In ancient Hawaii, the konohiki, or caretakers, look after the ahupua’a, the land stretching from the mountains to the sea. Come with us to Maui and Kauai, to understand the konohiki way of life, as we work to preserve both the land and the waters of this magnificent paradise and experience their ancient tradition.
Our project begins in Maui where many natives still live in substandard housing without basic necessities. Joining with Habitat for Humanity, we help build a new home in partnership with a low-income family. We hear stories, learn about Hawaiian culture and share traditional meals. Once we’ve hung up our hammers, you’ll find us surfing the breakers of Lahaina, snorkeling with humuhumu-nukunuku-apua’a (the state fish of Hawaii) and relaxing at some of the world’s most magnificent beaches.
Moving to the Garden Island, Kauai, we restore rare plant species in a variety of ecosystems and protect the endangered monk seal habitat. Every stream we clear and every plant we place in the ground contributes to the balance and preservation of this remarkable paradise.
In Kauai, known for its nalu (waves), the perfect surf awaits us. We build on the skills we learned in Maui, and in no time we pick the ideal curl and time its approach, surf, and as expected, wipe out. Turning in boards for paddles, we sea kayak down the Hanalei River out to famous Hanalei Bay and down the Wailua River—one of Hawaii’s most sacred places. The wandering is glorious as we explore paths with waterfalls and wildflowers bursting with life. We snorkel and swim in sapphire waters surrounded by lumbering turtles and colorful tropical fish, and sail along the Nā Pali coast.
Following an ancient custom to celebrate auspicious occasions with a feast, we end our journey giving thanks to our Hawaiian friends for sharing with us the beauty of their tradition and culture ~Aloha.