- What is an un/learning journey?
- Who is this for?
- Day 1. Monday, December 4. Arrivals
- Day 2. Tuesday, December 5. Ek Balam and Cenotillo
- Day 3. Wednesday, December 6. Buctzotz
- Day 4. Thursday, December 7. Chaksinkín
- Day 5. Friday, December 8. Hopelchén
- Day 6. Saturday, December 9. Calakmul
- Day 7. Sunday, Decemeber 10. Calakmul
- Day 8. Monday, December 11. Bacalar
- Day 9. Tuesday, December 12. Bacalar
- Day 10. Wednesday, December 13. Carrillo Puerto
- Day 11. Thursday, December 14. Paamul
- Day 12. Friday, December 15. Integration/celebration
- Day 13. Saturday, December 16. Departures
- Itinerary at a glance:
- Ecopedagogy and travelling
- Your journey includes:
- Reasons to participate
- Ethics and economy
- Faculty and team:
Experience a transformative journey where you will delve into the Maya ethics and practice of joy and health for a world woven into multiple kinships. You will meet local leaders in the fields of environmental conservation, medicine, food, spirituality, native seeds, art and memory. As a group, we will let ourselves be entangled with the jungles, ancient cities, cenotes, caves and beaches, while deepening our understanding of our selves, journeying and un/learning.
What is an un/learning journey?
The raw material of an un/learning journey is time. With care, we curate, knead, craft and, sometimes, even co-create it.
They are an interruption, a slowing down, many openings.
They are brave passages to possibilities, invitations to go out of the familiar zone and expand our sensibilities to let ourselves be undone so that we can suspend the noise of the routine and be attuned to dreams, stories and practices that instigate a process of becoming guided by the calm whisper and the joyous dance of the Earth.
Unlike tourism, this is not about consuming experiences, places, or people.
It is about engaging with the land and her guardians (human, non-human, more-than-human).
It is about activating the memory that walks to the encounter of what is different -tastes, landscapes, textures, languages, rhythms, ways of knowing, modes of being- with curiosity and respect.
The journey is simultaneously a retreat, a ceremony and a ritual that embraces the unknown as a fertile soil for radicalizing imagination and a pathway to deepen the relations to self, life, consciousness and the many worlds that constitute the pluriverse.
Who is this for?
The journeys are for those willing to participate in the co-creation of different stories, dreams and practices, for those searching to expand their horizons and attune their sensibilities and desires, for those daring to entertain an open mind and heart, holding contradictions with authenticity and making space for questions rather than answers. They are for those willing to explore who they really are and how to become present for the Earth in a mutually enhancing way.
We strongly encourage to apply for the program to everyone who feels called to join, especially to people of all ages with a serious commitment to re-inventing their relationship to Earth and to self, activists, artists, scientists, students, unschoolers, therapists, educators, farmers, community organizers, magicians, dropouts, writers, workers, and everyone resonating with the invitation to be present with the other worlds that are possible and that are already here.
December 4-16, 2023
Day 1. Monday, December 4. Arrivals
Arrive at Cancun International Airport. Pick up from Cancun bus station and transfer to our hotel. Meet your Learning Journey Team and fellow companions on the journey. Gather for a welcome talk, dinner, opening ceremony, and reception.
Day 2. Tuesday, December 5. Ek Balam and Cenotillo
In the morning we will drive for 2 hours to visit the ancient city of Ek Balam, an archaeological jewel located in rural Yucatan, where we will be hosted by a local guide. After marveling at the spectacular architecture and design of this site, we will drive for one hour to get to Cenotillo, where we will be hosted by a local, women-led cooperative that will share about their organizing process in taking care of the cenotes in the region. Cenotillo is a municipality with more than a hundred cenotes and they have advocated for them, to keep them healthy. We will have lunch, tasting the authentic flavors of the regional cuisine. After replenishing our energy, we will then drive through a jungle trail to get to a hidden cenote, in charge of the cooperative, of the most impressive in the region, with an underground pool diameter of approximately 60m, surrounded by exuberant, breathtaking nature. We will host our first reflection circle around a Yaxche (ceiba) tree, and will set up camp in this unique place.
Day 3. Wednesday, December 6. Buctzotz
We will share the sunrise with spider monkeys and many birds before taking a bath in the pristine waters of the cenote and having breakfast. We will then drive for one hour to Buctzotz, a rural town where we will meet our hosts for the day, members of the Muuch Xiinbaal Assembly in defense of land and territory in the peninsula of Yucatán. We will share lunch, a hike and a conversation around the Maya ethics of health and joy, and we will learn about the many challenges that the region is facing. We will then co-create our reflection circle surrounded by the milpa, the policulture-based way of farming and living.
Day 4. Thursday, December 7. Chaksinkín
After our breakfast, we will drive for two hours to a village near Peto, where we will meet the Guardians of the Seeds, our hosts for the day. We will deepen our experience with the multiplicity of seeds and relationships happening in the local milpas, and the practice of unity, memory and knowledge that creates a collectivity where many seeds fit and blossom. Lunch will be an opportunity to embody the nurturing qualities of this collective practice. In the evening, we will have our reflection circle.
