Saturday, January 19, 2013

2012 - Images/ Guatemala & Winter Solstice Ceremony

Mayan community preparing for 2012 Solstice sacred Fire Ceremony - San Pedro de la laguna

 Welcome to my still photo documentary of my visit to Guatemala during the 2012 Winter Solstice.

Such a remarkable experience meeting the Maya people in the village of San Pedro - an experience like no other...a different world. Because i know the images speak for themselves with feelings over words, i will simply explain the highlights of the trip -- allowing an immersion into the culture as best i was able - experiencing the amazing Heart of a people who, materially, have so little...yet so kind and open-hearted!

 Experiencing the Solstice sacred Fire Ceremony and the amazing and rich Maya-cosmo-vision that is awakening in this community - a vision of compassion and caring for each other; working through deep wounds and injuries; understanding life purpose and inner and outer meaning of each day; doing one's own part in caring for the environment--bodies of water, land, animals and air; integrating a spiritual perspective in daily life....

     Mayan fire ceremonies are elaborate and moving - lasting anywhere from 3-4 hours. Sacred symbolism. Similar to other indigenous cultures - deep reverence to Nature and Spirit.

    Another pivotal aspect of my visit was connecting with the heart of Taa 'Pit...  Taa 'Pit Kortees, the Center for Intercultural Learning Tz'utujil Mayan  - reintroducing/restoring their 'disappearing' culture and language back to the children and their families--is unique, founded by Maya, nonprofit, in the highlands of Guatemala, Lake Atitlan, San Pedro la Laguna.
you can visit their website, just below... by pasting into your browser..... 
     The trip was dreamed, birthed and offered through Compassionate Listening Project - creating the program and making all the arrangements for our remarkable event experiences, beautiful lodging, dining, and meeting Maya people of the community. 

     In my photo images, you will see the preparation of the Sacred Fire Ceremonies; the children of Taa'Pit and those working hard to bring the Mayan culture & their native language back to the children and their families; may you enjoy the beauty of this magical place... and feel the Heart of these remarkable people.

I think you'd very much like to see this brief video- of 2 minutes:

Hotel Antigua in Guatemala

Rooftop in Antigua Guatemala

Selling wares in the market - Antigua Guatemala

Old Ruins in Antigua

Antigua Guatemala
Street in Antigua

Field off the roadway heading to San Pedro

View of Lake Atitlan atop the mountain - see San Pedro at base in distance

A white egret? or crane or heron ?  at Lake Atitlan - San Pedro

See how Bananas grow - and the long hanging maroon colored thing hanging below

Sunrise in San Pedro and Lake Atitlan

Hotel facing the Lake - my room is bottom floor, second from right

Street in San Pedro
View from Home Restaurant - San Pedro
On the road to San Pedro - bags of coffee beans lining the street
old looking building in Antigua

Blankets hanging - San Pedro

At dawn arriving at San Marcos for Solstice Sacred Fire Ceremony

Atop of mountain, looking across Lake Atitlan at dawn - fire ceremony soon to begin
Fire pit to be prepared - see dark objects on ground just to right - and musicians

Daykeeper preparing firepit in a sacred way- (after cleaning) beginning with the sacred 4 Directions

large round pine sap balls are added
Sacred Four Directions
Adding the large round pine sap balls in building the sacred fire

Elements for building the sacred fire - round ball of pine sap

Chocolate and kindling added
White candles are handed to Daykeeper - 4 colors for each Direction

Beans and rice are added to sacred fire

4 colors of candles are utilized in sacred fire

Mayan musicians at fire ceremony
Kindling being lit with sacred fire and prayer - the actual Fire ceremony is not permitted to be photographed
Lush vegetation in San Pedro

Children of San Marcos
Calle in San Pedro

Tuk-Tuks in San Marcos

                                                             Canal in San Pedro - Santiago dock
Hotel reception area in San Pedro

Lush vegetation - San Pedro

Narrow 'calles' in San Pedro

Home Restaurant in San Pedro

Mother & son who is student at Taa' pit - school reinvigorating Mayan children back to their beautiful culture

