Kobe and Nele bought the spot of Carpe Diem in 2011 from another Belgian couple. They decided to do the big trip because they felt in love with the natural beauty of Paso del Mango and Carpe Diem more specifically. Nature unbounded. Since then, they have put all their energy and soul in Carpe Diem and as such the place became what it is today.
In the beginning years of their stay in Colombia, Kobe wrote his doctoral research on conflicts and co-management in Colombia’s national parks, which is, by the way, the main reason why all Carpe Diem’s rooms are called after Colombian protected areas. In this context, both Nele and Kobe travelled a lot to all the outskirts of Colombia and are impressed by its natural and cultural diversity.
Nele started this adventure basically without really knowing Carpe Diem and practically jumped in the unknown…however she easily felt in love with all the natural wonders of this region. Despite this, she also rapidly got to know the other side of this paradise, such as spending weeks without energy, daily struggles for drinkable water, no internet connection, and all the other facets that make people saying we are still living in a less developped world. Nele also enjoys dancing and hanging out with friends and family, something she very much misses living here. Being here, Nele wrote her Masters these on teenager pregnancies in Colombia. A lot to write about it, as some 20% of all teenagers in Colombia are or have been pregnant.
Kobe enjoys working on the farm – planting trees, weeding, picking fruits, etc. with all the ups and downs that are well-known for small-scale farmers in less developed regions.
In 2013 Nele gave birth to Boris in the hospital of Santa Marta. Roxanne was born two years later, at home in Carpe Diem – a lifetime experience!
Our local workers
We try our best to work as much as possible with local workers; getting to know local people a bit better is one of the basics for having a fruitful life here; while adding some part to the local economy is a great extra.
Carolina works with us since our arrival. She is the best cleaning lady on earth! Also, she cooks very well but prefers to move around and to make Carpe Diem a great place to hang around. She also helps a lot in the garden, basically weeding and planting flowers and trees. Carolina practically knows all the flowers of our garden by name and by properties.
Anna is our chef de cuisine and works a little more than 1 year in Carpe Diem. Of course she has a good knowledge about the Colombian cuisine – arepas, empanadas, sancocho…you name it, she makes it! Thanks to our good friend Bram, who works and helps us around since over 5 months now, she is now also able to make belgian and international food, such as Flemish stew, spaghetti Bolognese and other delicious dishes.
Jordi is an active and charming young guy, helping Kobe with everything he needs in the garden. He grew up in Caoba nature reserve so he knows a lot about trees, animals and everything related to nature. If you get sick, he will come up with some healing plants from the forest. Whatever he does, he puts his heart into it. Now, he is also in charge of working with the volunteers and as such, always pleased to answer any question.