About Us

Our Vision

A generation of Youth empowered to thrive from their Spirit, deeply connected to Nature creating happy, sustainable lives.

Our Mission

To create and live a model of Sustainable Community rooted in Spirit and to grow our Sustainability School base here on Maui, Hawaii, that showcases the importance of educating and empowering children and youth within these 8 key areas:

  • Community Resilience
  • Financial Literacy & Entrepreneurship
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Spirituality
  • Life Skills and Wellness
  • Personal Development
  • Arts and Culture

The Heart of Our Work

We believe Sustainability starts with the Spirit…Honoring the A’ina, the land and Mother Earth, Living in Community, Team Building, Youth Empowerment, and Healthy Self-care and Care for each other. Through training and example, we support the student’s personal path of talent, passion and creativity by supporting a strong Spirit and building practical skills for thriving in community.

Why Our Program Works

When people know their gifts, passions and talents and how to share them they feel great about themselves…personally empowered and inspired. An environment of support frees our youth to study and make new habits that cultivate good work ethics and good health. Learning about marketing themselves opens possibilities and opportunities for financial stability. The ongoing support of our extended community offers them continued moral and informational support, and a network for employment, housing and financial management, giving them things they need to thrive.

Our comprehensive learning program, based on a foundational connection to Nature, Spirit and the energies of all life around us, seeds the healing understanding that we are all inter-connected and are never alone. We rely on the indigenous practices that see the needs of one as the concern of all, honor and respect our differences, and hear and heed the voice of Nature…

Many communities around the world still uphold these truths and practices. The Hawaiian Spirit of Aloha is a beautiful example, and my Latin roots in Mexico and Peru are another. Their example inspires us to come back to harmony with Nature and each other in community…where reaching out is in the asking, where compassion, wisdom and kindness can be expected…and communication, accountability and forgiveness are the tools of creative resolution.

Sylvia Cenzano, Founder

Partners and Educators

We are honored and blessed to work with a brilliant staff of experienced, caring professionals, each a leader and innovator in their field. Their devotion to the vision of sustainable community and enthusiasm for our amazing human potential is inspiring!

Get Involved

Everyone has so much to offer! We need the skills and materials that you have to support us in building out our vision in addition to the funds needed.

Sylvia Cenzano
Founder of Mālamalama Farm and Center; CEO/President, Board Member

As Director of Mālamalama Farm and Center and Kolealea Agricultural Center, Sylvia brings a diverse background of leadership in corporate finance, community resourcing, personnel and project management as well as skill in spiritual counseling and a passion for creating and facilitating an intentional community setting. With a Peruvian Indigenous background, close ties with Hawaiian, Hopi and Navajo cultures and a deep connection with Nature, this passionate and innovative spirit heads up this 9 ½ acre project with a decades-long vision, work and practice of building community and creating sustainable living programs.

She is known as a pioneer in sustainability…which includes the land and environment, local food sourcing, wellness lifestyle, expanded life skills, and community building with a strong spiritual and heart-connected rooting. An organic vegetable and fruit tree grower for 38 years, Sylvia is committed to educating students in shifting to sustainable native food sources, with a strong Spirit at the foundation, offering practice in living harmoniously in community and a hands-on education right on the land in Hawaii, a source of strong spiritual connection and inspiration.

Sylvia’s calling to share her gifts expresses in her work with children and youth and her passion to help them to develop their own gifts. She encourages them to see and understand that their energy has an effect and supports them in learning to focus their energy in a way that is positive, healing and magical. Her passion for the arts, especially music and dance, including native music, enhances her loving and deeply insightful work with the children and youth and all the members of the intentional community. The cultivation of happiness and peace as practical life skills, now supported by current science, is an integral part of conscious community building and the foundation of a strong Spirit.

Sylvia’s dedication to youth, indigenous culture and the environment led her to create sub-organizations of Mālamalama shown at www.ChildrenHealingtheEarth.org, www.SustainableChangeNow.org, www.RootMovement.org, and www.ThePowerOf4444.org. An accredited affiliation and membership with the Pacifica Indigenous Grandmothers, Council of Maui, and Grandfathers Council provides ongoing support rooted in elder wisdom.

