What It Means To Give Back, Hawaiian Style.
There’s something about Maui that stays with you long after you leave the majestic island. Perhaps it’s the warm, floral-and-fruit-scented air that declares you’ve arrived in paradise the minute you step off of the plane. Or maybe it’s the crystalline azure water, breathtaking marine life, vast golden beaches, or unforgettable sunsets. These natural resources, this beauty has long been protected by the Hawaiian value known as kuleana.
Kuleana (Koo-LEH-ah-na) loosely translates to a right, privilege, or responsibility.
Kuleana is the recognition that we do not live in this world alone. It embodies an individual’s motivation to care for the world around us…for ‘ohana (family), ‘āina (land), kai (water). It is the constant and encouraging reminder that our responsibilities and obligations to those around us and the natural world, afford us the privilege of enjoying others’ company and the world’s beauty. It is an honor to experience and enjoy these gifts, and with that comes the responsibility to care for them to share with others, both today and tomorrow.
The belief and practice of kuleana is rooted in the cultural concept that the Hawaiian Islands were products of heavenly unions between Wākea (sky father) and Papahānaumoku (earth mother) and Hoʻohōkūkalani (creator of the stars). Hawaiian people were believed to have descended from these unions along with their staple food kalo (taro). This creation story makes stewardship of the land very personal.
Hawaiians have long-spoken proverbs describing the importance of protecting Hawaiʻi and welcoming visitors. “O ke aloha ke kuleana o kāhi malihini,” is translated to “Love is the host in strange lands”. It was a unspoken way of life that every passerby would be treated to food, water, and respite whether they were a friend or total stranger and that aloha would be reciprocal “Ho‘okahi nō lā o ka malihini,” means “A guest for only a day.” This speaks to the idea that once you arrive, you are family, and once you are family, you inherit the same kuleana to the islands as those who have lived here for generations.
Fairmont Kea Lani’s Kuleana Commitment
Here at Fairmont Kea Lani, our philosophy follows the wisdom of the island’s indigenous people. It’s our privilege to care for everyone (mālama in Hawaiian), from our guests and community, to this glorious island we are fortunate enough to call home. So much so, in fact, that since our 1991 opening, we’ve quietly been at the forefront of business with myriad programs set in place to conserve Maui’s natural resources and the well-being of its community.
We and all of our heartists (colleagues) live by what we proudly call our Kuleana Commitment: to preserve the natural beauty of Hawai’i, to educate and perpetuate our rich culture, and to care for the nā kamaliʻi (children) and kūpuna (elders) of Maui.
If you’ve been a guest at our 22-acre oceanfront property, you’ve experienced, contributed to, and benefitted from these efforts, maybe even without realizing it.