Maui born and raised Isaiah’s grandfather is a practitioner of traditional Hawaiian herbal healing (la‘au lapa‘au). “I learned almost everything I know about indigenous and non-native plant species from him,” Isaiah says.
But plant knowledge isn’t the only thing Isaiah gained from his grandfather. “My middle name, Kaheanakaupono, means ‘call of righteousness.’ My grandfather was ill on the day I was born. He dreamed a baby was calling out to him, which caused him to awaken. My parents believed I was the baby in his dream.”
Isaiah further perpetuates his culture through extracurricular activities like surfing and spearfishing, and is passing these skills along to his young son Kazian, although “his attention span is really short, so I have to make it like a game.”
Guiding hikes helps Isaiah appreciate Maui even more than he already does. “It’s all new to my guests, and when I see my island home through their eyes, it reinforces just how special it all really is.”
Guest quote: Mahalo for taking us on such an amazing hike! Our tour guide Isaiah educated us on everything we saw in the rainforest. We learned so much about plants, flowers, and Hawaiian culture.