Sylvia continues to collaborate with amazing educators and facilitators in her community, supporting the growth and progress of those who come to learn and practice sustainability and community building. Her understanding and experience is that systems in society change for the better through the effort of individuals empowered at their personal foundation working in unity, and those who live and learn with Sylvia are passionately prepared to be an integral part of creating that change for the better.

Lucienne deNaie
Board Member, Environmental Scientist/Advocate/Policy Consultant for Maui; Former Sierra Club President – State of Hawaii, and Maui, Maui Community Elder

Lucienne deNaie is a community activist with an unmatched record of service and environmental advocacy working with big issues of water management and land use and more. She has been working for the community and the environment since high school, when she convinced school administrators to allow students to create a senior garden where there was once only concrete, then led the building and planting effort. Lucienne de Naie, who calls herself a ‘practical visionary’, has amassed a list of honors and accomplishments far too extensive to detail here. Highlights include being chosen for a citizens advisory committee updating the County General Plan, official recognition by the governor for her years of stewardship of public lands, and her selection to work on the Hawaiian Tourism Authority’s Strategic plan. She is also the author of a well- regarded 200-page report on Maui’s water sources, is a founding member of Maui Cultural Lands, Inc., a non-profit land trust currently restoring acres of cultural sites in Honokowai Valley and of the Maui Coastal Land Trust. Her integral involvement with Sierra Club has supported environmental public education and proven its effectiveness.

Lei’ohu Ryder
Community Support, Kuma Aloha

Lei‘ohu Ryder is a Hawaiian spiritual leader, visionary, singer/songwriter, healer, and educator. As Kumu Aloha (emissary of Aloha) she advocates for the indigenous soul in all people. Her love and knowledge of Hawai‘i helps people connect with their selves, with Spirit, and the essence of Aloha.

Lei’ohu offers her gifts on Maui, in Hawai’i and throughout the world, through blessings, music, public speaking, intensives, counseling/mediation, healing work, ceremonies and services…all with Aloha.

Her talents and knowledge are honored and loved in our community and the world. Lei’ohu has received the Gandhi-King Peace Hero Award, the Peace Educator Award from the United Nations, the Woman of Honor award from Women’s History Month, the Educator Award from the Peace Corps, and the Malama Ka’Aina Award from the Sierra Club. She has shared her gifts all around the world throughout Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe and North America.


Lei’ohu’s support and encouragement has been one of the most grounding and empowering influences throughout our years of development. And we are blessed and honored to have her support and consult on matters that ensure honoring of Hawaiian traditions and Hawaiian Spirit with the youth we serve. 

Robin S. Knox
Board Member, Environment Water Scientist

Robin is an eco-pioneering scientist with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Environmental Health with 30 years of experience in environmental protection and project management. Her knowledge of the biogeochemical cycles of the earth helps others to understand and create sustainable practices that build living soils and grow healthy plants, minimize pollutants and support natural systems. She teaches how protecting soil quality and preventing erosion benefit the land and the farmer and prevent the degradation of waters, as well as sustainable wastewater use, treatment and management and irrigation. She is a wise and respected elder in her field, with a background of working in the environmental compliance consulting industry, and decades of knowledge and experience working with the South Maui Watershed.

Maydeen ‘Iao
Community Elder, Advocate, Kumu Aloha

Maydeen ‘Iao is, as is her partner, Lei’ohu Ryder, Kumu Aloha (emissary of Aloha) and advocates for the indigenous soul in all people. Her love and knowledge of Hawai‘i helps others connect with their selves, with Spirit, and the essence of Aloha.

Maydeen has often expressed and focused her Aloha through beautiful Hula dance, including for events where her instrumental and singing musical gifts are also expressed.

Maydeen has a gift of pure joy and authentic expression of this amazing energy that can only continue to serve to help shift humanity…and the spirit within. Teaming up with Lei’ohu Ryder produces a powerhouse of energy, wherever they choose to focus or send it, that is Love…Aloha in Action.

Mālamalama is graced with Maydeen’s support of our work, and greatly honored.

