Posted: 6 months ago

Inside CHAMO: Georgia’s Oasis for Sustainable Living and Cultural Discovery

In the serene and picturesque setting of Vakijvari Village, western Georgia, a unique sanctuary named CHAMO burgeons, sculpted by the visionary minds of Misha Arobelidze and his wife Chika Ogi.

This couple, inspired by their extensive travels and a shared affinity for nature and sustainability, transformed their love for permaculture philosophy into a tangible paradise within the lush terrains of Guria. Here, they curated a harmonious existence with nature, a beacon of simplicity and cultural enrichment far removed from the clamor of urban life.

Misha and Chika, bound by their admiration for the intricacies of nature, sought to intertwine life and environment harmoniously, fostering sustainability and simplicity. They chose a tranquil locale near the enchanting Bakhmaro mountain and materialized their dream into CHAMO, a quaint cottage and camping site; a name succinct, memorable, and resonating with the essence of Guria.

Catalyst for Sustainable Tourism:

The duo passionately believes in the transformative power of eco-tourism for Georgia's economic landscape. CHAMO is more than a camping site; it is a gateway to Guria's distinct culture, traditions, and local products. By illuminating the region’s unique charm and fostering meaningful connections between local entrepreneurs and guests, they hope to create a thriving ecosystem where cultural and economic synergies blossom, and the generated wealth is reinvested into the region's development.

Cultural Confluence and Learning Hub:

CHAMO aspires to transcend its role as a sustainable retreat, evolving into a nexus for cultural discourse and intellectual enrichment. The initiative “Microcosm” is a testament to this vision, a series of events where influential figures impart wisdom and awareness, fostering an appreciation for the internal and external world. These intellectual gatherings are aimed at bridging the information divide in remote regions and illuminating new paths of knowledge and insight for the younger generation.

In a harmonious blend of volunteerism and creative exploration, CHAMO invites travelers to immerse in diverse projects through the “workaway” platform. These interactions, a meld of environmental endeavors and cultural exchange, engender a vibrant and enriching atmosphere, allowing the local youth to interact, collaborate, and exchange knowledge and cultures with individuals from around the world.

Promoting Literacy and Accessibility:

In alignment with Giorgi Kekelidze and the “Equilibrium” movement, and with support from the Arveladze Foundation and Gulf, CHAMO is spearheading the creation of a library, aiming to make knowledge accessible to all. This initiative is reminiscent of the ancient tradition of distributing books via cart horses, a symbol they chose for its resonance with the customary sights of Vakijvari.