Nā Kelamoku: Mālama Honua in Miami
The Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Nā Kelamoku visit Miami to share and learn about mālama honua.
Over 30,000 nautical miles, 100s of ports, and many invaluable experiences and exchanges into the Worldwide Voyage, Hōkūleʻa has made a mark on communities across our island Earth, but perhaps some of the greatest impacts are being made back home in Hawaiʻi with various programs such as Nā Kelamoku — the Polynesian Voyaging Societyʻs Youth Leadership Initiative.
Hōkūleʻa crew member Hyejung Kim plays an active role in leading the group. Kim explained, “Nā Kelamoku is a group of youth from all of Hawaiʻi and they come together with a purpose of a common goal of mālama honua and to learn about sailing and to be in the ocean and to do everything that helps us take care of the ocean. Activities range from hikes to planting trees and so it all kind of comes together when we are trying to see what other communities are doing and then learn and share what they have to offer.”
On a recent trip to Miami, Florida, Nā Kelamoku students looked to share and learn more about what various school groups there were doing to mālama honua and one of those schools was Jose Marti MAST academy.
Andrew Kearns is a teacher and sponsor of the school’s Green Club. He said of the club, “Well our green club program here at Jose Marti Mast is designed to make our students stewards of their environment and to make them make our world a better place, essentially to mālama honua.”
Exploring the similarities between Hawai’i and Miami and the potential for these groups of students to connect with each other Kim said, “I think there is a lot of commonalities between Miami and Hawaiʻi in the sense that we are very close to the ocean and so the impacts of everything in the ocean –we see it happening so quickly to us. So when it comes to having a common goal and taking care of our earth they can share a lot and they can bounce ideas off of each other to learn.”
Nā Kelamoku student Brandon Caliwag participated in the trip and explained what he hoped would come about of the experience from the students they interacted with, “I want them to see us as fellow students and by us sharing about what we are doing in the community maybe it will inspire them.”
In reflecting on Nā Kelamoku’s visit to their school, Kearns said, “Our students here at Jose Marti Mast learned that they are not just spectators to their environment, but that they are participants, that they can actually make a difference in the world around them. Having the Nā Kelamoku folks here today was exceptionally powerful for our students to see youth being empowered to take care of the earth.”
Continue to follow Hōkūleʻa as she closes her four year, 60,000 nautical mile voyage by finding and celebrating stories of Mālama Honua from the far corners of the world.
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