Jennifer Bonadio
Board Member, Women’s Empowerment, Personal Development, Sustainable Self-Care, Maui Community Elder

Jennifer shares her many decades of experience, research and training in Body/Mind practices and Health Education and skillfully teaches foundational sustainable self-care and personal growth tools that support a healthy, creative engagement in community life. Yoga and Meditation support and empower the students and members of the community to learn to focus their energy in a way that enhances every part of their lives. Her experience in the Healing Arts and Wisdom Traditions assist students in building their capacity for mind/body connection and the expression of a balanced, heart-centered life that contributes to a thriving community and a positive future.

Ronnette Gonsalves
Disaster Preparedness Specialist, Educator

Ronnette brings a dedication to our next generations and decades of experience on the front lines of Disaster Relief and Community Outreach to our team. Her past experience with non-profit organizations includes Outreach Coordinator and Educator for Maui grassroots Malosi, and Team leader and community liaison for Bodacious Women of Pahoa. Working with communities as a first responder in community disaster relief has fueled her passion for the importance Disaster Preparedess education. She brings her abundant grassroots experience, knowledge and heart as an advocate for the youth education in sustainability, disaster preparedness and community care.

Georgia Amber Pinsky
Maui Family Farm Network, Educator, Coach and Community Advocate

Georgia was born and raised on Maui, and home-educated in a context of family entrepreneurship and community activism. She has a BA in communication and Hawaiian Studies from UH Hilo, where she spent years working in community development, restoration and non-profit management. She is a co-founder of the Maui Farmer Network and the Farmer Navigational Coaching Program, which coaches, supports and advocates for small and beginning regenerative ag producers here in Maui County. Georgia is an Ag Resilience Navigator with the CTAHR Seeds of Wellbeing, as well as a Food System Leader here in Maui County. Georgia is committed to improving community access to locally grown food, and networks with many organizations to improve our community and our planet. Her passion lies in the building of community, through bringing people together. She lives and farms with her family on the backside of Haleakala and is the Managing Editor for the Hanaside News.

H.E. Leon Kaulahau Siu
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hawaiian Kingdom
H.E. Leon Kaulahao Siu is from the island of Hawaii and has an unusually diverse background in the arts as an award-winning musician, visual artist and producer. He also has had decades of experience as speaker and lecturer on Hawaiian history and culture and an astute political analyst, strategist and activist, bringing an important perspective and wisdom to our network of educators and community advocates. Leon Kaulahao Siu has served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Ke Aupuni o Hawaii (the Hawaiian Kingdom) since 2000. He has been actively engaged in informing the international community about the United States’ illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Islands and inviting other nations to support the return of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a sovereign, independent state. His international work in the areas of human rights, self- determination, decolonization and demilitarization has been recognized with several international awards and honors including a nomination for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
Aram Armstrong
Systems Thinker, Design Educator, Creative Facilitator

Aram is a systems thinker, design educator, and creative facilitator. He holds a Master’s degree in Interaction Design from the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Interactive Media from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Generative Ventures is his platform for sharing his design practice, teaching creative arts, sharing systems thinking, and supporting resilient communities.

He has been an embedded strategist and design sprint facilitator at Starbucks working between the digital marketing team, the UX design and iOS mobile app development teams with their human-centered design team. He was a core member of Fung Academy leading knowledge sharing, innovation and experimentation initiatives within the Fung Group’s leadership development programs as a designer, innovation coach, and workshop facilitator.

He spent 7 years at IDEO as an Interaction Designer doing design and research for new products, services and experiences for a wide range of organizations including American telecoms, Chinese manufacturers, and both the US and Singaporean governments. He has worked and taught internationally with students and clients from across South America, Asia, Europe, the US and Australia gaining fluency in drivers of change and culture.

Outside of the studio he achieved his light green cord in capoeira angola, he was attuned to reiki level 3, and he completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training at in Ecuador.

Aram now brings all of his talent and extensive experience to help ensure Malamalama’s growth, and in helping to guide our youth into a future with possibilities grounded in the skills and tools that can bring longevity to their choices of income streams. He helps them turn ideas and wishes into marketable realities.

