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How Villa Duendes was Born

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

Words from the author of this article, "I met Diego aka "Capi" several years back when Mar Amor was in its infancy. With every beach clean that we did I became more and more fascinated by his drive and genuine concern for our Mother Earth. I've been coming out to Villa Duendes, now known as Ekumal, for some time now. It wasn't until I began building this website that I heard the story about how this wonderful place came about. It's truly fascinating how life takes you on a path that you could have never have planned. This story about how Ekumal began and has evolved resonates with so many of us and we can relate to the many morals of the story. We've all passed through something, in some way, at some point in our lives. Let this be a reminder that when one door closes in your face, as harsh as it is, remember that another door will open and possibly be better than you could have ever expected."

This story begins with a dream, involves a stolen bicycle, and brings us to a magical place in the heart of the Mexican jungle.

Diego and friend on the ride of a lifetime.

We all have dreams, but only some of us are brave enough to follow them and bring them to fruition. What I've come to see is that Diego Zamora is one of those people that dreams big and does whatever it takes to bring it to life. He, at the age of 28, decided to ride a bicycle from Monterrey, located in the north of Mexico, to San Paulo, Brazil to attend the 2014 World Cup. This trip would take them about 2 1/2 months to complete. His mission wasn't just to prove he could make the journey, but to make the journey a mission. Along with a friend, they set out with a mission to connect indigenous communities and providing them with basic necessities. (You can read the caption below the video that is a more in depth explanation.)

After about 30 hours, 2,500 kilometers / 1,550 miles, they arrived in Playa del Carmen. This is where the story takes a hard turn. Diego's bike was stolen, leaving him stranded and forced to abandon the mission as he didn't have the resources to purchase a new one. Knowing Diego like I do, he's not one to focus on problems, only solutions. So as it was, he began to travel south, in the same direction as planned, just without transportation. He ended up in the jungle of Akumal and there he decided to camp out until he came up with a new plan.

As days passed by, and as being social as he is, after 7 days he made friends with some locals. In the meantime he began reading a book called Arquitecto Descalso" which translates to barefoot architecture. This means that there is no sewage, light/power, etc and that the water comes from the ground. Diego, being a studied architect, began designing such a place. He had been working on these plans for about 6 months when one day, out of the jungle came a very beautiful girl wearing not a stitch of clothing but rather leaves... YES, leaves. He was stunned, as she clearly wasn't from Mexico. As he began explaining his ideas and plans she offered up a suggestion...

She asked, "Why don't you construct domes?"

This made a lot of sense considering the benefits of this type of construction. It took about another 6 months of planning, trial and error with different types of materials to get it right. It was very important to him to find a eco-friendly alternative to concrete. The first structure that was built he named "The Treehouse" and once you see it, you get it. The Treehouse is a typical type of habitation that you would imagine with a twist. The first dome that was built is known as the Organic Dome, then came the pool and the Luxury Dome. All of the money that was made by renting just these "rooms" was directly put back into building more and more. Add on the Hippie Dome, the Hipster Dome and the community kitchen and you have Villa Duendes!

There will be a future post about the beginnings of Ekumal and the evolution that has brought us to 2022. We hope that you subscribe to the blog and stay tuned for the next chapter!

This is the video that was posted about his initial mission to get to San Paulo. It's in Spanish however, you can feel the passion that he had. Soon to be transcribed*

We are a group of young people passionate about sports and with a clear vision of how life should be around sports. We will take a tour between indigenous communities and modern cities between Monterrey, Mexico and Sao Paulo, Brazil, starting this December 26, 2014.

Carrying a message of peace between nations and unifying cultures. We are in the era of human brilliance and social awakening in which we are proud to be bearers of it. We need the support of all people to achieve this. We want to help the communities with basic needs such as food, shelter, and more sophisticated deep wells and solar cells for the places where they are required. If we want to grow as people, we must first grow as a society. This will make it easier for human awakening.

Somos un grupo de jovenes apasionados por el deporte y con una vision clara de como deberia de ser la vida entorno al deporte. Haremos un recorrido entre comunidades indigenas y ciudades modernas entre monterrey, mexico y sao paulo, brazil, empezando este 26 de dic, 2014. Llevando un mensaje de paz entre naciones y unificando culturas. Estamos en la epoca de brillantes humana y despertar social en el cual nos sentimos orgullosos de ser portadores de vos del mismo. Necesitamos de el apoyo de todas las personas para lograr esto. Queremos ir ayudano a las comunidades en necesidades basicas desde alimentacion, abrigo, y mas sofisticado pozos profundos y celdas solares para los lugares donde las requieran. Si queremos creecer como personas primero hay que creecer como sociedad. Asi sera mas facil el despertar humano.

The Beginning Of Ekumal - Phase 2 of Villa Duendes

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