Let me introduce myself: my name is Alexis Perez and I have had the honour and pleasure of creating ‘Pachamama Retreat' for you to connect with mother earth, yourself and other people. ‘Pachamama Retreat' came alive in the first day of the spring 2017. I come originally from Uruguay in South America and have been living in Tasmania since 2011. I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to travel and live in many countries, and I think that Dolphin Sands is one of the most beautiful places I have seen and felt connected to.
Pachamama means ‘Mother Earth’ in the Quechua and Aymara languages spoken by the Andean people in South America. Pachamama brings protection, prosperity, generosity, fertility and symbolises a balanced life based on the four Quechua principles of Water, Earth, Sun and Moon.
My reason for creating Pachamama Retreat is because I believe in the importance of living in the moment. As a cancer survivor I know how vital this is, because the only thing we can influence is the present.
As a reward to myself for beating cancer and to learn more about life, I trekked the entire South American Andean Mountain Range. Along the way, I experienced different indigenous cultures and came to the realisation that life can be simple, and that living in a tent provides a simple, yet comfortable, place that brings us closer to authentic living than do conventional rooms.
I learnt a number of valuable lessons on my journey. By carrying the basics, such as food, a tent, and clothes on my back, I learnt a lot about living a simple, yet fulfilling life. Meeting and engaging with indigenous people and reaching beautiful landscapes, also taught me the importance of ‘living in the present’. We do not have any control over the past or the future. Living in the present is the only thing we can influence. Being a cancer survivor, I know how important it is to be in the present, because tomorrow we do not know if we will be on this wonderful planet. People in the developed world seem to spend a lot of time planning for the future, but sometimes forget about living in the ‘now’. Travelling through developing countries has shown me that the thing most people focus on is today - for example, finding food and shelter and engaging with and caring for their loved ones.
After this trip, I was inspired to find land with mountains and sea (this type of landscape really touches my soul). I believe that nature is the best healer…and, for me, a combination of water and mountains is the best medicine! I wanted to create a magical place for people to come and relax, to connect with nature and themselves, to learn about a sustainable and self-sufficient way of living, and to take time to live in the moment and to create a safe space for healing, if that is what they need.
I drew a picture of this place. It had mountains, which were identical to the Hazards Mountains in Freycinet National Park, and the sea/beach. After several years, I was very lucky to find a property at Dolphin Sands that came on the market and, as soon as I saw the mountains and sea, I immediately knew that the universe was sending me a signal that this was the right place to develop my vision (I purchased the property on the spot!). This vision was developed into what is now Pachamama Retreat - a place for people to connect with mother earth, with themselves and with other people; a place to enhance one’s well-being by enjoying the present in a stunning 15 kilometres beach setting, surrounded by mountains, sea, lagoon, flora and fauna, and positive people...everything that you need for happiness! It is for that reason and following the Inka's four principles of WATER, EARTH, MOON and SUN, that I built a traditional water-well (WATER), grew a vegetable garden and planted fruit trees (EARTH), and positioned the tents to face the rising SUN and the setting MOON.
I envisage that guests (or Pachamama Family) will come and pick some fruit and vegetables, fetch water from the well, and perhaps jump in a kayak and catch some fish. I would love to encourage guests to live off the land, at least for a few days...and perhaps some people will become inspired enough to take away that concept as a way of living permanently!
I have found that those who stay at Pachamama Retreat become more focussed on the simple, but important, aspects of life. I believe Pachamama Retreat provides a space for people to get more in touch with their mind, body and soul, to connect with others, and with mother-earth.
Finally, I am writing a book called ‘Step by Step’ that talks about the lessons I learnt as a cancer survivor, as well as the way indigenous people live in the mountains. Pachamama Retreat brings some of these lessons to life. This book would be published as a way to raise funds for Australia cancer charities.