Peta Lynne
Board Member, Spiritual Elder, Grant Writer, Business Owner

Peta graduated from the University of Oregon in 1974 majoring in psychology and art history and went on to graduate school in Psych/Counseling at the University of California. As a grant writer and a board member living at Mālamalama, she is dedicated to supporting and participating in the sustainable community-building that helps young people, mothers and children create a healthy, productive lifestyle. She has experienced an “inner voice” since childhood that led her to work in channeling spiritual guidance for 45 years, sharing wisdom counseling with people of all ages and walks of life. During the 70’s she was a part of the “Back to the Land” movement and built a 36 foot geodesic dome in Eastern Washington on a beautiful 20 acre piece of land overlooking the Kettle and Columbia Rivers joining point. Helping to start organic bakeries, Dharma Crumbs, North Country Co-op and the Northwest Barter Fair, she has been involved in sustainable community as an entrepreneur all of her adult life. The mother of seven, she home-schooled her children as well as creating two “Alternative Schools” one in Eastern Washington and one in Eugene. She is also an author with two books on Amazon, The Miracle of Gratitude and A Summons to Courage.

Joshua Seymour
Board Member, Student Graduate, Webmaster

In 2014, Josh became a student of Mālamalama as well as an active supporter of our mission and vision. As a graduate, Josh is essential to the administration of Mālamalama’s online presence and marketing team. As a younger voice, his technological expertise, fresh vision, and passion converge to support our appeal to the current and upcoming generations. Josh is dedicated to his family as a husband and father in his homes of Maui and Mexico. His introduction as a remote worker exemplifies how those around the world can come together to help those in need.

Adam Lottig
Regenerative Agriculture Farmer and Youth Advocate

Adam has been working with regenerative agriculture, native habitat and collaborative living systems on Maui for over 12 years. Inspired by Hawai’ian indigenous cultural knowledge, Syntropic farming, and diverse agroforestry models, he has developed working farm systems that cultivate sustainability and biodiversity, as well as maximum production. His current projects with the successful farm systems at Mala O Ka Pono, the Forests at Peahi, and Lokelani Essentials and others offer an excellent opportunity for youth education and hands on sustainability study.

Emily Palanes
Environmental Specialist, Advocate and Trainer

Emily works with the South Maui Wetlands Restoration Hui, out in the field with native plant and aquaculture and native plant identification as well as in educational outreach, raising public awareness. She has worked with special needs students and guided fieldtrips in wetlands for multiple private and public schools on Maui, with a focus on historical and cultural aspects. Healthy wetlands are a crucial part of a sustainable Maui ecosystem and are a critical protector against climate crises. She is a dedicated to a healthy Maui future and has devotedly given her time and energy to fire disaster recovery.

Mary Johnson
Regenerative Agriculture and Ecosystem Expert, Consultant and Trainer

Mary is an international consultant specializing in building agricultural supply ecosystems that meet the needs of farmers and communities. She is Founder/CEO of global NGO accelerating transition to regenerative agriculture that uplifts women, indigenous farming, and forest communities. Her expertise spans cross-cultural communication, diversity, equity and inclusion, collaborative relationship and trust building, creative problem- solving, strategic thinking, fundraising, and new business development. Mary is a dynamic leader with a high level of emotional intelligence, a proven track record of impactful cross-cultural initiatives and successful program management. Her commitment to earth and community regeneration and equity fuels her deep passion for scaling ecosystem repair and accelerating the transition to a more just and resilient future.

William Greenleaf
Board Member, Former President, Haleakala Chapter Farmers Union, Organic Farmer, Mentor for youth empowerment
Prior President and Treasurer of the Hawaii Farmers Union United, Haleakala Chapter, and organic farm owner, Bill found his love for farming when he moved to Maui in 2000. As a beloved elder in the Maui community, he brings his heart-centered wisdom to all he does. “It turns out that consciousness directed from heartfelt feelings can move mountains…for our purposes, it can also build great gardens”. Bill’s training helps youth experience learning outside of language as they learn to grow food as well learn a general focus and spirit-approach to apply to their lives’ goal onward. His first love was golf, which he began at 18 months of age and after college became a PGA Master Professional. Golf is his bridge to early childhood learning, which is predominantly right brain.
Francesca Hunter
Board Member, Certified Life Transformation Coach, Organizational Consultant, Maui Community Elder

As a Certified Universal/Spiritual Life Coach, instructor and seasoned entrepreneur, Francesca brings techniques in the development of purposeful life skills utilizing creative strategies. She inspires our participants towards identifying personal values and optimizing balance while maximizing their potential outcome in the group experience. Her contribution supports a cohesive community living platform with a focus on nurturing collaboration as well as identifying areas for our greatest impact around mission relevant programs and solutions. Francesca brings love and a strong dedication to transformation into all that she does.

