We have several projects for 2012 and beyond:
Kenosis Spirit Keepers provides indigenous "bridge builders" in the Americas, who have shared interests, parallel traditions or overlapping geographic roots, ways to connect with each other on an intimate, small group level. Through these interchanges it is our intent that indigenous traditions are strengthened and sustained.
We ask the native community to create a travel group of leaders to serve as placeholders both during the travels and upon return to their home community, as well as young people who are positive role models, but who may be living in high risk situations.
During the Summer 2008 journey, Hopi elder Harold Joseph spoke to Q'ero community leaders who were traveling with us, "You are my brothers and sisters! When I am at home and pray for rain for my corn, I pray for your corn..." See more photos of this journey and others.
Hopi Harold Joseph speaking with Q'ero friends (Photo credit: Darlene Dunning)
The Heart of the Andes. We are providing sponsorships for Hopi leaders to take part in a cross-cultural exchange program in Peru on May 30-June 12, 2011. The purpose is to bring them together with their Quechua cousins for sharing traditions and ceremonies and to visit sacred sites of the Inca and Pre-Inca in the Cusco and Puno regions. See photos of past journeys.
They will be active in festivities with the Mollamarka Indians, in the village of Mollamarka in the Cusco Region, that include folkloric dances and songs, plus engage in traditional healing rituals. There will also be a day-long gathering with prominent elders and community members of the Q'ero Nation, known as the keepers of the ancient Inca knowledge. A small group of Q'ero leaders will join us for travel to the Puno area and the home of Lake Titicaca. Don Américo Yábar, Gayle Yábar and Carla Woody will help guide the journey. For more information visit the Peru Trip page.
Entering the Maya Mysteries. We are sponsoring the return of Hopi leaders from Second Mesa chosen by their traditional council, so that they may join us in our January 13-25, 2013 Maya Mysteries program and continue weaving connections with the Lacandón Maya. Read more about this sharing along the migration paths of the Hopi and how it has strengthened the ancient Lacandón Maya traditions, on the very real brink of disappearing forever, in the rainforest village of Najá. We will also be spending time at important Maya sites in Chiapas, Mexico like Palenque and Toniná, as well as In Highland Maya villages during Carnaval and participate in ceremonies. Carol Karasik and Chip Morris, Maya cultural researchers, and Carla Woody, founder of Kenosis Spirit Keepers, will guide the group. For more information on this program vist the Maya Trip page.
We ask your assistance in gathering funds to fully support all Spirit Keepers for 2011 and beyond. These are annual programs. Donate now.
We offer a limited number of sponsorships for non-native young adults, who are emerging leaders, to participate in programs for cross-cultural exchange and consciousness-raising purposes. For young people just entering adulthood and facing major decisions, their experience imparts what elements are really important in life. Some of those we've sponsored have been at risk. They've used this program as a boost to take them on a new path. Without exception, we've witnessed young people gain new levels of self-esteem and confidence. For more information, see Past Projects or download the application. Donate now to support young adults.
Current 2011 young adult sponsorship opportunities:
Alliance with Flordemayo's The Path: Supporting 40 Acres and the Seed Temple
We are honored to support this important work toward preserving Native seeds and plants used in traditional agriculture and healing that are in danger of contamination and extinction.
Flordemayo, a member of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, established The Path, a nonprofit, whose mission is to build an underground seed vault that will become, not only a place of protection, but also one of prayer and of teaching sacred ways. The purchase of forty acres near Estancia, New Mexico was accomplished by Winter 2010. The next phase of building the seed temple is nearly complete. Seed savers and trained volunteers have begun sorting and documenting seeds already received, which will be preserved in a controlled environment in the underground vault. The plans also include organic gardening in a greenhouse with proper filtering (hepa-filters) to keep the integrity of the heritage seeds from GMO-contamination, training and distribution to growers.
This is imperative. Elders have already begun to deliver seeds to Flordemayo. This work grew out of a sacred vision received by Flordemayo and then reinforced by the Grandmothers.
"The seed has a spirit, but it doesn't have a voice. We are giving the seeds a voice! We are welcoming Native and heritage seeds from growers. The only restriction is that the seeds are organically grown; and we know where they came from and who is growing them. So we need to have documentation in receiving them," Flordemayo said to Carla Woody, founder of Kenosis Spirit Keepers, in an interview.
A portion of tuition from Spiritual Travel to Mexico and Guatemala: "Entering the Maya Mysteries," December 9-22, 2013, will benefit this seed saving project. The automatic donation portion (tax-deductible) of each traveler's tuition will be directed to The Path specifically to maintain the work of the Seed Temple. By participating in our December 2013 program, you not only undertake a transformational journey, but also help preserve important Indigenous traditions. For questions and to register call 928-778-1058 or send a message to email@example.com. See travelers' stories from past spiritual travel programs.
Kenosis Spirit Keepers has thus far been able to donate $3250 since February 2012 to help fund this project. With your help, we intend to continue support.
Check back for other ways our alliance will support the mission of The Path.
See project progress.
Preservation of Maya Textile Museum and Humanitarian Work of Don Sergio Castro
Don Sergio Castro works with impoverished Maya communities around San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, in the areas of medical and school needs, where there is no help from the Mexican government. Most of his patients are unable to give money, but in return pay with their blessings, tamales, and other items that serve as reciprocity. Lack of consistent funding makes it quite difficult for Don Sergio to fulfill the growing needs of the communities to which he has been dedicated for more than forty years.
Years ago, patients started giving Don Sergio their traditional clothing. To support his medical and school-building work, he opened a small textile museum, which doubles as a clinic. From that source and the occasional donation he's somehow able to keep going.
