Aloha, Friends of Wailea Village,
The Wailea Village Historic Preservation Community (WVHPC) was born more than 10 years ago. Our mission statement is:
Wailea today is still a plantation village. Other than Akiko's Buddhist B&B and the community programs in the Motonaga Garage Gallery, there has been very little change. Wailea's buildings and residents are to be cherished and protected for they are our connection to the past. Together, we are committed to honoring the old and welcoming the new.Background
Wailea Village Historic Preservation Community became a 501c3, a non-profit organization, in 2002. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Our main cultural event this year is our Wailea Village 15th Annual Mochi Pounding. It will be celebrated on Saturday, December 29, from 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Last year, approximately 800 visitors came by.
Currently, all events are supported by donations, admission fees, and avid volunteers. Publicity is provided by the Hilo and O'ahu newspapers, posters, travel magazines, Activities Calendar on Alternative Hawaii and the Hawaii Convention Visitors Bureau, local radio stations and word of mouth.
Most of our village elders have “crossed over.” Waichi Ouye (98 years old) and Mildred Ouye (101) are our two elders. Waichi still resides in Wailea cared for by his grandson, Charles, and Mildred lives in an assisted living home on O’ahu. Their lives, their stories, and their values have shaped our vision and our mission, and for them we are deeply grateful.
Our diverse programming in the past has included ukulele concerts, readings by local authors, Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi) concerts, and staged performances having to do with our local culture such as “Papayas and Bittermelons” and” Flip Out.” More recently WVHPC has collaborated with the Hilo and Laupahoehoe Hawaiian Civic Clubs in presenting Hawaiian Cultural workshops featuring Hawaiian cultural practitioners.
A recollection of the organization's humble beginnings:
It's been seven years since WVHPC became official, and it all began with someone suggesting to Akiko that she preserve Wailea Village and honor its spirit. This person suggested she do a search on Land Trust. The website had a bulletin board so she posted this notice:
"HELP! I live in Wailea Village, a precious old village along the Hamakua [coast]. I am a former dancer/teacher of creative movement for K-6 children in Hawaii schools and I need help!"
Three attorneys responded - one from Yale who lives in Honolulu and the other two who were former litigation attorneys from Stanford -- whose work is committed to community land trusts. They wrote a grant to pay them for half their fees and I scraped up the other half from teaching dance and renting out rooms for $20 a night (when I could afford a few futons), and almost two years later in 2003, WVHPC was official and for-real.
And here we are now. Steady, constant, patient -- like water flowing down to the ocean.
Akiko (August 2009)