The moment my feet dug into the Ecuadorian soil for the first time, I immediately became overwhelmed by a paradigm shift inside of me. My husband and I had just found ourselves in the heart of the Andes mountains on our annual trip to slow down and reconnect. We soon came to the realization that we weren’t just traveling on vacation. Little did we know, this trip would be the inspiration that would lead us to the next phase in our life; a bold move to Ecuador and the creation of Pearth.
Growing up in the fast-paced life of South Florida, I was always busy doing something. Between parenting and working, the stress was always on. My children's academics, weekend sports, PTA meetings, promotions, business meetings, family events, neighborhood gatherings; there was never a moment to stop and breathe. I had been a self-advocate of inner peace since I was a young girl, and it felt like I was experiencing anything but that while the stress and demand of our lives consumed me. Trying to be a hundred percent at home and a hundred percent at work was impossible. I felt like everything I did was just "not enough". As busy and as involved as I was, I knew I was missing the best years of my life and my children's lives because I was never really present.
My husband and I decided to take a trip somewhere where we could really check out and just enjoy ourselves for a few days. Some place different. The city that came up time and time again in our research was Cuenca, Ecuador. We decided to book our trip just to slow down and put things back into perspective.
Our first night in Cuenca was beautiful. The protective energy of the mountains swept over us as we wandered the “City of Four Rivers” in the basin of the Andes. The unexpected cool breeze from the mountains crept into our bones and prompted us to search for a cover up. We wondered around the city and watched in awe as the natives worked around us, dedicated to their craft yet seemingly at peace with their lives, "the simple life". Each person we encountered was fully engaged in conversation and present in each moment. That was something we longed for. There was an extraordinary sense of peace around us.
We stumbled into a small shop where we saw a vibrant display of alpaca blankets and met a family of local artisans. I threw one of the cozy blankets over my shoulders and immediately my body and heart began to warm. Serenity consumed me in that moment and I realized something magical was happening. We left the shop with our new cover up and continued to explore the city of Cuenca. Upon leaving to head back home, we knew there had to be a way to carry the peace and perspective back with us to share with others. The alpaca blanket that I carried home with me became a symbol of the life and culture of the indigenous people of Ecuador.
Immediately following our return home, my husband and I decided that "enough is enough". We knew we needed a change - a big change. We also knew that there were so many others just like us that needed this direction. It was during the preparation of our big move, that we started Pearth (Peace on Earth) and I am proud to say that since that first trip to Ecuador we have made it our mission to pass the peace to as many as possible.
Through Pearth we are able to share our symbolic treasures with the United States and the world. Handmade by indigenous artisans, these goods are a critical component of the heritage and economic stability of their country. By enjoying these gifts, we are all able to preserve art, history, culture, and environment. We hope that through Pearth you are reminded each day that life's priorities are what you make them. We all need the inspiration to slow down and be present!
Wishing you peace,