Roque Sevilla Interview
Roque Sevilla is the main shareholder and visionary creator of the Mashpi Lodge and Reserve Project. A passionate environmentalist, an orchids buff, successful businessman, former Mayor of the city of Quito and Chairman of the Board of Metropolitan Touring, he shares his thoughts behind the concept of Mashpi Lodge and his vision about the guests’ experience:
“The Project of Mashpi began back in 2001. It was born out of the desire to conserve the biodiversity of the Andean forests which have suffered so much deforestation in the last decades. The Chocó Region, where the Reserve is located is one of the most biodiverse in the world. When I was looking for land to buy for a conservation project, I ran into Mashpi. I immediately realized that I wanted to show these wonderful forests to the whole world. Not only am I fascinated by the flora and fauna that one can discover here but also with the light shades, the dynamics of the clouds, the air, the higher canopy of the forest and above all by the magic and thrill that this place offers.
The Hotel is designed in such a way that guests can appreciate these magical elements while the impact of their presence is minimized in the environment. The idea of using a vast amount of glass was born out of the wish that our guests feel connected with the forest at all times, directly or virtually. In terms of structure, we never planned to “compete” with nature. We rather expect to provide a perfect complement for the wonders that can be found in the Reserve. Our vision of the guest experience is founded on the grounds that the ample majority of them have never had a previous experience in a tropical forest. This is why we want to awake their curiosity and imagination. We want to put them in close contact with this biodiverse world, through the forest trails with their trees, plants, animals, insects, feeling the rushing water of its rivulets and waterfalls as well as the incessant motion of the clouds. Just as there is a visible world in Mashpi, there is a hidden world which the guests not necessarily see.
For this reason the project also includes a part of scientific investigation, for example the “Camera traps” through which the resident biologist and guides can show the guests through their presentations the life that is found deep in the forest which remains mostly hidden to their eyes. I would also like to see that the Mashpi guests return to their homes as passionate defenders of the conservation of these wonderful forests. We expect to successfully communicate the importance of preservation for the present and future generations, to make them part of this initiative and of course that they return back home reloaded with new energies”.
An interview with Roque Sevilla