He told us he'd been waiting, waiting for the right group and the right time to launch this dream project and when he met our group of sixteen sets of eager hands, he knew the time had come. Kevin described to us his space and the transformation he envisioned, about his desire to host ceramics workshops, gardening tutorials, and gatherings with live music and dance, how he wanted to remind the locals of their power in growing food and coming together as a community to overpower violence as well as give children a sanctuary for art, music, and play. Among our participants we had Kristen Morrison, regenerative fashion designer, natural dyer, and co-founder of the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, Leia Marasovich, activist, photographer and yogi with a background in sustainability and garden design, and a slew of other girls with experience working in gardens, small and large. We each were able to give him unique feedback on his ideas, plus draw up illustrations and project planning concepts to turn his visions into a reality.
Fired up with creativity, we invited Kevin to our week's activities. We indigo dyed Anna's beautiful Sage Brush Bags for a quiver of watery blue board socks, took a cooking class from Flora where she showed us proper technique for tortilla prep, trekked the beaches by horseback and visited a local hot spring while the stars were glistening in the black night sky. On the last day of the trip, we invited all the kids from the community to the new space where we kicked off the makeover of this abandoned building turned community center. The team helped Kevin and his Dad plant native plants all around the center. We cut recycled plastic bottles and strung them into a hanging herb garden with the community kids, and got them painting with a mural project featuring the traditional Mexican saying "si no hay maiz, no hay pais," "if there is no corn, there is no country." Snacks were devoured, coconuts guzzled, laughs shared and smiles covering everyone's faces. After only four hours the space looked so much brighter, greener, and more inviting. We celebrated with a sunset surf to say goodbye to this beautiful land that offered us so much culture, sweetness, and joy through not only its landscape but its inhabitants as well.
It's impossible to describe the most intimate details of an adventure as powerful as ours to La Saladita. Almost as impossible as it is to imagine the incredible unfolding of what happens when your plans fall through. All we can say is that Fate is confusing, chaotic, and often super inconvenient, but she never lets us down, and will be a VIP on the guest list of any future WE ARE adventure.