Veronica Poblete: Mother of the Desert

5 years ago by

Veronica Poblete redefines the term, “mother.” She is the resident botanist at the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa and the minute I met her I knew she had so much to teach us — not just about plants and seeds — but about life, love — and even sex! She is a biologist, botanist, and taxonomist who has studied around the world, but her favorite place in the world, the place she always returns to, is the Atacama Desert. I’m so excited for you to hear the wisdom from the mother of the desert…

[podcast_episode episode=”277381″ ]

On what she’s learned from nature…
What I’ve learned from nature is that every day is a new day. And every day is gorgeous even if it’s raining. Just to see the sun rise is something we should be thankful for. All the energy for life comes from the sun. The god of the Andean people is the sun and that’s so wise. If it weren’t for the energy of the sun, we wouldn’t be alive. Every day the sun rises, we know the world will go on.

On being a woman and a mother…
Being a woman is not totally about bearing children. As a woman, you are a mother of much wider things. When I started coming into the desert and learning how everything goes on here, I realized reproduction isn’t just about bearing children. I think we were meant to make the world easier and work towards conservation and preservation. For instance, I grew all of the plants you see here from seeds. I had to go on all fours and gather the seeds. That is being a mother. I had to take care of them. Sometimes it all went wrong, and that is being a mother. When the seeds started sprouting and the little leaves appeared, I wanted to cry because I was so happy. I felt like a mother to them.

On her own children…
Maybe you’ll be shocked, but it’s wonderful to have children, but for me, the emotion was greater when I had all of these trees, plants and native flowers that nobody had ever cultivated. Everybody said I wouldn’t succeed but it all worked. “Children” is me and my child, but this was me and nature and I was so grateful and thankful for what it gave me.

On Pachamama…
She is the goddess of the Altiplanic region. She is the basic god, the sun is the god, but Pachamama is god that reproduces, takes care of the world, you talk to her all the time. Everything that is beautiful in the world is held by her, ruled by her, taken care of by her and she’s a woman. She’s a fertile, sexual and strong woman who fights. You don’t pray and ask her to give you things. When you pray to Pachamama, you always thank her. You thank her for what you are, for the trees, mountains and water. It’s a different way of looking at religion.

It’s hard to find what it is to be a woman. You don’t really know where the line is and you’re walking on a line and there is a left and a right and it’s often very complicated. To me, Pachamama helped me a lot and I found out how important all women were. Pachamama is the woman. She is feminine, she is pretty, but she’s also strong and kind.



On feeling like a resilient weed…
I’m like weeds in your garden. You cut them down and they come back again. Terrible things were happening in my life and everyone thought I was disappearing from the world, and then, I rose again.

On plants + sex…
When they started mating the feminine and masculine parts in plants, they evolved more. It makes for more genes and more evolution. Adaptation becomes easier because you have more possibilities of changing things when you cross the feminine and masculine parts. I found out that the feminine part of the sexual creatures is what reproduces them. That is the reproductive and most important part of evolution and survival of the earth. We are the basic part of reproduction. The feminine part. That’s how important we are!

On her sexual awakening…
I was a sexless woman for about 20 years. I worked with men and hardly any women and I was used to saying no. After 20 years, something happened and I woke up again. I was 62 years old. For all those women who think sex is dead, it is absolutely alive!

On her advice to her 20 year old self…
There are always many chances in life. Nothing is forever and everything goes on. Our life is a wheel that’s constantly turning. Life is long and as long as you’re alive, there will be happiness, discoveries, and friends. Because you don’t know that at 20 and you think when you’re 40, you’ll be done with life!

Stanford Overseas Centers
San Pedro de Atacama
El Tatio Geyser

Special thanks to Smile Radio for helping us record this episode. To check out some of Veronica’s beautiful work, find it out here and here!

Veronica Poblete: Mother of the Desert


Add yours
  • This podcast came on in my feed this afternoon as I was putting out a pile of compost and then pulling a few weeds in the garden (no chemicals!). How appropriate.
    As a woman who has had two marriages, I was interested in her experience with the shaman who “woke her up.” Her description of the men is of men who are attentive and giving. It is the antithesis of porn. I want to be open-minded about porn–whatever anybody likes is fine as long as it’s between consenting adults. But that’s kind of the catch–sometimes the woman isn’t really on board. Sometimes it isn’t about the woman’s pleasure at all–a woman is there to please the man. Some men want to try things because porn tells them–SELLS them–that it’s what’s exciting, always something more outrageous for a thrill. What Veronica describes with being taken to heaven and back is about two-way communication, about caring and sharing. Quite the contrary of porn, but in her description it sounds far more thrilling.

  • I couldn’t agree with you more! I happen to believe that porn messes up with our teenage brains and affects our sexuality in most disorienting ways. Yet the roots of pleasure lie beneath intimacy and emotions…going to listen to this podcast asap ;)

  • SunnySide January, 18 2019, 1:15 / Reply

    Cet échange est chargé d’une énergie incroyablement positive et joyeuse. Sa voix est si jeune, si vivante. Son humanité si profonde. Cela fait beaucoup de bien de vous écouter. Merci pour cette découverte.

  • SunnySide January, 19 2019, 1:12 / Reply

    It seems that she has also a healing voice, so musical, young and alive ! Her relationship with nature is really powerful. Kind of rebirth ! Both of you share with such positive and joyous humanity. It feels good to listen to your energy. Thanks !

  • DaveysHouse January, 19 2019, 11:55 / Reply

    What a beautiful, profound interview. Veronica is a treasure and I feel so lucky she is willing to speak so openly and so wisely. I, for one, am so lost regarding sex these days, and it is good to have hope and perspective. Plus, I visited the Atacama many years ago, and have never forgotten it, and I wish I had known about Veronica back then :-).

  • Tellement beau!! Thank you Garance for sharing Veronica’s words.

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira January, 20 2019, 7:25 / Reply

    Two Beautiful Souls !!!
    Man…this desert trip must have been so so Rich at all levels , i can only imagine!!!
    Thanks for this share G! Thank you , Mrs Poblete!

  • Petit probleme d’envoi de mon com.
    Je disais que je ne me sentais “reelle” que lorsque je me retrouvais en pleine nature, ne faisant qu’une avec mon environnement, quel qu’il soit.
    Super interview !

  • It is so wonderful to hear and read Veronica’s words.We have in general such a limited amount of information in the media about what it is to be a woman and we need a much wider knowledge of what “mothering” can be too.We need to hear what woman across the spectrum have to say about their life experiences and give each other support and confidence to lead our own unique lives.

  • Very interesting and refreshing! Thanks!

  • Omg I love this woman ! I listenned to this while running – I was laughing and smiling to myself the whole time, she’s so natural, so simple, sophisticated and funny all at the same time – this was pure joy, thank you Garance for this ??

  • I appreciate sharing the calmness, fullness and perspective in life.
    Especially the part of being feminine and the motherhood in a completely different perspective. Keep on trying and keep on creating, make me want to enjoy what I have and cherish much more to come, beauty of life!

  • nicole haddon January, 23 2019, 6:12 / Reply

    thank you for continually finding the most interesting people.

  • Liatened and loved this podcast from beginning to end. Felt like her comments abt Garance’s interviewing style were spot on! Garance has turned me into a lover of stories, too! Only disappointed that we never got to hear how Veronica chooses her clothing! I love how she has chosen not to dwell on the hardships in her life but found the good that came out of them! Wonderful!

  • How wonderful, wise and enlightening! What wonderful company to hear this podcast. Thank you Garance and Veronica!

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