Regular weekend gatherings at the Hyatt Regency Maui and Royal Lahaina Hotel have become part of the healing process for survivors of the August wildfires on Maui.
In partnership with Hui Ho‘omalu and Laukanaka, Kamehameha Schools, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and the hotel shelters, the Office of Wellness and Resilience has been coordinating the gatherings since early October.
Music, cultural and family activities are part of the gatherings. Kūkākūkā (talk story) and mental health support are also available for individuals and in group settings from local licensed mental health professionals who have had both specialized post-disaster mental health and cultural training.
Both Hui Ho‘omalu and Laukanaka consist of diverse cultural practitioners with a collective commitment to uplift the Maui community through traditional Hawaiian healing practices. They offer free lomilomi (massage) and bodywork to help survivors in the grieving process and healing journey.
Government staff and volunteers have also offered arts and crafts classes to families at wellness events at the hotel shelters in West Maui.
The MACC has brought in renowned hula practitioners from Maui to teach keiki classes, while volunteers from the Kanikapila Project have delighted those staying in the hotel shelter common areas with music, and provided numerous ʻukulele lessons to families, as well as free ʻukulele to those in need.
In December, staff from the Kōkua Lahaina Rising initiative within the Department of Health Behavioral Health Administration’s Maui District Health Office offered a popular Christmas párol-making workshop. Párol is a Filipino word derived from the Spanish farol, which means lantern.
Weekend wellness events are expected to continue through January 2024.
OWR also collaborated with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority on healing-centered visitor messaging.