Climate Education Through Art + Travel with Jorge Perez and Andres Molestina

Two pioneers from the Tomorrow’s Air collective - Jorge Perez, founder of Tierra del Volcan in Ecuador, and Andres Molestina, a photographer creating a historic record of the seven tropical glaciers remaining in Ecuador - recently shared how they’re using their work in travel and the arts to help spread the word on carbon removal. 

Photographer Andres Molestina uses both still images and video to awaken in people a sense of connection to the earth through his work, documenting tropical glacial retreat in Ecuador. He uses his images to educate people as about urgency of the problem while also conveying an essential optimism about the effort. Based on his own experiences in the mountains, he aims now for art that reaches beyond documentation to motivation.

“In the mountains I have made a connection to our lost roots; humans were nomads 1000s of years ago, and I believe I have some of that still within me.” As Andres observes, more people can understand and experience through creative media the many generations of history we have on our earth. As people become more aware of their true connection to the natural world, their commitment to supporting it find greater expression - through activism, purchasing and voting behaviors. 

Picking up the thread of an emotional awakening that leads to climate action, Jorge acknowledges that we are moving now into a stage with travel experiences in which service providers are going beyond simply setting the stage for unique experiences, to intentionally supporting and guiding guests on transformational experiences. While Tierra del Volcan supports reforestation practices, projects to improve the quality of education in the area along with reducing its use of plastic with a goal of becoming a plastic zero company, Jorge likewise agreed with Andres that the root cause of our current climate crisis is a lack felt connection between people and their environment. 

Along with joining Tomorrow’s Air as a benefits provider, and sharing carbon removal education with his guests, his team has also developed a new itinerary to help guests experience the history of humankind. As Jorge describes, the entire experience is designed to connect our human experience with the history of the Earth. Over the course of the trip which unfolds in three ‘acts’, guests’ understanding of the interconnectedness of human existence and the natural world is strengthened. 

  • Act 1: Begin in the Amazon Basin to understand our origins, sharing with hunter gatherers of the Amazon basin and reflecting on our traditions and behaviors
  • Act 2: Travel to the Galapagos to understand evolution 
  • Act 3: Conclude in the Andes to dream our future, speculating about where we want to be in the future and how we see our relationship with Pachamama

Jorge says, “What is at the root cause of the problems with our planet? From my perspective, we are living a human crisis, we have disconnected ourselves from nature. We are more urban society, people who live in cities have never been in the wild, have never connected. You don’t miss what you don’t know. You don’t love what you don’t know… Tierra del Volcan is striving to offer experiences that allow you to connect to yourself to your environment to your family.’ 

You can view their recorded presentation from Tomorrow’s Air Convene event here.

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