Coming Home and Finding Our Roots

Good Afternoon dear reader.  I have had one more blog posting percolating since my last post.  Now that I have had some time to be home again and tomorrow I begin a new course load at UTS, I thought this would be a good time to send out a few more thoughts about this trip.

Since coming home again I have had many people ask me the question, “How was your trip?”  What then do I say? It was fun? It was awesome? It was challenging? It was a great learning experience? It was eye opening? Yes, yes, yes and yes.  All of the above and more.

I do know that the effect this trip has had on me is not finished.  I think for a very long time if not for the rest of my life, there will be teachings from this experience that will continue to come to me—perhaps in moments that I least expect it.

I also know that this will not be my only such experience, because I feel strongly that I will try to make other similarly focused trips in the future, perhaps even back to Chiapas.

This photo is of an artwork created Continue reading

Advertisements

ProMedios and Other Worlds

Buenas Noches dear reader.  As you already know we are all back home safely.  I have to say that I am none to glad to be back in familiar surroundings with my dear family.  During our last few days in Chiapas I noticed how natural it had become to greet people in Spanish and respond with “Gracias” instead of “Thank you.” I wondered if I would continue out of habit for days after our return. Nope.  I am struck by how easily I have also slipped back into familiar patterns. The only hesitation I have noticed is when using the bathroom. Continue reading

Worship at Acteal

Greetings, dear readers! You have already heard some about Acteal and Las Abejas. The service at Acteal really moved me, so I wanted to share some of the things I saw, heard and learned there. The people of Acteal have experienced such tremendous hardship, yet they speak, sing, and pray with tremendous hope and joy. Their courage and perseverance was truly inspiring.

The first banner I noticed was one that read as follows (I included my attempt at translation to Engligh — I may not be spot on, but hopefully I caught the gist of it!):

“Tlotik el Pueblo De Las ‘Abejas’ de Acteal Te Da La Bienvenidos Por Caminar En La Luz”
(The Village of the “Bees” of Acteal Welcome You to Walk in the Light)

R aul
A utonomia (Autonomy)
U nidad (Unity)
L ucha (Struggle)

V erdad (Truth)
E jemplo (Example)
R espeto (Respect)
A mor (Love)

L uz (Light)
O racion (Prayer)
P erdon (Forgiveness)
E vanjelio (Gospel)
pa Z (Peace)

The service was conducted both in the indigenous language shared by the people in the village and in Spanish. I tried hard to understand as much as I could, and I’ll share with you a short list of a few of the things that I understood as either spoken  by individuals or sung by the choir with great fortitude: Continue reading

Do you see what I see?

Buenos Noches again dear readers! It is so hard to believe that we only have one more full day here in San Cristobal.  For me this day began and ended in tears.  This morning when I went to get my coffee at breakfast time I was suddenly overcome by a wave of homesickness. I felt lonely and just wanted to be home with my family and my familiar surroundings.  The waterworks were short lived, but took me a bit by surprise since I have never been one to get homesick.  This trip has been a wonderful experience, but this is the longest I have been away from my home by myself in a very long time.

This evening ten of us went out to dinner at what has become a favorite dining place on Real de Guadalupe, one of the pedestrian shopping streets downtown.  While we were eating a young boy came around and asked Pam if he could shine her shoes for 20 pesos.  She had been hoping to do so before leaving so she agreed and he set to work.  It was 9:30 pm and I could just see the top of his head at the end of the table bobbing up and down as he shined her shoes.  I lost it right there and the tears flowed.  It just did not seem right Continue reading

Hoy Dia a La Manana

The title of this post is “From Today To Tomorrow.” It is the title of a poem I wrote on Saturday which I will include at the end of my post.

This past Saturday, we met with women from 3 different weaving cooperatives. The patterns and styles of each community’s weavings are unique. The vast array of colors and patterns created a great deal of excitement in the group as we negotiated who would purchase which of these one-of-a-kind items.

The women were very shy yet they answered a few questions — mostly with “yes” or “no” responses. Continue reading

CEDEMM

Buenas Tardes dear reader.  It is now 4:30 pm on Monday and it seems I have been on my feet the entire day except to eat lunch.  As I told you before we did have a later start today.  It was 10:00 am when most of us set out on foot to walk (some of us took a taxi) about 2 kilometers to visit the Center for the Development of Mayan Medicine (CEDEMM) which is overseen by the organization OMIECH, the Organization of Indigenous Doctors of the State of Chiapas.  This center includes a museum, a medicinal plant garden and a pharmacy.  It also includes a small chapel/place of healing where Maya healers can meet with people who come for healing.

The purpose of this center is to revive and honor traditional Mayan medicinal practices, recognizing them as legitimate healing methods and remedies. We learned about traditional indigenous Maya healers: Pulsars, Elders who pray, Midwives, Bone Healers, and Herbalists. We were so fortunate to meet Victorio, a healer who was at the center, and he graciously allowed us to ask a few questions.  He told us how Continue reading