Kipuka Olowalu connects tourists to Maui's environmental and cultural roots

MAUI, Hawaii (KGO) -- A special site on Maui is going back to its roots while allowing visitors to do something great for the environment.

Kipuka Olowalu is an organization dedicated to preserving the Native Hawaiian cultural site, the Olowalu valley, located in Maui.

"If you look around here, you notice how dry the land is, you notice how there's no development, no nothing," explained Hinano Rodrigues, President of Kipuka Olowalu. "You can see...how beautiful it is. This is what it looked like 200 years ago."

Through their meaningful work, the Kipuka Olowalu team highlights the strong relationship between humans and the environment through long-standing native Hawaiian cultural knowledge. They aim to pass this knowledge on to future generations.

"What we actually tried to do is, number one, educate the tourists as to what our culture is," said Rodrigues. "It's kind of like when you're going to somebody's house, if you stay there just for dinner...you just become a part of that family...so we kind of want to do that here."

In addition to making everyone feel like family, Kipuka Olowalu strives to educate and build resilience through sharing important core values. The group believes "no task is too big when done together by all."

It's about cultivating cultural and environmental connectivity for all.

"Everybody can participate, and everyone's included," said Kipuka Olowalu Cultural Practitioner Ua Aloha Maji. "You're family already."

For more information about Kipuka Olowalu, visit here.

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