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

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


Chris Smith has talked a lot about privilege and the need to open our eyes to the cost of that privilege to the rest of the world.  Daily there are multiple opportunities to recognize my privilege.  When I shower, I do not have to remember to keep my mouth shut lest I ingest contaminated water.  When I brush my teeth, I can use water from the faucet.  I do not need to inquire at restaurants whether the water is purified or not.  Water in and of itself is great privilege that Mexico opened my eyes to.

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

Chiapas on my Mind

Hello, everyone! I trust that all of our travelers are safely back in their homes and transitioning back into their “US” lives. It’s so interesting to have such a different awareness of my own “routine” that doesn’t seem so “routine” any more.

  • I appreciate every glass of water I drink from the tap.
  • I appreciate having access to “just what I want, just when I need it.”
  • I appreciate snuggling with my cat, Allie, and know that it is a true gift and privilege that I can provide both for myself and for her.
  • I appreciate eating whatever I want whenever I want and somewhat regret it at the same time.
  • I appreciate being able to flip open my computer whenever I want to to send or receive information at will (thank you Ramona, Deadra, and Pam for sharing your computers with me in Chiapas!).
  • I appreciate feeling safe and secure in my own home, knowing that if I need reliable medical attention, it is only 3 digits away on my phone (i.e. 911).

The list could go on and on, but I think you get the drift. The thing I miss the most so far? Our community of 20ish (20 of us plus varying numbers of guides, friends, teachers, Chiapans). As I told the group on our last night, I am so grateful for the care, generosity, and hospitality that our group extended to one another so quickly and so consistently. It was such a gift to feel so connected to such wonderful people.

Over the next few days, I plan to share additional insights and observations of our trip to Chiapas that I didn’t have the time or energy to share while in Chiapas. I invite you to continue to follow along as I continue to share the journey we experienced in Chiapas that actually continues on ever though we have returned. My thoughts and observations of my “normal routine” will never likely be the same, and I suspect that what was normal may no longer be so and what was once “routine” may change quite a bit.  :)

Peace to all,

We are back!

Dear Readers, Our Chiapas group arrived at the MPLS airport last night around midnight.  We left San Cristobal 4:30 yesterday morning.  Thank you all for your prayers and support during our trip! I will post more in the next few days.  Pam

Neil teaches Chris some dance moves while waiting in the Phoenix airport.

Mayan temples, clay pigeons and military checkpoints

Dear reader, I should not still be awake, but I did order a café Americano at our 9:30 dinner this evening! I have missed a couple of our days which I still plan to catch you up on, but I don’t want to add today to the mix.  We had another full schedule today as we drove to a Mayan archeological site in Tenam Puente (sorry, too tired to describe here-you will get pictures!), ate lunch in Comitan and visited a potter.

On our way out of San Cristobal we drove past a huge sculpture of a woman potter who was forming a clay pigeon.  Her name is Doña Juliana and she is known and honored in all of Mexico for her pottery.  I thought the statue was really cool and so Continue reading