Taking place in the days leading up to Día de los Muertos, a breathtaking destination festival awakened on the picturesque beaches of Costa Careyes for an inaugural journey that effortlessly fused the music, art and culture of Mexico with musicians from around the globe. Going by the name Ondalinda, the highly successful first-year festival was set against a secluded playground where architecture sits hand and hand with the best nature has to offer; a place that has remained Mexico’s best kept secret with only the most savvy of world travelers having laid eyes on.
From October 27th-30th, guests were invited to witness first-hand the reinvigorating beaches, jungles, and lavish housing of Costa Careyes while simultaneously partaking in relaxation, adventure, and music for one otherworldly weekend. Around 450 people, many of them arriving from places like Mexico City, Berlin, Los Angeles, London, Paris and New York gathered to exchange ideas, stories, and a love for taking in extraordinary experiences that only a life well lived can offer.
During the day, guests joined together at the Cocodrillo Beach Club for lunch, beverages, and memorable performances from DJs like Sabo, Justin Boreta, and Daniel Pardo, each fusing music from their travels across the globe with songs that stayed true to the location and culture of Mexico. Other options included getting a mud bath, partaking in jungle yoga and morning meditation, or taking a trip down to the market to purchase hand made artisanal crafts from the local Huichol tribe.
On Friday night, the first of two themed parties took place where guests were encouraged to dress in white and experience perfectly manicured polo field decorated with ten thousand candles, stunning blue lights, and a 75 meter dinner table where revelers feasted on delicious fresh cuisine for a traditional Mexican asado dinner. Throughout the night, a stage magically positioned underneath an overhanging tree would serve as the location for DJ sets from The Happy Show and BLOND:ISH, along with an unforgettable live performance from HVOB that included emotive vocals and harmonious synthesizers.
For Saturday’s main event, guests ventured to Teopa Beach to experience a Night of Samadhi featuring the legendary Mayan Warrior art car and mind-blowing decorations from Mexican artist and set designer Philippe Moellhausen, which included a massive jaguar, projection mapping on a cosmic egg, and a visceral Día de los Muertos altar. These creations complemented the electrifying lights and lasers darting off the Mayan Warrior as DJs including NU, Audiofly, LUM, Mandrake, Mendrix, Sabo, and Gandalla each guided the celebration with alluring soundscapes well past sunrise.
Speaking on the event, Mayan Warrior founder Pablo Gonzalez Vargas stated: “Ondalinda was a truly magical experience and I feel blessed that Mayan Warrior was able to join together with Philippe Moellhausen to create a breathtaking night of celebration and culture. What stood out to me was the eclectic mixture of people from all walks of life and places around the world that were able to create a new kind of tribe, one that touched the roots of ourselves and the Huichol people.”
Other highlights from the weekend included a secluded Glamp Camp where a portion of guests would stay throughout the weekend. Here you could find boutique tents, artististic shade structures, and a mystical lounge area where guests could take in a private viewing of the Night of Samadhi and La Copa del Sol, a stunning circular structure arising 35 feet from the ground and perching on a cliff overlooking Teopa Beach and its majestic blue waters.
Ondalinda founder Lulu Luchaire had this to say following the event: “I want to personally thank everyone who took the time to join us at Ondalinda and help make the event so magical. I also want to thank the Careyes Foundation and the Brignone family for opening their arms to Ondalinda and supporting us every step of the way. Finally, I want to thank Pablo and the Mayan Warrior team, Philippe, the Huichol people, and the entire crew behind Ondalinda that made everything possible.”
Above all, Ondalinda focused its sights on incorporating and giving back to the indigenous culture with a portion of profits from the event and other private donations given to the Mexican foundation Conservacion Humana to help the Huichol tribe protect their land. Members of the Huichol were present at the event to answer questions about their history, showcase an exclusive collection of never before seen Wixarika Huichol art at the exhibition “Navegantes del Sueño” and screen the award-winning filming “Eco de la Montagna,” which included talks from Huichol expert Humberto Fernandez and 35.000 community leader Santos de la Cruz to ensure the local culture was well-represented at Ondalinda.
Careyes Foundation President and Ondalinda co-founder Filippo Brignone explained that “Ondalinda was an incredibly curated event that succeeded by breathing new energy into Costa Careyes; a great fit for our already existing art and film events and our education programs with the local communities while remaining focused on the area’s natural beauty. I’m proud to say that all the settings throughout the event were built and gathered by the members of the local communities surrounding Careyes. It was an honor to host guests from around the world that came to experience Careyes and witness first hand a resort that my family has worked to develop for almost 45 years. I also want to thank all the incredible talent that joined and believed in the event. We invite you back with open arms.”
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