Gerry Ross
Board Member, Professor for Hawaii University Maui, Organic Farmer, Geologist, Regenerative Soil Expert

A partner in Kupa’a Farms, he grows vegetables, tropical fruits and award winning coffee on 14 acres in Lower Kula, Maui. He is a consultant on organic agriculture and compost, and holds on-site classes for the University of Hawaii. He understands that soil is the heart of any agricultural operation, and has a determination to amend and enrich it to keep the soil alive and healthy. For more than 20 years Gerry Ross worked as a Canadian geologist, then about ten years ago, he changed careers and “reformatted” himself as a Maui farmer. His farming principles are “rock solid” and sustainable.

Ryan Marek
Board Member, Graduate, Business Owner, Youth Empowerment

As a graduate of Mālamalama, Ryan is a member of our extraordinary network of talented people that are dedicated to cultivating and sharing vital knowledge on how we can live harmoniously with our environment individually and collectively. Being a part of Mālamalama for the past 7 years has sparked his dedication to a life-long journey of cultivating and sharing the practices of sustainability. He has a gift for sharing his passion with youth, empowering and supporting them with his enthusiasm and Heart.

Dr. Janine Holstein, PhD
Psychotherapist, Educator, Master Gardner and Maui Organic Farmer, Community Wellness

Janine’s has dedicated her entire life to helping people at every level in her work with behavioral health as a highly trained psychologist and social worker and as the founder and owner of Maui Majesty, a farm business that grows and supplies healing plant medicines. She has a private therapeutic practice and is a university professor, teaching psychology, sociology, and social work. She also consults with government health agencies to create and support sustainable mental health policies and programs.

She is devoted to a sustainable and healthy Maui future, most recently completing the Farm Apprentice Mentorship Program through the Hawaii Farmers Union. Her extensive experience in helping people in real and deep ways as a mental health professional, and her passion for working with the land to create healing and sustainable products make her an inspiring and invaluable member of our team of educators and contributors.

Andrea Powell
Architect/Design Expert, Community Housing

Andrea is passionate about putting her considerable training, experience and talent to work in service to the community, creating and enhancing residential and common spaces to support education, creativity, collaboration and safety. Her expertise includes work with multi-use family housing, schools, and many civic and commercial projects, all using environmentally friendly and energy saving materials. Her designs adapt and future-fit spaces to serve community needs and support new technologies and philosophies in education.

Jay April
President/CEO, Akakū Community Media Center

Jay April is a television producer, director, video journalist and artist whose work has been featured on several national networks and won awards from film festivals worldwide. His extensive credits include special correspondent to CNN’s Environmental Unit, and the successful startup of E! Entertainment Television. His documentaries about ecology and American culture have been heralded as passionate, poignant, provocative nationwide. In recent years, he has focused his talents for community programing on the creation of documentaries about Hawaiian culture, introducing ground-breaking new media to our community. Jay’s inspired gifts and experience are a powerful resource for Maui, and are an asset to our community building efforts.

Kat Tracy
Communication Engineer, Video Producer, Youth Educator

Kat’s puts her extensive education and experience in Communications and Video production to work in service to her passion for community building and advocacy. She has worked for Akaku Maui Community Media Center since 2011. She directs the Education and Production departments of Akaku, focused on the mission of ‘Empowering the Community’s Voice’.

Kat has produced movie and award-wining documentary productions both nationally and internationally and helped produce the Maui County component of the live state- wide Aloha Soul healing vigils after the Maui fires. She teaches media production skills to youth, and designed Akaku’s Youth Media Exchange, and is a dynamic and empowered inspiration to our community and our youth .

Roger Yadao
Corporate Development Relationship Officer – Hawaii State Credit Union

Maui born and raised, Roger loves his work, facilitating financial wellness and opportunity and building community. He brings the spirit of Aloha to his work, and he and his team are dedicated to creating stability and prosperity on Maui. His work allows him to develop and network throughout the island, sharing the benefits of the community mindset of the credit union. His support has been invaluable for our work at Malamalama.

