Do you want to live in a better world?
What are we doing to make this dream a reality?
Kula Collective's vision of a global awakening of spiritual consciousness means we are dedicated to making sure our services benefit the communities that need them the most. We strive to be inclusive and open in everything we do. As we create abundance, we share abundance, along with the tools we have used to envision and plan for it amongst ourselves.
Holding this intention, we are committed to living our vision and ensuring that our offerings will be healing and regenerative for our students and the communities that host us alike.
In order to do this, our Kula Karma program encompasses three distinct elements listed below. These activities aim to address the most deeply-rooted challenges in today's society through the facilitation of authentic personal discovery, combined with the conscious development of interpersonal relationships and intercultural respect. We are all in this together.
1. Karma Network and Partner Organizations
Each year, the Kula chooses a like-minded organization to support at one of our teacher training sites around the world. Kula provides financial and strategic support to our Kula Partner Organizations (KPOs) to help maximize our collective's global impact.
2018 Partner Organization:
San Marcos Birth Center, Guatemala
San Marcos is a small Mayan village of around 3,000 people with one small Health Center. The closest public hospital is about 2 hours via boat and bus. The San Marcos Birth Project wants to develop, honor and empower traditional midwifery through creating a respectful and safe environment with the goal of improving maternal child health outcome. The center created new birthing rooms in the local health center where indigenous women can give birth together with their midwife. With respect for their body and culture. The center organizes trainings and activities with the traditional midwives to give them a voice and let them be heard.
Past Partnership Programs:
2017: Konojel Community Center, Guatemala
Konojel's mission is "to reduce chronic malnutrition and endemic poverty in rural Guatemala by providing programs through which at-risk individuals can raise their standard of living."
In 2017, Konojel opened a new restaurant in town to both create a social enterprise to fund their nonprofit activities as well as provide jobs for 7 women in the community. Konojel's need was a social enterprise director, and Kula happily provided the seed money to hire and begin their new social enterprise program. After three months, Director Ingrid Paredes helped create a sustainable and regenerative program that continues to fund itself as well as other Konojel community programs!
2016: Gandoca Community Center, Costa Rica
Gandoca is a small Caribbean village on the Costa Rica's southeastern coast. The village's beach is a Protected Area and National Wildlife Refuge for it's rare Loggerhead Sea Turtle mating areas. The local village has been able to take advantage of some tourism, but much of the industry is undeveloped and does little to help the local economy.
In 2016, Zachary, Kula's Karma Director, offered a full month of strategic planning and organizing with a diverse group of community members and leaders. Kula also donated funds to Gandoca to be used how the community chose to increase their tourism. Gandoca chose to invest in infrastructure: new signage for the town as well as increased promotion to attract foreign volunteers and environmental tourism to the area.
2. Kula Karma Days
With local partner organizations, our Karma Days offer students of Kula’s Yoga Teacher Trainings an opportunity to interact and give back to the local community where their training takes place. Through these experiences, our participants engage with people from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds by working side by side with locals in our host locations. Through these experiences our participants are encouraged to seek creative ways to share their gifts across traditional divides, and our local hosts benefit from the radiant energy of our community.
- Organized a day for Balinese Elderly Community Group to offer games, food, and of course some yoga!
- Led a health & nutrition workshop for young children and families
- Supported a SEEED in building a new food garden. SEEED is a local green community development non-profit focusing on creating and sustaining jobs for Knoxville’s urban young people, as well as ensuring clean energy technologies are available for low income residents.
- Painted, cleaned, built, and gardened for the Konojel Community Center
- Planted Tul: a plant to help clean and maintain the biodiversity of Lake Atitlan
- Picked up trash in the town and made Eco-Bricks
- Cleaned up and provided new gardening to a local women's cooperative storefront
- Participated in community events with our supported partners
- Beach clean up of tons of trash washed up from the ocean
- Cleaned and refurbished above ground tomb stones alongside community members in the local cemetery
3. Kula Karma Grants
Nominated by our partner organizations, Kula Karma offers scholarship opportunities to give local residents the opportunity to participate in our Yoga Teacher Trainings. Upon graduation, the grantee is asked to share their learnings with others in their community. These spots are funded by a mix of Kula free tuition, crowd-funding, and negotiated discounts with the sites.
If you would like to assist Kula in achieving its vision, please contact the Director of Kula Karma, Zach Towne-Smith (email@example.com).