Equilibrio is balance. Work and play, energy and rest, independence and teamwork, industry and community. As a participatory event, Equilibrio asks each attendee to consider a contribution, which begs the question, what do we each bring to the table?

The result is an empowering forum for creators and healers to interact and share their skills. Performance, medicine, and rituals of incredible variety – acupuncture, acroyoga, workshops, talks, surfing, dance parties, anything we can do to connect to each other and to ourselves. Each individual brings their own unique flavor, a magical medley.

But as powerful as the relationships formed between the participants of the event, are the interactions between the participants and the local community that surrounds the property.

El Cuco is a small fishing village on the Pacific Coast of El Salvador. Its a popular stop for backpacking surfers, but being so far off the beaten path has thus far protected it from being overrun or overdeveloped. Just a few small, raw beach hostels dot the coast, separated by old coconut plantations and unoccupied vacation homes.

La Tortuga Verde is a hotel/resort that doubles as a sea turtle sanctuary. The owner, Tom, has spent several years buying turtle eggs back from local poachers to be re-buried safely on the beaches, thus completely changing the local turtle egg poaching industry and saving tens of thousands of future majestic sea giants.

The hotel also brings much needed jobs into the area. Tour guides, drivers, hotel staff, groundskeepers. The Equilibrio team, Steffi, Mary, Samuel, and Dallas, collaborate with local builders, seamstresses, and musicians to complete projects locally, with local materials and local sounds. The Equilibrio flag was sewn on site from a graphic designed by the event’s producers. The circular effigy was constructed from wood, bamboo and palm gathered from around the property. The entirety of the Cosmix bar, tea house, and trading post area was furnished with materials that were found within a hundred yards of the site – plus a little fabric. Many festival guests also attended the weekly local circus at the fish shack up the beach. Belly dancing, lip syncing, and slapstick comedy conveyed the humor of the vibrant local culture.

So as we all gather to talk about the social climate of the world, what our place is here, and how we can encourage healing for each other and for the earth, we know that we have the support of our El Salvadoran hosts. Thousands of miles from home, we aren’t outsiders, or gentrifiers. We are collaborators. We are guests.

Infinite gratitude and admiration for the Equilibrio producers: Desdemona Dallas, Mary Frisbee, Steffi Min, and Samuel Sutcliffe. You have created something inspirational.

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