Edel Van Riet (29) is a teacher by profession, but above all a true adventurer. Although he didn’t lack in passion for teaching, the explorer in him craved for great adventures. Three years ago, he decided to go explore Latin America on his own. He worked as a volunteer in Guatemala, guided hikes to volcanoes in Nicaragua, travelled through the Mexican jungle and sailed the Caribbean Sea to Colombia. A journey to remember.
One encounter would leave a deep impression on him. Whilst trekking through the high mountains of Mexico, Edel got to know a very special Indian tribe. They called themselves the Rarámuri, which literally means ‘those with light feet’.
Edel was immediately fascinated by the simplicity and creativity with which the Rarámuri make their own footwear. Using ribbons, they tie a piece of car tire around their feet and walk on these hand made sandals for tens of kilometers a day. Later, he learned that the Rarámuri were known for their beautiful running style and infinite endurance. The members of this Mexican tribe devote their lives to an ‘attitude of humble silence’: a life filled with love, hope and joy.
Back at home in Antwerp, Edel remained inspired by his beloved Rarámuri. He decided to continue his adventure and design his own fashionable Rarámuri sandals. He chose a sole made from leather and volcanic rubber that can be combined with a wide range of ribbons in beautiful colors and different fabrics. The Rarámuri Sandals are unique in their simplicity and excel in comfort, tradition and the exceptional way in which you can tie your own combination together yourself.
At the same time, the profit of Rarámuri Sandals is shared with a charity organisation named ‘Cooperative for Education’. They run a campaign called ‘The Thousand Girls Initiative’. This organisation helps to break the poverty cycle in Guatemala by supporting girls to get an education. Edel choose to support this organisation because, as a volunteer teacher in Guatemala, he understands the value of education and knows that his contribution is going to the right place. Edel considers himself blessed to be able to give something back to the people of Central America.