Travelers on the spiritual travel programs to Chiapas, co-sponsored by Kenosis Spirit Keepers, visit the textile museum and have an audience with Don Sergio, supported through an entrance fee included in the program tuition. We are now making a larger commitment to Don Sergio's humanitarian work by raising funds to go toward the rental fees of the textile museum. This move helps preserve beautiful traditional clothing, clearly within our mission. But, in addition, funds formerly earmarked for rental space can now be directed to much needed medical supplies and other requirements.
During our 2008 Spirit Keepers Journey in Peru extensive footage was taken showing traditions, as well as some never before filmed interviews and sacred rituals, all done with full permission of the participants. We intend to produce a full-length documentary in order to raise awareness of the fragility of indigenous cultures and the importance they be sustained. Any funds received through the viewing of the film will be channeled back into Kenosis Spirit Keepers to further our mission.
We are fortunate to have the collaboration of Steiger Brothers Productions who have produced documentaries working with PBS, Nova, BBC, National Geographic and others since 1985. Through the generosity of their associate Monty Delozier and Jacob Devaney of Culture Collective who donated their time and services, we have the rough footage from this important journey.
We must now raise the funds to complete the required post-production work to turn the footage into a documentary. Donate now.
Kenosis Spirit Keepers projects are, in part, an outgrowth of scholarship programs originally instituted by Carla Woody through an organization she founded, Kenosis LLC. Below are those programs.
Building a school in Peru for the Q'ero Nation
The Q'ero Indians live in isolation at 17,000 ft on the mountain called Q'ero in the Cusco region of the Andes as they have for the hundreds of years since fleeing when the conquistadors invaded in order to keep their spiritual traditions pure. Read more about these native people and our long-time engagement with them.
We are happy to report that as of March 2010 the Kusi Quyllur (koo-sy coy-lur) Education Institute, as named by the Cochamocco community, is in operation. Current enrollment is 19 girls and 23 boys ranging between ages 5 through 15 in two classrooms with two teachers. The curriculum includes: Quechua, Spanish, Community Knowledge, Mathematics, Science and Technology. This private school is managed by a committee of parents in collaboration with the teachers and community government. They now have their own website with a number of photos.
This is a success story extraordinaire!
History of Our Involvement:
They asked us to help them build a school in the Q'ero village of Cochamoca by providing materials and initial support. Because the nearest school is three hours away over very rough terrain, none of the children have gone to school. The Peruvian government offers the Q'ero Nation little to no support and they have no funds to accomplish this on their own.
Q'ero leaders were very clear that they did not want a mestizo school built of concrete blocks, but one resembling their own traditional stone dwellings. Hence, they were to construct the school. Our part was to raise funds to provide such materials as windows, doors, stoves, whatever is not available on site. Benches, desks and school supplies were required, as was a teacher with a curriculum that honors their culture. We intended to assist them in maintaining supplies and the teacher's salary during the early phase until cottage industries the Q'ero of Cochamoco could develop to support the ongoing expenses of the school and be self-sufficient.
During our May-June 2009 Peru Program we finalized the agreements to assist our Q'ero friends in building their school and began funding this project.
A captivating story is that of Xavier Saer, a Peruvian musician living in South Africa, who, having heard of the need for funds, flew to Lima. There he gave a benefit concert and then undertook an odyssey to find Cochamocca, with no knowledge of how to get there, to put the funds directly into the hands of Fredy Flores Machacca whom he'd never met. Fredy is now the director of the school. To read the full account of Xavier's story, download his e-book "Finding Fredy." (3.3 MB)
* Translated from Quechua, paq'o is a shaman, despacho is a blessing ritual, and ayni is the sacred sense of reciprocity the Andean people live by.
View photos that tell the story of the Cochamoco School Project.
Q'ero Village Cochamoco (Photo credit: Oakley Gordon) Q'ero Mother and Child (Photo credit: Monty DeLozier)
Providing sanitation and aid in Mollamarka
The Mollamarka Indians live in relative isolation about five hours outside the city of Cusco. We had been asked to provide aid to the elderly villagers and children of Mollamarka by purchasing blankets to protect against the cold. These were bought in the market in Cusco and brought with us to Mollamarka.
The Mollamarka school was in need of a bathroom for the children. We raised $3000 to provide materials and labor. Fundraising for this project is complete.
Mollamarka Elder and Mollamarka Children (Photo credits: Monty DeLozier)
Young Adult Scholarship Program
Between 2005 and 2007 several young adult scholarships were granted providing the recipients with the opportunity to travel internationally and experience the indigenous wisdom of the Peruvian Andes. Read some of their stories.
Spirit Keepers Journey Pilot Program
During the May 26-June 8, 2007 Spiritual Travel Program to Peru, a Hopi elder and youth, both initiated in the Kachina Society, from Shongopovi, Second Mesa, Arizona, joined the group to act as emissaries of their spiritual traditions. They were hosted through full tuition scholarships and all travel expenses.
Carla Woody said at the time, "When we travelers come together in circle, witness and share in the act of connection to sacred energies with mystic Don Américo Yábar, nagual Gayle Yábar, the Q'ero and Mollamarka Indians, it will be a historical moment. It is my intent that this time acts as an introduction, only a first time, and that larger groups of Hopi and other indigenous peoples of North America follow in the next years."
The purpose of these sponsorships will be to participate in targeted travel programs for cultural exchange purposes. Amounts will normally range between $1,000 to $2000 depending on need.
Young adults must meet the criteria of being between the ages of 18 to 25. If over 25 but not more than 27, they must be enrolled in school or have graduated within the last year.
In addition, recipients must have an interest in indigenous wisdom, sacred cultural practices and/or cultural exchange.
Last updated 03 May 2013 | © 2008-13 Kenosis Spirit Keepers