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Coconuts, Cayeye, Coffee, Color and Calor June 30 2015 3 Comments



 

Calor means heat or warmth. That pretty much describes the city of Santa Marta, Magdalena, whose temperature hovers around 90 degrees Farenheit, and whose peoples are friendly and welcoming. Other words that come to mind are listed in the title of this post and featured in the images below, but it is hard to capture the spirit of this town with words or even images. There are many things I like about Santa Marta, but especially that it is a natural point of convergence for indigenous communities like the desert Wayuu and the different groups from the Sierra Nevada.

I made it here after a four-hour bus ride from Cartagena, a straight shot through some of the most extreme poverty and endangered ecosystems in the world, including dry tropical forests and the unique salt marshes of Salamanca preserve. Finally, I am getting closer to the headquarters of the organization where I will conduct my grad school internship on payment for ecosystem services. More on that soon!

coconut water pit stop along the road  Classic breakfast: cayeye (boiled mashed green bananas, cheese and butter) with locally-grown coffee
coconut water pit stop along the road
Classic breakfast: cayeye (boiled mashed green bananas, cheese and butter) with locally-grown coffee
Koguis, along with their indigenous brothers, climb down the Sierra Nevada to sell their craft. These 100% organic plant fiber bags are colored with natural mountain dyes and are prized by the community and collectors alike. Also available at flytribes.com (sorry about the shameless plug)
Koguis, along with their indigenous brothers, climb down the Sierra Nevada to sell their craft. These 100% organic plant fiber bags are colored with natural mountain dyes and are prized by the community and collectors alike. Available on this site!
My favorite type of color scheme is PRIDE. I was so delighted and surprised to see this LGBT rights march smack in the middle of a catholic, somewhat machista, pseudo- small town. Wow, wow, wow. This is encouraging.
My favorite type of color scheme is PRIDE. I was so delighted and surprised to see this LGBT rights march smack in the middle of a catholic, somewhat machista, pseudo- small town. Wow, wow, wow. This is encouraging.

10 Great Quotes From WE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR- by Alice Walker February 09 2015 2 Comments

Along with her American Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for The Color Purple, Alice Walker has the honor of being one of the most censored writers in American Literature. I came across We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For during Banned Books Week (yes, such a fabulous thing exists), and we have selected some knowledge from its pages to celebrate Walker's birthday today! 


Three-step Video to a New Ritual for 2015 January 08 2015

As the new year takes off and we look for new, positive behaviors to embrace, the burning of aromatic plants might escape our radar.  But it's a fabulous practice to consider, one which has been common amongst Native Americans and other indigenous cultures for millennia. Smudging calls on the spirit of sacred plants to cleanse and restore the balance of a place, giving your home a temple-ish feel. It also helps us get rid of mental junk (and funky smells) while soothing and energizing. There are many ways to smudge, like using a feather to waft the smoke, and many plants to use, like Cedar or Mountain Sage. In this very basic video we use a White Sage bundle, harvested by a co-op of the Kumeyaay tribe in California, and it is available here or at your local health food store.


Naughty, Nice, and Native December 23 2014



 

Author and poet Sherman Alexie, who grew up in the Spokane reservation, might not be on Santa's list, but he's definitely on mine. I share some excerpts from his book The Toughest Indian in the World, which is a collection of short stories.  Some are hot and some are straight cold,  but all are important because we just need to know how it is, fo' reals.        Continue reading


Why Indigenous Voices Matter November 20 2014

Going, going, gone? In 1929, Edwin Hubble established that other galaxies are rushing away from us because the universe is stretching. Since this expansion is accelerating, there will be a time when the light of these ever-more-distant galaxies will not travel fast enough to reach us. This means that, if humans are still around, future astronomers who peer out into space will only see an “endless stretch of empty, inky black”, as scientist Brian Green explains. Continue reading