Brigitte Brand
Community Wellness, Bee Farmer

Brigitte lives by a code of Nature whereby the Earth is tended to in respectful and honoring ways. She single-handedly manages her 22 beehives and the honey produced. She has lived her life as a practitioner of holistic approaches to health, education, and community living. She understands the power of the mind and the individual’s intention and sheer will to affect change, and her approach and interaction with people empowers and inspires. Brigitte is a single mother of young twin girls, actively involved in their introduction to the world in a setting of natural beauty. She grows much of their own food right there on their home property. Her passion for Nature and good food has brought her to be an accomplished beekeeper in addition to a skilled farmer and food preserver.

Rhonda M. Fosbinder
Attorney/Owner at Island Legal Group

Rhonda has 25 years of experience as a licensed attorney, and practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, special needs, trust administration, elder law, business formation, and real estate. Her eldership and expertise support others in estate and business planning and property matters. As a highly accomplished professional she has a strong background in litigation, but in her current practice areas seeks to bring parties and families together to reach a satisfactory resolution of disputes without need for litigation. She also offers her wisdom to the youth of Maui, serving on the School Community Council for Pu’u Kukui Elementary in Wailuku.

Robin Burditt
Board Member, Community and Social Systems Analyst, Youth Training Consultant

Robin has over 20 years of experience working for Fortune 500 companies, applying her gift of elegant design and organization to professional and personal settings. Robin has the ability to streamline processes and systems within busy and fast-paced corporations, and to then integrate those systems with those of sister-companies. She supports management that is highly efficient, with cross-training and cooperative team building. She created our website as an instrument of information with a streamlined flow, ease of access and beauty. She is part of the team here that creates business documents and marketing material. As well, Robin is a single mother with a 19-year-old son. Having recently completed extensive research on resources for challenged minds and the mental healthcare system in the U.S., she has identified a system that could serve to streamline this part of our society, as well has found a working model. Robin has chosen to work with smaller companies working towards a greater good, where her energy is best put to serving and supporting our communities.

Kathy McDuff
Spiritual Elder

Kathy McDuff is a Lightworker on Maui whose goal is helping all beings to raise their consciousness to the highest level possible. Her perspective to sustainable living comes from a spiritual point of view, and her knowing that as we evolve into the new age that is upon us, we must make a number of changes in order to stay aligned with our dear Mother Earth. We must return to an alignment with nature, which includes living sustainably and acknowledging that Mother Earth is the source of life, nourishment and learning and provides everything we need to live well. Every human being is responsible for respecting and living in harmony with Mother Earth. Kathy’s experience includes Native American shamanic teachings and Universal One truth, and she would like to offer an opportunity for anyone interested to find the truth within that will lead the way to a return to nature where they can find inspiration, guidance and healing for their own sustainable living.

Samantha Lomeli
Business Technology

Samantha has an impressive array of skills and experience in business operations including team communication, project management, program development, operational flow, graphics work, marketing, and grant writing. She is an asset to both this organization and to our students with her capacity to share her skills in practical ways, including creating professional resumes. With two college degrees, a brilliant mind and lots of energy, Samantha is a fine candidate for highest level administration of any company or organization. A mother of 5 young children, her organizational skills are critical! She is quite versed in the important role her small community village plays in the nurturing of her family. She is an exemplary team player whether with her family or at business. Other details of her accomplishments and abilities: Create and edit marketing content, develop and implement forms/records to document project activities, develop and facilitate volunteer solicitation programs, develop, plan, and implement marketing strategies, oversee development of web design, distribution materials, and production and distribution of all publications, coordinate event initiatives from securing a venue to leveraging social media and email campaigns, build funding relationships, complete grant writing and proposals.

Sunny Savage
Wild Foods Sustainability Expert, Organic Farmer, Author, and Nutrition Expert

Sunny is a wild food forager who is dedicated to inspiring, educating, and nourishing people about nutrition, wild food, and sustainable food sources. She runs her own organic farm on Maui, and as an environmental advocate, teaches others to identify invasive species and turn them into food sources. She authored the book Wild Food Plants of Hawaii and shares about wild food as a Tedx presenter and on a tv series seen internationally. Her knowledge of the natural world and experience and training as nutrition educator and environmental steward, inspires our community and all who spend time with her.

