November 9, 2014: Announcing our Newest Collaborative Eco-Friendly Retreat Location!

Beach cornerI’m ecstatic to announce that conversations with Marina, the hotel manager at Villa Serena Hotel in Las Galeras, were inspirational and delightful!  How could they not be, as Marina is a vibrant, open-minded young lady who loves yoga, Zumba, healthy living, the ocean and this land…and not to be forgotten, we spoke together here on the ethereal grounds of Villa Serena.  Our family borrowed the hotel kayak this morning for a ride out to the tiny Gilligan-like island just a couple of hundred yards offshore.  As we turned around and I scanned the coastline of the peninsula, I was struck again at how undeveloped this paradise is.  A few modestly sized hotels are nestled along the shore of what is otherwise miles and miles of palm trees bursting out from the sand and grasses; coastal rocky, twisting sea edges and mountains lush with viridescent, pulsing plant life.  Do you ever find yourself somewhere so gorgeous that you just keep inhaling the surroundings in with each breath and gaze you take in?  That’s what it is like here.  Every breath and view is food for the heart and soul.  I took the photo above, while sitting on the hotel’s clean white sand, enjoying the shape of the rocks nearby.

islandMarina and I talked about my bringing groups here for retreats, that according to my current formula, can be anything from guided to co-created to hosted.  Marina is flexible and happy to welcome our groups to their lovely space.  Her Aunt, the founder and owner of Villa Serena and friend of Jose and Katiuska, has held retreats of her own here, too, and it sounds as if the guests certainly appreciate the serenity and peacefulness of this space as much as our family is enjoying it.  So:  Yes!  Marina will go over details with her Aunt of our conversations, and then I’ll work with Marina to bring the hotel on to our EcoRetreatsDR website, and welcome them to our growing collection of one-of-a-kind retreat locations.

Loading dockThis little gazebo is floating on the ocean next to the hotel.  Marina says it can be used for yoga, weddings, meditation…so delightful!  You can see more about Villa Serena by going to their website,

Mommy and Sofia on dockSofia and I are sitting on the dock of the floating gazebo with the Gilligan-like island behind us.

Traveling around this country is very cool because we also meet so many interesting people.  Just now as I was writing, a couple approached me who is from — Groton, Massachusetts! —  their daughter is attending a University in Santiago and is passionate about the challenges of preserving land and culture and supporting economic growth to impoverished communities.  A couple of hours ago I met a couple who live in Marin County, California, where my best friend Jean lives and where I’ve spent a lot of time.  Another family that Sofia played with is from Guatamala..others are visiting from Germany..the pasta lunch we had down the road today was cooked and served to us by an Italian woman.  .Marina is from Croatia!  Everyone has been friendly and also clearly appreciating this piece of paradise.

What a gift to come and play, to meet Marina and talk about collaborating on the Eco-Conscious retreat concept.  This morning, Sofia and I were swimming in the pool..Michelle was cautiously toe-dipping from the side, and Sofia screamed, “There’s a crab in the pool!!”  Wise Mommy, I of course said, “No, honey, it’s probably a leaf…” just as I doubted her recently at home on the farm when she insisted there was a lizard perched inside our fan.  She was right:  Somehow a crab – a biggie! – had fallen into the pool and was crawling along seeking escape.  Yesterday, as I ran my fingers through the sand, combing for shells and interesting bits of coral, I sifted through and found a shark tooth.  The lizard..the crab..the shark tooth…reminds me that we are in nature…sharing the land and sea.  How important it is for us to press lightly on this sacred Earth.  How delicate it is, how resilient, how precious.  How sacred it is to breathe in fresh air, to be surrounded by natural colored wonders.  May everyone be filled with the wonder of all that is here, all that is offered each moment, with peace, love, happiness, health, safety and goodness.  Everyone. xoxo More soon!

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