On Feeling a Place - Q+A with Amalia Miralrio, Host of #Healing4Healers 2019

Our Healing for Healers retreat in Jardin, Colombia will be a first for us, theme wise. We’ve done countless tours in Cartagena and had a blast collaborating with Travel Latina in Salento last April for our Conexion Latinx meetup, where we met Amalia, who’ll be our facilitator for the workshop this summer. This kind of experience feels closest to the types of collaborations we hope to grow into over the next couple of years - those that allow us to partner with entities, organizations, and outfits around a theme or concentrated effort, that let us get to know each individual in the cohort in addition to collaborating with the very people on the ground who make such a trip to Colombia possible by supporting their local businesses, local tourism, and engaging our two groups via activities, conversation, and reflection.

Amalia in Salento, Colombia, 2018

Amalia in Salento, Colombia, 2018

When we met Amalia in Salento last spring, we felt her humanity and empathy, intelligence and spark right away. Her ability to engage with cohort members from the first minute of the workshop was apparent. She really listened, really leaned in, cared, and offered constructive and attainable feedback to everyone she partnered up with throughout the week. It was no surprise to learn she was a therapist/social worker…as were several other women on that same trip.

In the months following #ConexionLatinx, we stayed in touch and began working on an idea that had sprouted from those fruitful conversations in lush coffee country. Finally, the framework for #HealingForHealers was born. This would be a week-long workshop catered to those in a giving profession who need time for themselves, put simply.

We’re honored that Amalia, who is in the midst of her professional certification, becoming a new aunt, moving, full-time work - LIFE, ET. AL - will be leading this lucky cohort through several days of therapeutic activities in #Jardin. Learn more about the details of the workshop on the Healing4Healers landing page.

Below, we’re sharing a few thoughts about this workshop from La Señorita herself. Enjoy.

Scarlet Macaw Trips: When you arrived in Colombia's coffee country for the first time, was there anything about it that immediately hit you, or registered with you?

Amalia Miralrio: Everything smelled amazing! That was my first thought. I had met up with another workshop participant on a layover and our flight together was delayed a few hours, meaning we didn't get to our hostel that night until around 2 AM after both having full days of travel. Despite the fatigue, I knew I was in the right place when I smelled that fresh air and was already enjoying our conversation about spirituality and identity! The intense sensory experience of the land guided our conversations from start to finish, from directly using nature as a metaphor during our workshops to unlocking deeper thoughts while hiking and chatting.

Jardin, Colombia

Jardin, Colombia

SMT: Why do you think five days with a group of healers will be mutually beneficial for those who decide to participate?

AM: This is a chance to meet people with similar passions and values in a relaxed, restorative setting.  It's an opportunity to connect with yourself, peers, and beautiful landscapes. Sometimes healing can become overly intellectualized and we need to physically get away from our daily lives to reconnect with the heart of the work. 

SMT: How did you come to this idea for the H4H workshop?

AM: The idea for this workshop came about organically during the Travel Latina x Scarlet Macaw Trips Experience last year in Salento. That trip was so inspiring and healing and about half of us were therapists just by chance! Sahara and I started talking about curating an experience for healers on the spot. One of the most important parts for me was that the trip be as economically accessible as possible. I know that even this trip is an economic privilege, but I was sick of seeing retreats for therapists priced at thousands of dollars.  Self-care, rejuvenation, and connection should not be so inaccessible. In addition to choosing Colombia for its beauty, I also love to support local businesses in Latin America and know that SMT and I share that value.  

SMT: What are you most looking forward to with regard to the workshop?

AM: I'm excited to make new connections and to visit Jardin! I trust Sahara completely, but I have never been to Jardin! The photos are gorgeous and I know just being there will help me feel a sense of peace, which is the perfect way to be when meeting new people!

SMT: For those on the fence about coming, what's one thing you'd like to tell them?

AM: First and foremost, to trust your intuition. I remember trying to talk myself out of going on the Travel Latina experience last year, but I just couldn't drop it. I knew in my gut I needed to go! Secondly, that this experienced is designed to be flexible and take on the flavor its participants most need. The workshops are designed to meet the needs of the group depending on how much people want to share or how intimate the group becomes. We have a structured schedule, but we intentionally left good amounts of time for travelers to wander, connect in smaller groups, or have alone time. 

Jardin, Colombia

Jardin, Colombia