Our stories are what make us highly capable professionals, compassionate nurturers, enthusiastic change-makers, healthy individuals, and conscious human beings.
Managing Director & AMARNA Consulting Coordinator
Since I was a little girl I dreamed of building a place where all people felt happy and living in harmony with nature. I was always very concerned with environmental issues and our impact in the future of the Planet. That’s why I became an Environmental Engineer.
During my 20’s I faced a severe traumatic event that led me to a big depression. Unwilling to become dependent on antidepressants, I handled it myself by focusing on my “survival mode” and finding comfort on my “best friend”: NATURE. This relationship with nature was always what enabled my transformation and regeneration in all my challenging times.
In my 30’s, and after years of living what many considered the “perfect life”, I found myself unsatisfied with where my life was heading. I was not creating the impact in the world that I'd dreamed when I was a child. The leap of faith that I took to leave all my life behind led me to India, and from there I started my journey of self-discovery
It was a mind-blowing experience. I connected all the dots with what I knew since I was a child: the interaction between nature and people, and vice-versa. That all is interconnected. That we are indeed all ONE.
This made me realize that our Western perspective of life, health, people, nature, … was very incomplete and that all our “system” perspective has to evolve in order to become “a whole life system”. With this realisation, I made the promise I would contribute to this evolution. That’s why I'm here!
AMARNA Village Sustainable Architecture Coordinator
I have revealed an aptitude for arts and crafts from a very young age and my preference for painting and drawing made it harder for me to fit into the schooling system.
My grandfather worked in construction and my grandmother was a dressmaker, my father was an electrician, and my mother liked the interior designer. I grew up watching each of their gifts, some detail-oriented and others are more practical.
Put them all together and they can fix an entire house, either taking care of infiltration or changing old curtains and fitting them into a new place. I loved going on holiday and allowed me to watch my family in action. Even I started having ideas and they were kind enough to make them come true. It started with easy remodelling until I was finally able to make old furniture look new, either with painting or an added ornament.
Choosing the Arts path was easy, I am just following all the artistic steps. I chose Architecture because it integrates: photography, sculpting, painting, design, sustainability, etc. I have learned that, through architecture, we can turn the ideas that come from our soul into reality.
I feel like I was born to work with real projects, using materials, thinking of locations and being aware of their impact on the planet. Our past work in architecture no longer makes sense as it has drained our planet of natural resources. Therefore, we have to innovate and think outside the box. Protecting our planet needs to be a priority.
Brand & Marketing Coordinator
Growing up, I always loved school and learning new things. My passion for technology started at a very young age when my father taught me how to use a computer! In school, I was the kid who loved every subject and could never choose a favourite one.
When the time came for me to choose a more specific path in school, I panicked. I loved math, I loved writing, and I had always been good at both. I eventually ended up choosing sciences and technologies. It was the wrong decision as I did not fit the teaching methods. I quit the next year and decided to choose something different when I discovered Marketing existed! I studied Marketing for the last 3 years of school and I graduated with amazing grades.
After finishing high school, I got an opportunity to go live in the United States, and so Philadelphia became home for 2 and a half years. I did so much during that time in the US! I went to a makeup school, worked at a restaurant, travelled all around the East Coast and even visited Canada!
I then decided it was time to come back to Portugal and try to get into college. I studied for the exams and I was admitted in the summer of 2018 at IPAM to study Marketing Management College has been such an incredible experience. I have been learning so much and I couldn't be happier with the path that I am in right now!
I am now transitioning from a more traditional marketing approach to a more conscious one: more authentic, responsible and unique. My main goal is to continue to learn and help more and more people through Marketing.
Estrella Luna Muñoz
AMARNA Academy Coordinator & Young People Mentor
My story is a network of stories. Stories composed by the people I met on this journey. Each of these people has been a seed, a seed that helps me flourish and live my own story.
I always remember being with many people: at school, in the family, on the street, in sports, ... The feeling of sharing and learning in groups has always been important in my life, that's why working as a team or in community-led me to transform the traditional way to alternative ways of doing Art and Education.
I decided to study Fine Arts in Mexico, where I found the meaning and joy of doing what I love. Along this path, I was part of the creation of the group TLC - Free Traffic of Knowledge, which aims to create new ways of learning through Art. We always intervene in diverse communities and environments, seeking a sense of Unity with and through Art.
My academic career led me to live in Spain, Honduras and Portugal where I developed a PhD in Education and Technology linked to the Audio-visual world with young people in vulnerable environments. Thus, since 2012, I have dedicated myself more and more to projects that involve people and are for people, especially for the most vulnerable young people or those with integration problems.
This is one of my main passions, working with young people, in their self-knowledge and empowerment. Help young people to follow the path they are passionate about and to be critical, resilient and respectful citizens so that together we can create a better world. This is the path I want to continue: share and build for a common good, made for everyone, by everyone.
Miriam Garduño Pacheco
The reason that brought me here began when I was a teenager. It was at this stage that I became aware of the situations that were happening around me and how the social, health, security and justice problems in my country affected us and ended up diminishing dreams, generally of younger people.
As a result of being able to observe how a problem can affect a whole, I chose psychology as a means to be able to understand my surroundings. I firmly believe that being able to understand the origin will allow us to work, intervene and help to build and rebuild. I chose to enter the world of young people with problems such as substance abuse, abandonment, violence, drug trafficking, and conflict with the law, etc. because these are the constants that permeate the development of young people. This world that we often observe as spectators but in reality, we are an active part of that reality, I learned to look at it with compassion and not just in a punitive way, because punishing does not help our young people in any way. Understanding and acting on what afflicts our young people, what cuts them off, what limits them to exploiting their creativity and energy will allow us to build healthy, resilient and empowered generations.
Working with young people is the fuel that gives meaning to my profession and purpose in life, firmly believing that we must act from an understanding of why we should act will make us perceive the dreams, desires and potential that young people have and how they can remind us that things are possible.
My story is still being written. I am living a chapter of my life where I need to make a lot of changes, and I am working on that.
I grew up in Mexico, I considered my life up until the point where I moved to Portugal to have been very "easy", in the way that I was living with my parents and studying. When I turned 24 years old, I moved to Lisbon, to study my master's degree.
My life since then has changed so much, I have lived through many challenges, many obstacles, and new beginnings which have led to where I am today. I do not regret any of them since they had made me a better person. I became a mom a year ago and my perspective of life changed 180 degrees. I am trying to make so many changes in my life to be more sustainable and raise my son to take care of and respect nature.
I have always loved trees. They are fascinating to me.
We lived on Forest Lane, with our home surrounded by big oak trees. The word ‘wood’ is even in my name. Fast forward to today, some 35+ years later, and I live in the centre of a national forest.
Trees are firmly rooted in the soil yet remain nimble and flexible to changing winds. Each ring of the trunk validates survival, growth, and the accumulation of wisdom.
Each branch represents an expansion in new directions, and physically bend towards the Light, absorbing the nutrients of the sun, as buds become leaves.
Growing leaves display their colourful beauty while signifying their vitality. Falling leaves represent the natural and healthy shedding of the past, making room for new growth-form.
Trees work together in union, creating a community, a forest. Saplings are protected by their grownups from damaging winds, rains, and overexposure from the sun. When a fallen tree decays, it provides needed nutrients to the surrounding trees… a clear example of what it means to be regenerative.
No tree is an island. The survival of one tree is reliant on another tree. As trees collaborate, forests regenerate and thrive.
When humans live like trees, life on Earth is peaceful, flowing, resourceful, and harmonious.
This vision of ‘humanity as the forest’ is what inspires my involvement with AMARNA Vida, co-creating a regenerative world.