The resort has been part of the Hawai‘i Island community for 20 years and celebrates this milestone by continuing to share the stories and traditions, which makes this a great place to be a part of. The foundation of ‘ohana, kōkua and aloha is evident in the people here. A recognized individual is Uncle Earl Regidor, Ka‘ūpūlehu Cultural Center Manager. He has been a part of the resort for 20 years.
We asked him a few questions that we would like to share with you in our Blog Spotlight:
Violet: What makes Hualālai special?
Uncle Earl: Hualālai, when I first came to this place, I had a spiritual feeling, welcoming feeling, which allowed me to welcome those that set foot on the property with genuine aloha. Moving forward this place was cared for by our kupuna. They had respect for the land and everything on it. They valued the resources that were provided from the land. This is the sense of place that we as kama`āina live by.
Violet: How have those traditions from our ancestors helped you in what you do here?
Uncle Earl: It helps me to continue sharing what was shared with me because I feel that they wanted me to continue their legacy of how life was like when they were here. Using that as a foundation, I’m able to share their mana‘o (thoughts) with our residents and employees.
Violet: What kept you here for 20 years?
Uncle Earl: There are so many things, so for me to be specific with one thing is a challenge.
Violet: Try and name one thing?
Uncle Earl: If there was just one specific thing it would be working with people who have passion in what they do. They make it easy for me to share all that I do such as chant an oli or a sing a song, talk story, taking them to experience the many historical sights on property or on island, and the list goes on. Allowing them to ask questions about who we are as “Hawaiians,” where we are and give them a better perspective of this place where the spirits of our ancestors still walk the land.
Violet: Any stories of “aloha” that you would like to share?
Uncle Earl: When we first opened, a family that visited the resort frequently had a child that visited the Cultural Center daily. She was there before we opened our doors at 10:00 a.m. and stayed with us through the day until we closed at 8:00 p.m., taking meal breaks only because she was reminded by her nanny. Before going on her meal break she always asked if she could come back again after her meal. It’s been 20 years and she is a grown woman and still comes back.
Violet: Why does she come back?
Uncle Earl: The only thing that I can think of, is she wants to see me and those that she made connections with and visit this beautiful place. That is an example of making a special connection to this place and also to the people here. When I ask any of our guests what brings them back, they always reply the “people first and then the feeling of ‘ohana.”