Meet the Wa Samaki Family!
Erle: Permaculture Guru
Erle started Wa Samaki Ecosystems in 1997 and is part of the core team sharing knowledge with interns over the 12 week period. He is also the co instructor for the ongoing Permaculture Design Courses.
He grew up in Kenya, obtained his BSc in Biochemistry and MSc in Zoology at the University of Guelph, Canada and has made Wa Samaki his home for the last 21 years. He has taught Permaculture Design across the Caribbean since 2007 and currently consults on projects though his company Caribbean Permaculture Consultants.
He was the implementation consultant at Walkers Quarry in Barbados (www.walkersreserve.com). He is also a director of the Caribbean Permaculture Research Institute (Barbados) ().
Erle brings a wealth of practical experience to tropical projects seeking to become regenerative. He is also a crazy barefoot runner and you can look forward to exploring the roads around the farm with him on any evening.
Suzette: Lead Coordinator
Suzette brings balance to the force! Having someone with a level head when the 3 core members run amok with their projects is a critical component to keeping Wa Samaki operating smoothly. Suz has been a key support person throughout most of the workshops that have been run at Wa Samaki over the last decade!
A teens yoga instructor, she brings a special level of patience that is sometimes critical to our success. As the Earth building ‘instructor in training’, she had taken natural building workshops in japanese plastering, cob and clay, bamboo and roundwood construction and has converted a large proportion of her urban garden into productive and beautiful edible landscape.
As lead coordinator, she will be the person that helps get you here, helps get what you need for your projects and helps keep you running no matter what the universe challenges you with.
Her passion to see chickens finally running around Wa Samaki and to have us self sufficient in eggs will bring forward many a project for anyone interning to take up as a challenge!
Celine: Master Plasterer
Artist, Mixologist, Nomad Tattooist, Clay and Weaving Enthusiast , Natural Structure Builder, Off-Grid Pioneer, Citizen of the Republic.
Native to the Southlands of Trinidad, in 2012,Celine placed first across the Caribbean for CAPE in Visual Arts. She continues push the boundaries in her explorations of weaving, ceramics, bushcrafting, earth cooking and regenerative, sustainable art at Wa Samaki.
In her down time, Celine loves drawing botanical illustrations, designing tiny homes, tattooing friends, discovering new and exciting ways to work with clay and natural fibres, making tea, drinking tea and contemplating completing her BA in Visual Arts.
Celine was first introduced to the Wa Samaki community in 2015 through a dear friend. She volunteered with the El Socorro Wildlife Center (formerly located on the Wa Samaki compound) and after many years found her way back to the farm through divine enlightenment.
Celine is excited and committed to working with individuals who are enthusiastic about living sustainably. She is passionate about designing, creating and learning from what the earth and Wa Samaki provide, whether it be through permaculture or regenerative and sustainable forms of visual art and design.
Ben: Resident Craftsman
Building bee boxes, making a bamboo splitter more efficient, fixing a chainsaw or welding a handle onto a shovel, critical things are always needed on a farm. Our craftsman quietly gets a lot done! Ben Taylor was born and raised in Trinidad, loving nature from an early age. Ben grew up exploring the countryside and spending time on the ocean diving and fishing. He has always aspired to live a self sufficient life in the bush. After working at sea as a boat captain for five years, Ben decided to leave the field and began working for himself as a beekeeper, self taught woodworker and craftsman of all sorts. Ben did his PDC here in 2011 and since then has been volunteering and helping out on different projects. He now has his workshop at Wa Samaki. His passion to create tiny sustainable houses across our site will probably change the way a new generation views building in Trinidad!
Maleah: Farm-to-table Chef
Maleah Rahaman-Noronha embodies, in all her facets, what it means to be passionate about one’s craft. Through her training as a professional chef at the The International Culinary Center, a stint at Dan Barber’s Farm to Table Blue Hill at Stone barn and an internship at Dirt Candy in New York, coupled with a life-long love of wholesome, sustainably-sourced produce, Maleah’s approach to cooking is interwoven with her approach to community.
Maleah believes in the transformative, unifying power of eating and recognizes the ways in which we, as consumers, must make our choices according to what is best for our bodies and the planet we call home. Maleah is a successful young owner of a thriving local business (Loud Lollies Limited), a fresh fruit popsicle business which has been in operation since 2017 and is known and supported nationwide.
Being guided by upbringing on Wa Samaki, Maleah makes an effort to know the farmers from whom she sources her raw materials. By insisting on this, she ensures the high quality of her products and honours the hard work of the people responsible for this quality.
As the daughter of the ‘permaculture guru’, Erle Rahaman-Noronha, Maleah has been living the permaculture vision perhaps since birth. She was certified in permaculture design in 2016 and since then has been increasingly committed to producing her own food in a sustainable way that optimizes the resources available to her. With a mindset of inclusivity and compassion coupled with a genuine pursuit of joyful productivity, Chef Maleah looks forward to cooking for and working with all the interns in the garden, the classroom and in the kitchen.
Three generations on one farm! Avo does everything...:-) Avo is the grandmother that will adopt everyone. You will find her creating great meals in the kitchen, pulling weeds in the garden and spoiling all the 8 dogs, 6 cats and 3 donkeys on the farm.
Born and raised in Goa, India, lived in Kenya for most of her life and now in Trinidad, she brings a wealth of knowledge of tropical plants and foods she grew up with around the world. Her passion is her garden and she is in charge of the nursery and the plant production.
She doesn't stop and when you are around her, you probably wont either….