OUR HOMES & THE VILLAGE
The majority of homes are located in village of Gomagoda, which is now surrounded by rice-fields and vegetable plots cultivated by the villagers in this fertile land for the last 100 years or so. Although less than 20 KM from Kandy city, it still resembles a typical Kandyan village; laid-back, hospitable, conservative, deeply religious, family-centered and a caste--conscious society.
The majority of the villagers have been farmers for centuries, cultivating rice or vegetables and looking after their surrounding plots consisting of a well-balanced choice of spices (Pepper, cloves and Nutmeg), Coconut, Arecanut, Bread-fruit, Jack, Coffee and Cocoa, a mix of green vegetables, often eaten raw, fruits (Banana, Papaya, Avocado, Sour-sop/Custard apple, Passion fruit and Guava) and a variety of forest-trees. This type of plot is officially called a Kandyan Forest Garden. The Victoria Dam built in 1980, a few kilometers below the village had an affect on the village. The rising waters of what was earlier a river pushed several species of animals such as the wild-boar, barking deer, porcupine and monkeys, uphill to Wepathana and the surrounding villages. Although this was a bonus for the visitors, it was a disaster for the villagers. Soon the number of animals started grow and the harvest of the villager's cultivation started to fall. Today, increasingly more numbers of villagers are giving up cultivation and are looking for alternate work. We have, to some extent, done our part by providing opportunities to 9 families in and around Wepathana to generate an income from Home-stays.
Promotion, communication, Reservations, co-ordination, trouble-shooting etc. are presently done by Polwaththa Eco Lodges with their vast experience which will gradually be passed on to the individual homes when they reach the required level of proficiency to handle the entire operation on their own.
However, the most important function in this case – hosting, is left entirely in the hands of each host-family with the freedom to do it their way.