“Whether you had the perfect mother, a terrible mother, or no mother at all is irrelevant. All pale in comparison to the all-encompassing love of the One Mother.” 

These were the words that reverberated through the earth, permeating every cell in my body, at the very beginning of a ten day soul quest journey.

Moments earlier, in the high desert of the Inyo Mountains just east of the Sierra Nevadas, I’d been fighting a physical urge to drop to the ground. It felt like a hand was pressing down on my shoulder. The impulse to kneel was as strong as the urge to sneeze. Unable to resist, my legs crumpled beneath me, and I was kneeling on the ground, palms planted firmly in the dirt.

Then, the power hit me in waves, rising up through the earth, riveting my hands to the ground. My fingers felt like they were shooting out roots, anchoring me to the soil. Wave after wave of ecstasy coursed through my body as I received that message from the Earth Mother. Tears of awe and sheer bliss streamed down my face, and my throat ached from the effort of enduring a power that surpassed anything I’d ever felt.

Whether it was a birthing experience, an awakening, or a crazy spiritual orgasm, those words changed the trajectory of my life. They acted as a calling, invoking an inspiration to commune with nature in ways I never would have imagined possible.

The full story of this experience with the Earth Mother is available in the book, Escape Bound.

The documentary “Escape Bound” takes a deep dive into the animistic nature-based beliefs of indigenous Andean traditions, which are rooted in pre-Incan culture and religion. Reverence for nature, as embodied by Pachamama, the Earth-Mother, is ubiquitous in the daily lives and practices of the indigenous people of this region.

Set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Peruvian Andes, our team seeks ancient nature-based remedies for modern physical, psychological and sociological illness, exploring the heights and depths of nature’s power to heal.

We are accepting donations for filming, editing and travel expenses to produce a documentary for submission to the Banff Mountain Film Festival and other film festivals. Contributions of $100 or more will be listed in the film credits.

Key Topics

As humans, we share intrinsic needs and values.

  • We long for place and purpose, a sense of belonging
  • We long for authenticity, permission to be the truest version of ourselves
  • We long to be seen, to be accepted, to be loved

In modern society, those needs often go unmet. 

  • We find ourselves in unfulfilling careers
  • We seek validation through social media
  • We fall prey to cycles of addiction
  • We experience disappointment and heartbreak when others fail to meet our unmet needs

An expeditionary retreat reorients our perspectives, refines our narratives, and restores our sense of place.

  • Nature helps to identify our hidden wounds, shining light into the dark places where pain, loneliness and misalignment are hiding.
  • Nature will settle for nothing less than our authentic selves, teaching us to stand unwavering, unyielding and steadfast in our truth.
  • We are given the opportunity to see and be seen, in a community of belonging, acceptance, and shared experience.
  • We are reminded of the unequivocal, unconditional love of nature that is our intrinsic birthright.


Production Team

  • Documentary Team Leader / Story-Teller
  • Creative Director / Cinematographer
  • Journalist / Filmmaker
  • Peruvian-based videographer

Expeditionary Retreat Team

  • 4-5 Retreat Participants
  • Peruvian shaman (plant-based medicine ceremony)
  • 2 Andean Paqos (high priests in the Andean-Inkan celestial tradition)

Subject Experts

Matthew Koshmrl: Film Director And Cinematographer

Matthew is an Emmy nominated filmmaker, cinematographer, and professor based on the Iron Range of Minnesota. His work has played at The Jeonju International Film Festival, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, DocumentaMadrid, and True/False Film Festival. Matthew personally focuses on cinema vérité documentary films that explore the evolution of tradition, individual and national identity, and unseen processes.

In 2016 he received the Antarctic Service Medal from the US congress when he was commissioned by the National Science Foundation to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula to make a documentary about paleontological expeditions and has a film playing at Carnegie Museum of Natural History about dinosaurs of Antarctica.

Matthew has been a faculty member at St. Edward’s University, Austin Community College, and the Austin School of Film. Since 2017, he has worked with the US State Department as a mentor to fellows participating in the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which provides young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills in the USA. In 2018, he organized and taught a month-long film workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe through a State Department Reciprocal Exchange Grant.

He is currently in the festival circuit with his feature documentary film, Land of My Father, which covers the disputed sovereignty over Dokdo, an island that has been one of the greatest points of contention between South Korea and Japan since the end of WWII.

Haeryun Kang: Journalist and Filmmaker

Haeryun Kang is a filmmaker and journalist based in Seoul, South Korea and Duluth, MN. Her first film, Ahyeon’s Rooftop, premiered at the Seoul International ALT Cinema and Media Festival in 2020.

Before moving to the American Midwest, Haeryun experimented with videography in Korean media projects. She was the creative director of InterV, a short documentary brand focusing on community engagement, and the managing editor of Korea Exposé, a journalism startups highlighting underrepresented Korean stories in English.

As a journalist, her work has appeared on NPR, Washington Post, Time and the cover of Rolling Stone. Haeryun is interested in documentary films that explore memory, changing subjectivity in the era of climate change, and the limitations of the body.

Alex Estrada: Peru-Based Filmmaker

Alex is a Peruvian photographer, cinematographer and drone pilot who has assisted in producing documentaries for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). He has also provided promotional content for Ralph Lauren and other international market leading brands,

Alex traveled to one of the most remote and spectacular regions in the Andes, the Cordillera Blanca, to film The Pou Brothers, who are professional alpinists and rock climbers from Spain, sponsored by The North Face, Red Bull, Petzl, and La Sportiva.

With advanced climbing and alpineering skills, Alex is a highly sought-after cinematographer for expeditions led by Patagonia, North Face and Red Bull sponsored athletes.

Christy Rounds: Documentary Team Leader / Story-Teller

Author of the book Escape Bound, Christy is an expeditionary trip leader who combines her passion for high altitude trekking with metaphysical inquiry. Over the past two decades Christy and her ex-husband worked in nearly every aspect outdoor industry, which provided inspiration for global travel adventures. Together, they summited Aconcogua, which at just under 23,000 feet, is the highest mountain in the western hemisphere.

After her marriage of 23 years ended, Christy did a deep dive into nature. Through an 18,000 mile road trip across the western United States, several months in the jungles and beaches of Costa Rica and Mexico, and an ascent to 17,000 feet on the Asungate trek in the Peruvian Andes, Christy received the profoundly transformative healing that nature provides.

Escape Bound’s soul-mending expeditionary retreats to Peru facilitate deep connection with nature, imbuing a sense of awe, wonder and self-illumination.