Patricia Plazola
Board Member, Veteran, Women’s Empowerment

Patricia is military Veteran, a single mother of two children and a member of our Board of Directors. As a woman, mother, and veteran she has an acute understanding of the challenges of obtaining and creating the resources for a healthy and sustainable life. The challenges are many for an unsupported mother and the process of integrating back into civilian life is often times very difficult for a veteran, and she has much experience and knowledge in creating support systems for women, children, and youth. Both her study of PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) and her gift for phenomenal insight inform the tremendous guidance and wisdom she offers. She supports the ultimate vision and goals of individuals while addressing the self that is yet to feel empowered, advocating the development of practices that facilitate healing and stress recovery. Her vision is full empowerment of the individual in a community setting that supports self-sustainability and stability.

Melody Kellar
Homeschool Advocate

Melody is an advocate of alternative learning with years of research as a caring mother and community member and has an understanding of how the use of hands-on project-based schooling serves to inspire a great love for learning through the openness that creativity and adventure provide. She is the mother of a home-schooled child where these applied approaches are proving successful with her child’s educational and emotional growth. As an advocate of sustainable agriculture and local business practices, she takes a lead role providing informative reports to many people and articles of innovative ideas and practices that provide stability to the individual and to the community as a whole. As a dental assistant and practitioner of touch therapy she uses her empathic gift to recognize and reduce stress and anxiety in children and youth. As a supporter Melody enhances our foundation of support for the women, children and youth that attend our training courses.

Larkin Chollar
Art Education, Business Owner

Larkin’s artistic talent as a sculptor, jeweler and painter has supported him and his family for many decades as Chollar Art Works. Over the last thirty years he worked on many large and small projects and his work has been commissioned, purchased and supported by highly respected art appraisers and gallery owners. He worked on the eagle for the National Monument to the United States Constitution and has worked with the best stained-glass studios on the West Coast, and has done many commissioned portrait bronzes of celebrities. He loves and appreciates Maui as an international center of art and beauty. He and his wife, Peta, live here at Mālamalama and daily support and contribute to the dynamic and thriving sustainability of the land as elders and fine examples of lives dedicated to creating a beautiful life of community sharing.

Sacha Estrada
Community Advocate, International Humanitarian, Youth Empowerment

Sacha’s passion for service, both internationally and here in the community, has a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to meeting the immediate needs of people, in disaster recovery, or poverty, or disenfranchisement. Here on Maui for those affected by the fires, or overseas working with children and families, he has shared his heart and multi-faceted experience to uplift and save lives. As a teacher and a role-model, he inspires and empowers youth to share their gifts to make a difference in our community and our world.

Carl Borer
Student Graduate, Farm and Project Management

Raised on Maui, Carl has a deep connection to the land and the community. His natural leadership abilities and keen mind for creative and innovative solutions are put to good use in project and team management and property maintenance, repair and development. He continually adds to his already impressive skill set, which he also uses in his own sustainable land care business. As an avid fisherman and diver, he cultivates his connection to the Island ecosystems, and is a role-model for other youth learning to live sustainably.

Brittany Snell
Student Graduate, Community Management

Brittany is one of our rotating community managers, and has a special gift for bringing a spirit of fun and lightness to team-work and efficient community flow. She participated in training videos for community living and in our Earth and Peace film in 2016, and is a member of our social media team. The entrepreneur experience she gained here on the land, managing and harvesting for our farm stand, supports her in her business harvesting wild plants for use in healing tonics, skin care, and other land-based creative products as well as handmade found crystal jewelry.

Marissa Flores
Student Graduate, Community Management

Marissa is one of our rotating managers. We engage her skills as a researcher and editor on many of our projects, most recently our latest brochure. She shares her experience and training in organic urban farming by offering services that help others create and maintain their own backyard farms. She also assists as a presenter and videographer for our online educational content and is a member of our social media team. Her deep family and community values, combined with the interpersonal skills she has learned through our programs, makes her an invaluable member of our team.

