In 1967 the Cooke family built a retreat for themselves on land that had been in the
family since 1908. Twenty-two years later, in 1989, Rik and Bronwyn Cooke began to
teach photography classes in the family lodge, which had now become their residence.
As the workshops grew in frequency, they learned how satisfying it was to share
their home and land with others. Soon Rik spent less time as a photographer and
more time as a land steward and they began to donate their home to the organization
for educational purposes and reforestation of the surrounding acres. As both
students and teachers reported having experiences that changed their lives for the
better, more teachers inquired about teaching at their home. The land was being
transformed and strengthened in the process.
In 1994, Hui Ho'olana was formed and granted a 501(c3) to run educational workshops.
Rev. Lehua Mokuilima gave the organization its name saying, ho'olana is a word of
hope and inspiration, "the type of inspiration that floats up from within the
heart". It means "to encourage, to float, to bring back into balance - as in
righting a canoe; and to comfort those who are mourning." We hope to live up to her
In 1997, Butch Haase began a reforestation project on the land, cutting down eroding
eucalyptus trees and reintroducing native and endangered species. Since then, they
have planted over 300 native species. Hui Ho'olana is now considered by many
teachers to be one of the finest small workshop facilities in the world and the
reforestation project is considered one of best ecosystem reconstruction projects in
Copyright Hui Ho'olana 2011