REMOTE Talks & Seeds Cuenca: healthy experiences for travelers, hosts and the planet

September 19, 2023


This year, REMOTE Immersion Cuenca is celebrating life, happiness, health and transformative travel. The theme “The Joy of Life: healthy experiences for travelers, hosts and the planet” will inspire our REMOTE Talks & Seeds series, reminding us of our mission to encourage travel that generates positive impacts for people and planet. Our dedicated speakers will inspire us with innovative, uplifting stories about overcoming obstacles, preserving roots, the pioneering spirit, self-care and healing the planet.

The setting for our enriching talks will be the iconic Teatro Sucre, one of the most stately buildings in Cuenca’s historic center. With the aim of encouraging the exchange of knowledge, learning and creativity at our event, we invited three remarkable keynote speakers and six skilled professionals from our REMOTE Community who will captivate our evenings with quick, provocative speeches.

TEATRO SUCRE | Photo: Andrés Abad


Meet our REMOTE Talks keynote speakers:

After testing positive for a genetic neurodegenerative disease six years ago, Dimitri Poffé (FRA) made a decision: he quit his job at an international bank in Paris, sold all his belongings and decided to live his life investing in experiences traveling the world. His last adventure was an 18,000-kilometer cycling trip from Mexico to Patagonia with one purpose: to raise awareness and funds for the Huntington disease community through his project “Explore for Huntington” and to help others with the same challenge.


The toquilla straw hat made by hand in Cuenca has became a unifying symbol in Ecuadorian identity. More than a unique local product, it is a source of national pride, also due to the collective, sustainable way it’s produced. Granddaughter of the luxury brand founder Homero Ortega, Gaby Molina analyzes how responsible tourism has reevaluated the artisan tradition and impacted the local economy and culture in a positive way.


The cacao producers in Ecuador have increased their production in the past 20 years, after the local chocolate was recognized as being some of the best in the world. In addition to helping promote the country’s flavors all over the world, their success became an example on how food production can be more sustainable and ethical, while also creating opportunities for gastronomic tourism, as Pacari founder Santiago Peralta will tell us.


Meet our REMOTE Seeds speakers:


The travel industry is responsible for 10% of all carbon emissions, while the construction industry and building operations are responsible for close to 45%. How can design and architecture in the hospitality niche convert this reality into a positive effect? Architect and hôtelière Veronica Reed (ECU) will talk about a few locations in Latin America where sustainable design for people and places has maintained harmony in the ecosystems where we travel.

All success starts with a good story. In a world bombarded with content, EcoCamp Content Creator Timothy Dhalleine (FRA) has learned to make a difference through authentic, emotional storytelling. An award-winning photographer and filmmaker, he has spent the last 10 years looking for the most unique lighting, wildlife encounters and stories in Latin America that define the essence of adventure for more responsible, sustainable tourism.


The Amazon is one of the least known natural areas in the world, yet everyone talks about the importance of its preservation. But how can we protect a place if we’ve never been there? Kaiara Amazonia owner Martin Frankenberg (BRA) created the Movimento reFloresta to take young people of all social classes to forge a visceral connection with the region and with local youths — and to form a new generation of activists with knowledge and love of the Amazon.


Sustainable, regenerative, responsible tourism. It doesn’t matter which trendy word the travel industry is using on any given day, the challenge remains the same: we have to grow our businesses while keeping a watchful eye on protecting the environment and developing the host communities. Montemar Eco Luxury Villas owner and ecologist Reyna Oleas tries to walk the talk in the threatened Galapagos islands and suggests that we rethink our intentions and take an “ecosystemic” road.


Predictability on trips is something clients expect. They are essential, especially in terms of safety and customer care. But, for local specialist Douglas Simões, a tourism expert from Pure Brasil, authentic travels can be more fun when they are open to unpredictable experiences. “Are unforeseen events on the road really a problem?” he asks. “Or should we look at them as an asset, letting them happen as part of the trip?”


There is a revolution in psychedelic healing taking place around the world and Peru has become a hot spot for plant medicine tourism. Ayahuasca ritual centers open and close suddenly and not everyone is serving forest medicine for the right reasons. After three decades of leading wellness experiences, Willka T’ika CEO Terry Cumes (USA) tells us how to put safety and respect for indigenous traditions first when dealing with the demands of spiritual tourists.


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