At Home is a series observing personal journeys, through origins and current spaces. With each feature, we hope to inspire duality of relaxation and effort in the every day.
We met with Documentarian Adnelly Marichal at her home during a recent trip to Puerto Rico and fell in love with her passion for plants and the earth. A former New Yorker, Adnelly has relocated to Puerto Rico to support local farms after Hurricane Maria, serving as a true inspiration to us.
Where are you from? What was a defining memory from your origin?
I was born and raised in Connecticut, but my family is from Puerto Rico. I grew up in both worlds. Soccer practice, crisp fall air, snow igloos as well as sand castle building, moist tropical humidity, and tostones.
What was your favorite travel memory and why was it your favorite? What did you take away from it?
The summer after freshman year of high school my dad won some money from a scratcher and took our family on a bus tour of Spain. We started in Madrid and went along the coast down to Sevilla. I took my discman (rip) and most of my cd collection (rip). I loved seeing a new place everyday and then loading back on the bus to listen to music and spend hours traveling through the countryside. It’s my first memory of a trip giving me that hard to describe feeling of joy that kind of lodges above my stomach when I’m excited.
How do you reconcile the duality of relaxation and effort in your life?
Working freelance you can exert effort everyday of the week and almost forget to relax. I’m trying something new recently where I take a chair into the backyard and sit in the sun after I get up in the morning. I drink some water and try not to think too much. When I get really stressed I try to pause and remind myself that life is very, very short - this usually helps me relax about things.
If there is one idea or concept that you stand for, what is it and why?
Supporting, defending, and fighting for local farming and sustainable agriculture practices is really important to me. We live in a world of extreme convenience with devastating consequences for the majority. Supporting local agriculture, including growing your own, is one step in the other direction.
How you build a sense of calm in your personal space?
I try to keep my bed tidy and I take anything off it that is not meant for sleeping. I’ve also been trying to turn off technology at an earlier and earlier time. I’d like to get to the point where I don’t use my phone after the sun goes down.
Describe your personal style. How does it reflect back to your way of life?
Right now my personal style is comfortable, breathable, and practical. In my current work I go camping almost every week in tropical weather. I’ve quickly learned that synthetic materials such as polyester make me super sweaty while cotton feels cooling in comparison.
Where is your personal journey leading you to -- what’s next?
The project I’m working with has one year left in our goal of helping 200 farms in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. This next year we will be visiting as many farm projects as possible to continue helping to make them as sustainable and resilient as possible. I am also working on a documentary project on medicinal plants in Puerto Rico and the people who use them, inspired by the work of Maria Benedetti. Plus a secret side project also involving plants.
Film and photography by REALnew Collective for Par en Par.
Music by Joshua Storms.
Follow along Adnelly's journey here.
Shop the collection here.