Micaela Huby Raffo
International Apprenticeship, Community Management

Micaela is a currently in training to be one of our managers on rotation. She engages in all aspects of farm and community organization – harvesting, food processing and administration, as well as assisting in generating business plans with our youth. Her passion for education and personal growth has inspired her to travel and learn about different cultures. A native of Peru, she assists and facilitates with our Peruvian youth group and is the sub-title translator for our videos. She aspires to share all she is learning to expand educational access and opportunity to youth in her own country as well.

Jose Luis Gutierrez
International Apprenticeship, Filmmaker, Entrepreneur

Jose Luis a remote student in Cusco, Peru, grew up in the orphanage we have offered support to, Ninos del Sol. Now college-age, he is part of the youth group receiving our entrepreneurship mentorship and support to expand his business. Jose Luis receives contracts filming indigenous events in Cusco and in the nearby Incan ruins. He is a skilled videographer and editor, now on contract with our organization for video editing.

Art Cover
Sustainability Expert

A free-lance naturalist, ecologist, economic botanist, land-use management specialist and homestead landscaper, Art has an enduring love for nature that has matured over seventy-five years of grass-roots living. He calls his work – his experience, impressions, speculations and conclusions – Adaptive Ecology. He believes that sustainable and harmonious coexistence with nature is a necessary and possible instinctive need in all animals and is the special aptitude, talent and personal ecological responsibility of Homo sapiens. In Adaptive Ecology his focus is sharing with people the deep truths of nature that we need to know to save the planet and the species from destruction.

Melinda Jara
Technical Research

Melinda’s expertise in research supports us in finding applicable grants in the areas of our work that include land, maintenance of buildings, and training courses, specifically focused on grants for construction phases of the overall vision for this Center, for invasive species removal from the jungle part of the land as well the entire property, for farming and farm equipment, materials and supplies for the training courses, materials associated with the training center overall, and on-going maintenance. She identified the Atherton Family Grant foundation as a hopeful source for construction grant funds to move us forward towards completion of the buildings, bringing them all into compliance with county building codes. Melinda has a gift for graphics as well, specifically in creating training documents with crisp clarity and fine detail.

Greg Gardner
Economic Social Historian, Sustainability Practices

He holds a B.A. in Psychology and Biology from Kansas State Teachers College and wrote and directed the “Solar Energy Education Project” for President Carter’s administration, which earned him a scholarship with Buckminster Fuller. As a direct student of several Native American cultures, he has a keen understanding of Native Sustainability and Strategies. He has traveled extensively and is passionate about the history of economics and how it applies in current corporate form, and the non- renewable use of energy and its effect on the economy.

Ivan Jhoan Huallpa
International Apprenticeship, Poet, Marketing

Ivan is a remote student in Cusco, Peru, who has grown up in the orphanage we have offered support to: Niños del Sol. Now college-age, he is part of the youth group receiving our entrepreneurship mentorship and assisting as a speaker in the creation of videos to support upcoming youth community projects. Ivan created the music for our 5 Spanish videos on starting a business and trading, educational material that was created for this youth group. He is an amazing poet, able to create impromptu works of art.

Lisbeth Bellota Ccano
International Apprenticeship, Entrepreneur, Community Wellness

Lisbeth is a remote student in Cusco, Peru, who has grown up in the orphanage we have offered support to: Niños del Sol. Now college-age, she is part of the youth group receiving entrepreneurship mentorship. Lisbeth has graduated from her studies in Visual Arts and wishes to use the arts as a therapeutic tool for the mental and emotional well-being of the community. She has a vision to open a café in her community where art, connection to nature and animals, can take part in emotional healing. She is participating in the creation of videos for upcoming youth projects in indigenous communities.

Forrest Taylor
Graduate, Business Owner

As a past resident and student of Mālamalama programs, Forrest’s passion for sustainability includes a focus on keeping our local economy strong and advocating the circulation of dollars within the local community so that the community has a continuous and healthy flow of financial support. Forrest advocates diverting money away from companies and organizations that support non-organic or GMO food. Forrest is the owner of a local business on Maui that provides sound systems for vehicles within our community. A conscientious entrepreneur, he lives from the heart with high integrity, and loves his work. Forrest has been a speaker on one of our youth films shown on the Children Healing the Earth Facebook page.

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