amazing surroundings within the Cochamó Valley.
We wanted them to experience the whole “Karün experience”, is this the best way to truly understand everything that is behind what we are doing in order to become messengers of our mission.
Want to know more about our friends? Learn a little bit about them here!
Ilwad is a Somali-Canadian social activist who is committed to peacebuilding, human rights, and gender justice in Somalia. She is Director of Programs and Development at Elman Peace and serves as an advisor on the UN Peacebuilding Fund and other boards where she continues to show her dedication to these causes. She was voted African Young Personality (Female) of the Year during the 2016 Africa Youth Awards.
Marie is a professional snowboarder from Quebec, Canada who lives in Whistler during winter and in a self-built, environmentally-minded cob home on the west coast of Vancouver Island during summer. Known for being one of the most stylish and versatile riders in snowboarding, she is also recognized for her humble and giving nature. Marie has also produced a movie called “The little things” based on environmentally conscious riders who are inspiring people through their riding, as well as their sustainable ways of living and thinking. Everyone in this film is bringing to life the importance of protecting the environment and living in balance with our environment to life.
Want to know more about this film? Visit: http://thelittlethingsmovie.net/
Leah is a professional surfer and cinematographer who works to raise awareness about women's surfing and the culture around surrounding it. In 2016 she helped found the “Changing Tides Foundation”, which helps avid travelers find ways to give back to the communities they visit. Two-time winner of both the Deus 9ft and Single event in Bali, and the Women’s Pipeline Longboard Event. Leah has over 20 years of surf competition experience in both longboarding and short boarding around the world, yet her passion lies in the heart of surfing and connecting with the wide surf culture around the world.
Film director and Co-Founder at Sherpas Cinema, film and television production. Specializing in action sports, documentary, brand, commercial, and educational film. Dave Mossop attributes his deep appreciation of nature and the mountains to the knowledge and experiences he gained through his father, who worked as the director of the Geological Survey of Canada. With hundreds of hours of helicopter filming experience, Dave has become one of the most acclaimed Aerial Directors in the industry.
We welcomed our friends with a nice sunset at our headquarters with local beer and pizza (Cerveza Tropera) where we got to know each other and relax together. The whole team was present, as well as boyfriends, girlfriends and even barb’s grandmother! It was a great time with the karün family <3
The trip began by going into the Cochamó Valley appreciating the beauty of the surroundings and visiting Elsa, the Gallardo family and Pedro & Rosa’s house in Puelo - all of whom are part of the karün world. Amazing people, with passion and love to spare that, have become friends for life with us over the past few years.
Elsa spends her days taking care of her vegetable garden and making looms. She loves being out in nature, working with her hands and sharing with people from different backgrounds, cultures and ages. Elsa has become a supplier for Karün as she producing beautiful accessories that you will be able to find on our website in a few months.
We spent the night at the Karün lodge by the Puelo river, where we enjoyed a beautiful evening by the bonfire getting to know each other with inspiring conversations about our passions, about what moves us in life and about what we are doing in Karün.
The next morning we visited the Gallardo family; Rony, his wife Victoria and his son Pato. They love welcoming people in their homes, sharing stories about their way of life and beautiful land.
Pato manufactures high-quality handmade knives by giving waste a second life; he only uses materials he finds in the field near his houses, such as used rasps, wood scraps and leather. He wants to have his workshop in his house; Fundo San Javier, working alongside his father inviting people to get to know their beautiful land through different trails while showing his trade to the visitors and selling his unique works of art.
That afternoon, we visited Pedro & Rosa. They live very close to the beach, in the Reloncaví estuary and he has seen how every year more and more ocean plastics and garbage appear on the beach. Seeing the pollution affecting his commune, he decided to do something to solve this and began collecting all the waste from the coastal area to clean the beach.
Pedro sells us part of this waste, which we use to make our sunglasses. With this additional income, he is able to support his wife’s entrepreneurship, where she sells healthy empanadas - with an innovative proposal using typical ingredients from the area and offering colorful empanadas - served in their own house where they are little by little building their restaurant.
For the last couple of days, we went to “Los Muermos” beach, where we spent our time at the “Mari Mari natural reserve”, a true paradise in Chilean Patagonia. Besides enjoying the surroundings and getting to know the area through a couple of activities, we spent our time working; sharing ideas and points of view on a different subjects related to Karün and how to grow our community and deepen our impact.
After the days we spent together moving around and talking, all we can say is THANK YOU! It's always inspiring to get to know people who share our values and way of looking at the world, but when all you feel is good energies and love spreading between each of us knowing we are all going in the same direction looking for the same answers and solutions you realize its PURE MAGIC.
Once again, thank you, Dave, Leah, Marie, Ilwad and all the members of our team for this beautiful week we got to experience. We know there is much more to come and we can’t wait to share it with all of you!