Six years on, Nihi has forged a strong relationship with the local Sumbanese community — roughly 93% of the hotel’s employees are from nearby towns and villages. In addition, the team has remained connected to the previously established Sumba Foundation, which works to combat poverty and malaria on the island through education, clean water, food and humanitarian aid. “I come back about twice a year with my family. We have a history with the island now,” says Burch. “We are trying to protect the island on every level.”
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