TWO TRAVEL COMPANIES FUNDED BY START-UP CHILE HAVE PUSHED THE BOUNDARIES OF TRAVELING BY CREATING CULTURAL EXPLORATION TRIPS WITH UNIQUE EXPERIENCES, AND THEY WANT YOU TO BE A PART OF THEIR NEXT JOURNEY.
SANTIAGO — Many people love to travel, but can fancy hotels and tourist attractions give you the true experience of a new place? Two Chilean Startup companies, NuMundo and Evoluzion, think otherwise, so they decided to change the way people can travel.
I met with Bryan Arturo, the Pathfinder Director at NuMundo, to find out more about their organization.
“NuMundo connects travelers to transformational travel experiences. We provide a database of impact centers such as ecovillages, international communities, permaculture farms, social projects and retreat centers. It’s free to search for the kind of experience you’re looking for, contact them and plan a trip there.”
NuMundo has about 13 employees who are mostly working out of Chile because they got into the Start-Up Chile program. However, the team is what Arturo likes to call, “a team of nomads,” as they are all from different places and are usually always traveling.
The employees of NuMundo often have to communicate with one another online, but meet up in various areas for six-month periods to meet with investors or to work and live together. They are currently living in an ecological neighborhood outside of the hills of Reñaca (near the Valparaíso region of Chile).
In the past, NuMundo has organized the “Earth Odyssey” trip, a sustainability bus tour from California to Panama. It was a four-month trip with 23 sustainability leaders who traveled to different eco-villages and communities and built appropriate technology and set up regenerative business models with the locals.
For example, the Earth Odyssey team built a solar dehydrator in Guatemala for an indigenous Mayan center that supports the local community. Earth Odyssey taught these people how to dry their fruit, which gave them a new product to be able to sell to help maintain their community.
More recently, NuMundo has collaborated with Evoluzion, another startup in Chile that specializes in authentic travel experiences. The two companies created a trip which they’ve named, “The Ignite Experience;” a two-day cultural experience into the hearts of indigenous cultures in Chile.
The first Ignite Experience trip took place in Pisco Elqui, a Chilean village in the Coquimbo Region (where they make Pisco Sour)! The two companies invited startup entrepreneurs to meet the local NGO called Tierra y Valle. Over a weekend, they worked with the children of Tierre y Valle to empower them to lead a project in their community.
“It’s a really beautiful organization. We led a fun cultural exchange and guided the kids to identify their skills, or ‘superpowers’ as we called them,” commented Arturo.
Evoluzion and NuMundo are currently putting together their next Ignite Experience that will take place August 7-9 in Nueva Imperial, Southern Chile. Arturo says this one will be a little different from the last.
“We’re going to be igniting foreigners to gain a better cultural understanding of Chile.” The Ignite Experience invites foreign leaders to meet the Mapuche indigenous people and learn about their culture and traditions. “We basically just create space and time to have conversations and sit around the fire.”
“I think it’s going to be a really fulfilling travel experience for tourists who are looking for something different, who want to get off the beaten path and really understand and connect with the culture that is really important to the Earth. The indigenous people are the original caretakers of the Earth so it’s fulfilling to connect with them,” added Arturo.
The Ignite Experience is currently looking for travelers for their upcoming trip, so if this kind of adventure interests you, be sure to fill out an application here!