At the end of his book “Things a Little Bird Told Me,” Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone made a profound comment about wealth. He said money amplifies who you are as a person. I think about that from time to time when I see/hear about extraordinary displays of wealth. There are those who use it to buy incredible private jets and boats and then there are others who find different uses for their money that amplify who they are in ways that can be very inspiring. Mashpi Lodge is one such fascinating project.
Roque Sevilla, a successful businessman and the former Mayor of Quito (Ecuador), decided to buy 130 hectares of “cloud forest.” Cloud forests are fast disappearing thanks to deforestation. And, Roque purchased this forest from a logging company for less than $400,000. To put that into perspective, that is half the median price of a home in many major cities.
A picture of the Mashpi Reserve with Mashpi Lodge in the center. Source and thanks: National Geographic
In the 17 years since he purchased it, the resident Biologist has discovered multiple animal species – various amphibians, monkeys and even Puma – that had been lost to the world for decades.
He also demolished the logging mill and replaced it with an incredible 100% sustainable hotel called “Mashpi Lodge.” His goal was to share this special experience with others and, perhaps, inspire them.
I haven’t been there myself but was so glad to stumble upon an episode of Mashpi Lodge on “Amazing Hotels” on Netflix. If you are interested in learning more, there’s a 6 minute video of Roque describing the Mashpi project.
It is a very inspiring story. I’m hopeful many others follow his lead.