Hawaii | Fall 2023


Aloha Aina - Exploring O'ahu

October 22 – 29, 2023


Aloha aina, love of land. Love of life. This ancient Hawaiian concept has inspired social movements for land, sovereignty and peace, and emphasized ecological and cultural responsibility. This is the way in which Hawaiians experience the world. This huaka`i, or “travel with an informed purpose,” is a journey to understand the Hawaiian nation before it was colonized and militarized by the US and became the 50th State. Lauded as the “paradise of the Pacific”, Hawaii’s beauty enchants foreigners and locals alike.

But beyond its beaches, Hawaii also has a vibrant food movement—from pro-surfers advocating GMO labeling to a recent victory in Maui, which passed a moratorium on genetically modified crops. This one-of-a-kind tour focuses on the stunning tropical island of O’ahu and explores, among other things, its movement for food sovereignty in the face of a globalized, corporate food system. US occupation, industrial agriculture, conventional tourism, and militarization have exacerbated conflicts over resources, land and energy and undermined local culture, health and food systems. In the face of these challenges, however, there is incredible resilience and innovation.

Hawaiians are increasingly turning to local food and native food traditions, ecologically-based farming systems, and a re-valuing of traditional ways. Kīpaepae is a ceremony involving the stepping-stones for entering a house, and through this definition, travelers are recognized for reaching the lands sustained for thousands of years by native Hawaiian ancestors–from modern day contemporary times.

Through meaningful exchanges you will learn about cultural and ecological resilience, the status of the current Hawaiian sovereignty movement, and the inspirational successes of community organizing from Makua to Makai–while enjoying the beauty and the aloha that the islands are known for. O’ahu welcomes you.


  • Learn about the Hawaiian indigenous worldview, their love of land and life
  • Meet with local peace activists, farmers and entrepreneurs
  • Explore the reasons behind Hawaii's vibrant food movement and fights against climate change
  • Learn about the islands' food scarcity and their striving for a self-sustaining closed loop food system
  • Get a glimpse into how native Hawaiians navigate the heavens and the stars at sea
  • Understand how old Hawaiian traditions and ceremonies are still present in everyday O’ahu life
  • Learn about cultural and ecological resilience and the status of current the Hawaiian sovereignty movement
  • Explore Hawaiian history, cultural values & architecture
  • Understand Hawaiian cultural values and our own cultural biases
  • Immerse ourselves in the local O'ahu culture, meet the locals and have a lot of fun!
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