Children at Taa'pit learning about computers
Taa'Pi't School reviving Mayan culture for Mayan children

Taa'Pit school operating on a shoe-string budget

Children of Taa'Pit learning about protecting environment & their Lake
on the walk to my hotel room
Solstice eve in San Pedro village- Children in the streets with sparklers

Sunset on Lake Atitlan - San Pedro

San Pedro Community Solstice Fire Ceremony preparation - preparing flower petals

San Pedro Mayan community preparation for Solstice Sacred Fire ceremony

San Pedro Mayan community preparing flower petals for sacred fire

quietly coming together for preparing the sacred fire for solstice

Beautiful, devout women in their traditional San Pedro shawls

 Preparing ingredients for sacred Fire Ceremony - for Solstice

 Multi-colored candles representing each Direction to burn in the sacred fire

Candle colors of 4 Directions - see fire pit prep in background

Spirit Water

Candles and other sacred ingredients for the fire ceremony

Daykeeper preparing for sacred fire

enhanced fire pit and community participants

Mayan families of San Pedro participating in sacred Ceremony

Mayan family
Daykeepers of sacred fire ceremony

Daykeeper of sacred fire ceremony
Sacred fire at end of ceremony

San Pedro - garden in foreground - houses behind

view of Lake Atitlan from my room
butte, above, is location for San Pedro fire ceremony
yard just in front of my room - looking out to Lake Atitlan

three dogs napping on a step along the roadside

Maria, scarf-weaver in San Pedro

Gathering of Mayan families & students of Taa'pit

17-year-old interpreter

Home visit of Mayan family - three generations of women

Middle woman, age 97, she's in the photo (years earlier) above her head in the blue skirt with her husband

The son of the 97 year old woman - in kitchen area

Washing the corn to be prepared to make tortillas

 The whole corn is now put into a crusher
The corn is crushed and falls into the bottom bin as dough

Here the woman is carrying the corn dough - the corn that
had been crushed

stove with live wood burning fire

Rolling out the corn tortilla dough
kitchen area

      corn tortilla - hand made
sleeping areas behind the curtains

 Kitchen area

This lovely man is holding photographs of my grandmothers

This appears to be at least four generations of women

This woman holds a snow globe from seattle. The curious little boy later dropped it on the cement floor.

Young girl selling fruit at front door

Market in San Pedro

Highway buses - not for use in the village

Teacher of Taa'pit and her 12 y.o. student

Strong supporter (left) and Founder of Taa'Pit
San Juan hand-made weaving - shawls
Demonstration of yarn-dying
Mayan spirit image/mural on a wall in San Juan
Religious procession in the street - San Juan
our wonderful grilled chicken prepared for lunch - San Juan
Mural in San Juan capturing reverence for Nature

Artist by his mural depicting Mayan bone healer
Mayan fisherman

Symbolic Mural in San Juan depicting Maya community
Mural in San Juan on a building wall
Street in San Juan - neighboring San Pedro

my room in San Pedro

work party at Taa'Pit school

 Symbolic art work representations for the students

Painted wood carving - related to Nature & Environment

owner and the chef at La Puerta


                                              La Puerta Restaurant - lovely entrance & cabana

                                                    Coffee cups steps - La Puerta Restaurant

                                                          Sweet Isabel at La Puerta

Idea Connection Internet Cafe

                                            Street of La Puerta, Internet Cafe and hotel

local tienda 

selling beans, rice... their staples

Calle in San Pedro ... No CARS ! :)

Walkway to my hotel by the Lake

Looking east toward volcano
Juan Martin, Deborah and Juan Manuel - the heart of Taa'Pit

Leaving San Pedro heading toward San Juan and over the mountain

heading over the mountains back to Antigua

up in the clouds traveling back over the mountains

van shuttle between Antigua & San Pedro - i sat shotgun w/ the big guy

streets of Antigua - you can feel the difference

memory of sunset on Lake Atitlan from my hotel

      memory of full moon rising on Lake Atitlan - San Pedro de laguna

A most welcome invitations to your comments and questions on this photo documentary.
Thank you for visiting. Please do share the the link to this blog with others who may 
find the material interesting. ~ Nancy B.