What has changed since Mashpi took over the site?

What has changed since Mashpi took over the site?

(I was recently asked this question by one of our readers and thought this deserves it’s own post. Talking to Ale and Agus is always a breath of fresh air, and this is what came from that conversation. As always, thank you for being here and reading me)

Rather than posing the question as “what has not changed,” I’d like to emphasize that virtually everything has undergone a profound transformation. Life, after all, is perpetually evolving. The positive changes we’ve witnessed align with the favorable aspects of this evolution. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that change can manifest negatively, as was evident in the transformation of this land, once a thriving forest transformed into a barren landscape through deforestation.

Upon our arrival, we embarked on an ecological restoration and regenerative process. Initially focusing on conservation and the restoration of native species, we soon recognized the significance of the agro-food system. The region was previously characterized by monoculture and cattle farming, but it has now metamorphosed into a food-forest—a dynamic and intricate agroforestry system. Our perspective on the soil has shifted as well; the land, previously seen as a mere resource for exploitation, is now regarded as something to cherish. This reciprocal relationship emphasizes that as caretakers of the Earth, it also nurtures us. This transformation extends to the energy of the place—from a previously destructive force to a profoundly creative one.

Another substantial change lies in our approach to the workforce. In contrast to the past, where workers were merely seen as tools to manage cattle, we consider our team an integral part of our community and family. Fair wages are now a norm, adhering to Ecuadorian labor laws and recognizing all due benefits. Beyond these legal stipulations, we believe in a more holistic approach. The relationships we foster are guided by goodwill, affection, and daily interactions. Unlike many projects where people are mere monitors and enforcers, our direct and continuous presence on the land for the entire duration of the project has shaped a unique and genuine relationship with the space.

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