“Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.”
Heiko spent most of his life moving between worlds and travelled through Europe, Venezuela, India and the USA. He lived on three continents and was fluent in English, German and Spanish. These experiences had a deep impact on his world view which continue to inspire others. I am very grateful to have shared in so many great adventures and visions with him. He was my guide, best friend, and the father to our three children. With his deep love for the Amazon, and especially Venezuela, we founded Arte Amazonia, and his spirit towards life continues to be my inspiration.
In his own words:
My first memories of Venezuela are going back to my earliest childhood. My parents lived there in the 50s and 60s and I was always fascinated by my fathers stories of adventure filled with jaguars, snakes, crocodiles and people who still lived in the remote jungle and had no contact with our world.
I remember very well their photos and old 8mm movies of Venezuela. In our living room we had a real bow and arrows on the wall from the indians. Already when I was a little boy I had such a deep yearning for this country. I thought my life in Vienna was just a dream and my real life was in Venezuela. By the time I was 5 years old, I already knew that someday I would go to Venezuela.
And so it happened, when I was 19 years old I arrived in my beloved country and immediately had the feeling I had come home. The hospitality, the zest for life and the kindness of Venezuelans touched me very deeply. Particularly, I was impressed by the cultural richness of this country possessing such a variety of ethnicity's which unify Venezuela including Creoles, Europeans, Africans and the indigenous natives. It is the people who have stood on this land the longest that have my deepest respect.
The indigenous people of Venezuela and especially those of the Amazon region hold an indescribable beauty in their life and their work. These great cultures have survived thousands of years in the dense rainforest living in full harmony with their world.
The more I discovered the magic and the beauty of this land and its' people, from the high mountains of the Andes down to the endless plains of the Llanos, into the deep jungle of the Amazon, to the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean and to timelessness of the Tepuis in the Gran Sabana, the deeper I fell in love with Venezuela and this love will never let me go.