[back to base expeditions]
Otro Elements was initiated by Raymond Landgraaf. For years, he has been organizing back-to-basics expeditions in the Italian Alps. Raymond is a general practitioner and facilitates these unique expeditions. Recently, he and two of his colleagues officially launched the OTRO Elements Care Foundation. Furthermore, he organizes accredited courses for medical professionals.
Raymond is the founder of Otro Elements and facilitates the expeditions. He is a passionate doctor, acupuncturist and mountain rescue team member in Alagna.
Raymond is an adventurer by nature, who dares to step out off the beaten track and motivates others to chase their dreams. In 2012 Raymond and his lovely wife Blanca decided to radically change their lives. Together with their three children they moved to the Italian Alps, to meet adventure and live a more balanced life. The second he entered Val d’Otro, he knew ‘I want to share this’. He began taking his friends to this magical valley. This is how the first back-to-basics expeditions were born. His hobby drastically got out of hand;). He now is the proud owner of his own healing mountain 'Alpe Selvaccia'.
Giuseppe Enzio, a.k.a. Seppi, is a passionate Italian Mountain Guide born in Otro. His love for the mountains is omnipresent, whether you’re chasing after him on the snowy slopes or you’re following his guidance on a hike through the alpine meadows, his enthusiasm will get to you. This ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ has worked all around the globe and spends much of his time working in the Himalayas with the local communities on building schools, water-systems and sanitation. He is the founding father of a foundation called 'Cuore Attivo', which means 'Active Heart'.
Sjef Roymans is one of Raymond’s strongest supports and reliances. He’s been around since the very beginning and co-facilitates pretty much every expedition that Otro Elements organizes. After years of working for an international publishing agency he decided to drastically change his life and launch the [ Bisonte Foundation ] together with his beautiful and artistic wife Marie-Jose. This foundation organizes retreats for individuals and groups in Italy, in and around their house on the 'Lago di Orta' (Orta Lake). "My ambition is to help people increase awareness and enhance consciousness on the path of change and transformation. I’ve stepped on this path a long time ago and Otro Elements has been a strong influence.”
Elkana Waarsenburg embraces life fully. She is authentic, joyful, honest, energetic and connected. She’s a natural physician, born for the job. She actively researches and connects innovative approaches of contemporary healthcare. Together with Rogier Hoenders, her husband, she expresses a broad vision on human wellbeing, and finds her inspiration in Tibetan Buddhism.
Rogier Hoenders is a psychiatrist, senior researcher and content manager for the Centre for Integral Psychiatry (CIP) of Lentis. Also, he teaches psychotherapy and operates as an interim educator for Lentis. Rogier is a chairman for the Integral Health and Wellbeing Consort (CIZG) and council member at the International Network for Integrative Mental Health (INIMH). His professional mission is to optimize and innovate healthcare systems by implementing ‘new’ methodologies (mindfulness, compassion, lifestyle coaching). Rogiers personal source of inspiration is Tibetan medicine and Buddhism, as well as meditation practices.
At a young age, Sara Eenhoorn discovered her unstoppable urge to travel and enjoy the simple things in life. During her many primitive journeys through e.g. England, Iceland and Africa, she noticed how nature helped her pinpoint her passions and dreams, often in a confronting and magical way. The second she finished high-school, she stepped into a personal development program, which helped her understand that her passion would become her work. Soon after, she initiated the Otro Element Youth Expeditions and later the Trainers Camp for Otro Elements. She organizes all expeditions from the Netherlands and makes sure that everyone is maximally prepared for a lifetime experience. At the expeditions, Sara co-facilitates, and leads certain elements with her experience as a trainer. Moreover she will transmit to you her passion for adventure.
Jorn Vetter first encountered the transformative power of nature and adventure by working with Otro Elements Expeditions in 2013. The Italian Alps touched his heart. He fell in love. This spark soon became a roaring fire which fuelled his dream and passion to interlink personal development and adventure. Since then Jorn has been on board as an expedition leader, facilitator and recently also as the 'back-office' manager for all operations. Next to his work for Otro Elements, Jorn runs his own company called 'Man In The Box' which focusses on positive masculine development through nature-based counseling practices and indigenous inspired educational tools. In addition, he works as a freelance outdoor educator, youth coach and adventure therapist for various educational, care and conservation institutions.
Maria Biginelli is our newest (Italian) acquisition on Alpe Selvaccia. Our big support.
Blanca van den Brand is not only Raymond’s loving wife and mother of their three children, but also a passionate psychologist, relationship therapist and writer of the books ‘Making love' and ‘69; the art of loving'. During the youth expeditions Blanca teaches the young participants to follow their inner compass and have the guts to choose a path that is their own. On explicit demand she organizes workshops during other expeditions specifically on subjects of love, sexuality and relationships.
... But normally Blanca guides her clients during intensive therapy weekends, cheat retreats or boostersessions at the magical and romantic Lake of Como. For more information please check [ www.InSightorOut.nl ]. Know that you are also very welcome in their "second home" in La Bella Italia al Lago di Varese"...
Tjeerd Wits, aka Djerba,studied earth sciences and is currently training to become a UIMLA International Mountain Leader (IML). Al at a young age, Tjeerd wanted to go on an adventure, into the wide world. He became the happiest of "playing outside". And still now actually. In untouched nature. Whether in the mountains in Central Asia, in the rainforests of Borneo or the Amazon or cycling along the Silk Road. Wherever something magical can be experienced, Tjeerd feels at home there. When he arrived at 'Alpe Selvaccia' he immediately felt at home and did not want to leave. He had been looking for this for a long time and since then he can't get his smile off his face.
Tjeerd lives in the Dutch dunes with his beloved wife Sanne and his two children.
The creative team
A number of years ago Caspar Diederik decided to make his dreams reality. After quitting his desk-job as a manager in the Netherlands he decided to become a travelling videographer; a story-traveler. Caspar is a passionate human being, and a nature-lover at heart, who’s always hunting for new stories. Matera, Southern Italy is his home, yet he’s almost continuously on the move, capturing and sharing beautiful experiences and authentic stories. His breathtaking work touches and inspires many, and provides us (the viewer) with a glimpse of his unique life vision. Caspar is the in-house photographer for Otro Elements and delivered incredible images that already travelled the world. Watch [ the first notorious promo-video ] he made for us.
Hermen van de Waal is a film-maker, operating as a social entrepreneur with his brand ‘Macula Films’ where his endless drive for creating a better world blends with his videographic talents. With a group of fierce creatives he contributed to the birth of an ecological platform for social enterprises, named ‘de Ceuvel’ in Amsterdam. Hermen calls himself ‘an Optivist’, someone who strives to bend the slightly angry force of activism in of positive change. ‘We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open, so they can teach us’. This vision he shares with Raymond, as well as his love for the Italian Alps. Ever since the first expedition Hermen’s been involved with Otro Elements and, if it’s up to him, this will always be the case.
He’s been responsible for various production, short films, trailers and promotions, follow [ this link ] to check out his latest work for Otro Elements.