Hawaiian Learning Center

Halawa Ohana Lo`i Kalo

Ma ka hana ka `ike – “In working one learns.”

Halawa `Ohana Lo`i Kalo (HOLK) is a Hawaiian Learning Center based on traditional taro farming in the ahupua`a of Halawa, Molokai.  HOLK provides cultural education through working in the lo`i kalo and listening to mo`olelo told by kupuna born and raised in Halawa Valley.

The restoration of our lo`i, along with the growing of kalo, enables us to:

  • teach traditional taro farming practices and land use values,
  • increase the availability of healthy, fresh, locally-grown food for our community,
  • mālama the natural and cultural resources of the valley, and
  • perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.

Our mission is to provide an outdoor classroom that offers students, residents, and visitors a place to learn about traditional Hawaiian agricultural practices and experience the daily lifestyle of a taro farmer in Halawa Valley.


Anakala Pilipo and his wife live on this property where our learning center is based.  Because the lo`i are located here, Anakala, Josh, and other family members spend much of their time at the site farming kalo and making poi. It should be noted that these are the primary “activities” of the site, which various school groups assist in regularly. Anakala opens his home to guests to share in his daily activities, and to experience his lifestyle. We invite people to visit us through pre-arranged visits based on the following options:

1. Kalo Farming & Lo`i Restoration:  Visitors can work with us on various aspects of our kalo farming and lo`i restoration program while gaining a better insight to our way of life.  Our property lies over many lo`i terraces that have been overgrown for a long time.  So our restoration project involves locating these lo`i, cleaning and tilling them, clearing and repairing the `auwai (irrigation system) that water the lo`i, planting kalo, and maintaining the lo`i that are already planted.

2. Service Projects:  We have projects outside of lo`i restoration that we also need assistance with, which support our Hawaiian Learning Center.  These include activities such as building our campsite and repairing our dam that breaks periodically.  These activities require physical labor and many bodies to complete, so they’re best suited for groups.  The type of service projects that we offer varies, depending on our needs.

Volunteer groups will have an orientation through a sit-down talk-story session with our kupuna.  Visitors must be flexible and come prepared to work if physically able.  We ask visitors to make arrangements ahead, please contact us by email, halawamolokai@gmail.com or phone (808) 567-9202.

  • Donate to the Halawa ‘Ohana Lo’i Kalo Hawaiian Learning Center:

  • Email us if you wish to support our project in other ways.

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