The founders of Kaya Kaya
Kaya Kaya is a collaboration of three people; Kurt Schoop, Raygen Zuiverloon and Clayton Lasten. All three of them have an entrepreneurial background with completely different focuses. Each one with a great love for parties, bringing people together, innovation and giving back to Curaçao.
It all started when Clayton and Kurt attended a party in Pietermaai. They started conceptualizing the idea of Kaya Kaya. As they were talking, Raygen walked by. Him, being famous for his creative concepts in Punda (i.e. Punda Vibes), was easily convinced and joined Clayton and Kurt in putting together the first Kaya Kaya.
The creation of the first Kaya Kaya Festival was the start of something beautiful. they found it important that everyone's creative input was considered. This is one of the pillars that became the success for the first Kaya Kaya. Everybody was committed to creating something great for Otrobanda.
Respect, creativity and mass collaboration became the foundation of the success of Kaya Kaya.
My passion for culture, art, creativity, nightlife, hospitality, youth, urban and community development was sparked in 2001 when Rotterdam was the "European Capital of Culture". I developed and organized various events to bring together people with different interests and backgrounds. It was an exciting time where I experienced that having a vision, clear goals, focus, and working together impacts positive change for a community. I returned with the desire to help Curaçao, particularly Willemstad, in its development in the above areas. This wish was expressed in, among other things, organizing tourist experiences with Nena Sanchez, programming Groove Lounge events at various establishments, and experiencing art, culture, and theatre as a manager at Teatro Luna Blou and director of Downtown Management Organization (DMO). At DMO, I was responsible for city events such as Punda Vibes and year-end activities. Keeping the city clean, safe, maintained, accessible and attractive by working with merchants, property owners, and (semi-) governmental organizations was a daily task. Since 2009 I have participated in various development initiatives of Willemstad and the tourism sector. These tasks and experiences have given me a unique perspective, insight, and network into the hardware and software needed to breathe new life into Willemstad, which has led me to leverage my acquired skills of concept development, programmer, project management, marketing, and AZ- event organizer to (co-)found Kaya Kaya and Enrich Creative Support.
What has always been a driving force for me is to bring about change where the development of people is central, thereby transforming their environment. The power we have as individuals to change things has always inspired me. As far back as I can remember, I have been involved in community building.
This all started with my study at the Cultural Social Forming at Hoge School Rotterdam, then Pedagogy here at UoC, where I supervised several schools in quality assurance. My last study was in Policy & Organizational Sciences, and after this, I deliberately chose to do community building, which turned out to be my passion. And where else is it better to do this than Otrobanda?
One of my strengths is connecting great ideas and people to create something extraordinary. I do this by training people, coaching them, and prodding them to get to the bottom of what's most important. That is why the development of Ser'i Otrobanda has been one of my passions for the past 15 years. As the chairperson of the foundation of Ser'i Otrobanda, I initiated several projects in the neighbourhood to uplift the people and the area. By building a community and inspiring others, people around me got inspired as they saw what was possible. With this strength, inspiration, and consistency, I have spent the last 15 years building the area of Ser'i Otrobanda. The icing on the cake was the Kaya Kaya Street Party. With Kaya Kaya, we have had a significant impact on the site. We are also working on expanding this development to a higher level using a master plan. The Master Plan is a document that sets out the contours and possibilities within the area. We will ensure that the implementation of this master plan continues with Kaya Kaya.
As far back as I can remember, I have been interested in I.T and technological developments. I had the opportunity to play with computers at a tender age. Since then, I have translated this into my work. In the past 14 years I have focused on sales, marketing, and digital consulting. In the Netherlands, I worked for Canon as an Account Director, responsible for optimizing document management processes within large healthcare organizations. Managing these I.T projects within large organizations sparked my passion for innovation and change management even more, which led me to my second study, an MBA specializing in Change Management, Marketing and Business Model Innovation. My past year's experience and this study form the basis for my current ventures, Kaya Kaya, Bario Hotel and Bario Urban Street Food. My focus is mainly on financial management, creative business models, marketing, sales, digitizing/automating and concept development. My goal is to expand, strengthen, make profitable and digitize the concepts through customer experience optimization, marketing management and business & service development.