COVID-19 – FOUNDER’S MESSAGE

I arrived in the Mentawai Islands in 1998 at age 22 hoping to find those perfect waves that I had heard a few adventurers talk about. Back then the infrastructures and logistics in these remote islands were very scarce but it didn’t matter since the motivation overcame any obstacle and the young daring did the rest.

I found much more than what I was looking for. A magical, idyllic place I would say. For a western like me it was a dream come true. It was clear to me right away, “I want to stay here.” So I looked for a way to get my life ahead enjoying the archipelago. The way was logical, build a resort to be able to spend long periods and accommodate travellers from all over the world with good comfort without losing the essence of living an authentic experience.

Botik resort’s founder and manager, Mario in Mentawai 1998

I found the right place, a small desert island located in the south of Siberut in the area known as Playgrounds (possibly the best surfing area in the world) and whose name you also know: Botik.

For several years I spent many very hard months until completing the construction of the Botik Resort, my dream: a small paradise in paradise. I have written the rest of the story with many of you and I hope that many others will continue writing it when all this finishes.

Botik resort’s founder and manager, Mario in Mentawai 1998 with local.

But I have also lived very hard moments in which you rethink if all this makes sense. I remind you, that Mentawai has been for many years an area of ​​high risk of contracting malaria, although today it is non-existent in surfing areas.

On 26th December 2004 we suffered an earthquake with the epicentre in Aceh (a few hundred kilometres) that caused the deadliest tsunami in history in which almost 230,000 inhabitants died. It took a lot to get back to normal life and for the first surfers to come back again.

The following year, in 2005 another series of strong earthquakes hit the west coast of Sumatra in late March and early April. Hundreds of people died on the island of Nias, off the coast of Sumatra.

In 2009, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake shook the outskirts of the city of Padang, the capital of West Sumatra province, from which ferries to Mentawai were taken. More than 1,100 people died in the incident.

In 2010, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake directly shook the Mentawai islands, causing a tsunami of up to 10 meters that destroyed dozens of villages and killed around 300 people.

Founder and owner of Botik Resort, Mario Martinez, enjoying a perfect day at his favorite spot, Kandui.

From all these situations I have learned to keep going, to think positively, to fight for what you want because without a doubt, everything recovers its meaning when I return to my little paradise and share it with travellers from all over the world.

This year we are experiencing this terrible Covid-19 pandemic that is affecting the entire world and we do not know how long it will last, how life will be like after all this, but, we will look forward and we will overcome it taking care ourselves staying safe at home.

This is why, from Botik Resort, I send you encouragement, a lot of strength and I hope that everything returns to normal as soon as possible.

We will wait for you here to fulfill your dreams.

Mario Martinez

Founder and manager

 

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