Day 5. Friday, December 8. Hopelchén
We will start moving away from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico to explore the rural Maya lands in Campeche. After breakfast, we will drive South for three hours to reach the town of Hopelchén, in Campeche, where we will be met by a local collective that has inspired energy in the movement against GMOs, emphasizing the importance of native seeds and the presence of pollinators. This seemingly small community has defeated Monsanto and has strengthened their practices of care for the land and for the community. In the evening, we will co-create our reflection circle.
Day 6. Saturday, December 9. Calakmul
After an energizing breakfast, we will drive for three hours to Calakmul, one of the largest natural reserves in the Americas. In this majestic setting of a green ocean of jungle we will generate ample space for being present.
Day 7. Sunday, Decemeber 10. Calakmul
We will have a very early start of our morning to get in the depths of the jungle of Calakmul, where we will hike in trails learning about the ecology of this place and spotting the variety of birds and fauna of this region, with the help of a local guide, that will also present the rich history of the archeological site of Calakmul. We will then return to our camp to have lunch and have rest.
Day 8. Monday, December 11. Bacalar
After breakfast, we will drive for two hours and half to reach the lagoon of Bacalar. We will have lunch in the town and have time to explore the galleries, cafes and public events. We will host our reflection circle in the evening.
Day 9. Tuesday, December 12. Bacalar
In this amazing lagoon, famous for its many tonalities of blue we will enjoy a full day of rest and relaxation. In the evening, we will have an optional temazcal.
Day 10. Wednesday, December 13. Carrillo Puerto
After a replenishing breakfast, we will head towards the city of Carrillo Puerto, a one hour 30 minutes drive, where we will have lunch and meet the Commaya, the Coordinadora de Mujeres Mayas, our hosts for the day. With them, we will listen to the deep lineage of women ancestors and the weaving of a tapestry of hopes, struggles and horizons of creativity for Maya women and their communities. In the evening, we will host our reflection circle.
Day 11. Thursday, December 14. Paamul
After breakfast, we will continue our drive North for one hour and a half to get to the beach of Paamul, where we will spend some time by the Caribbean coastline before having lunch. In the evening, we will get ready to visit an impressive system of semi-flooded caves, guided by a team of conservation activists that will share the ecological and social relevance of the underworld in the peninsula.
Day 12. Friday, December 15. Integration/celebration
We will dedicate this day to wrap up our journey, reflect together about our un/learnings, do a closing ceremony and host a celebration.
Day 13. Saturday, December 16. Departures
We will help you to set up your transfer to the airport of Cancun.
Itinerary at a glance:
Ecopedagogy and travelling
Before, during and after the journey we exercise a cosmopolitical pedagogy of emergence (COPE). We understand cosmopolitics as an exercise of ‘slowing down reasoning’ (Stengers) that creates an opening for possible articulations between worlds. In this sense, it is a pedagogy of encounter, of sourcing inner wisdom, of dialogue between cultures and world-making practices, one that involves movement, story, dreams, inquiries, solidarities, boundaries and practices that allow for the uniqueness of the process of coming into being, of a becoming that invites a new relationship of the human within an entangled, endangered yet potent web of life.
Before the journey, registered participants will get access to a platform with resources on different topics of the journey, such as: Maya culture, the Chicxulub event, Deep Time perspective, anti-tourism and radical hospitality, marine life ecosystems, archeoastronomy and indigenous peoples resistance to extractivist models of development. These are materials and resources that learners can engage freely, at their own rhythm and with no expected outcome. Participants are invited to choose one topic of inquiry during their journey that is relevant and alive for them.
During the journey, we will have a combination of visits, group process sessions, lectures, practices and free time. Participants are invited to document their journey in the way that suits them better for their learning process.
As a cooperative, we are trying new approaches to make the journeys affordable for as many people as possible while covering the costs and paying our faculty and hosts. We are experimenting with a sliding scale in which you can choose the fee according to your life situation.
Consider contributing MORE on the scale if you:
- have the ability to comfortably meet all of your basic needs
- belong to a sponsoring organization or are employed full-time
- have investments, retirement accounts, or inherited money
- travel recreationally
- have access to family money and resources in times of need
- work part-time by choice
- own the home you live in
- have a relatively high degree of earning power due to level of education (or gender and racial privilege, class background, etc.)
Consider contributing LESS on the scale if you.
- have difficulty covering basic expenses
- are supporting children or have other dependents
- have significant debt
- have medical expenses not covered by insurance
- are an elder with limited financial support
- are an unpaid community organizer
- have unstable housing and/or limited access to reliable transportation
- have not taken a vacation or time off due to the financial burden
|(This is based on the ‘Green Bottle’ sliding scale model by Alexis J. Cunningfolk||www.wortsandcunning.com)|
If you select an amount at the higher end of the scale, you will make possible future offerings and support the good work of the speakers, facilitators, and organizers who are generously contributing their gifts to this event.
- Partial grant fee: 1,250 USD in camping. We provide the tent and mattress. Sleeping bags not included. Please note that you will be sharing the sleeping space in the tent with another person.
- Regular fee: 1700 USD in double room, 2100 USD in private room.
- Plus fee: 2500 USD.
Partial grants might be available upon request after applying.
Your journey includes:
- A team of experts, professional tour leaders and educators, and local community organizers.
- City-to-hotel transfers in small groups upon arrival to the bus station in Cancun.
- All food and beverages (except alcohol).
- All logistics for tours and transportation as outlined in the itinerary.
- All entrance fees for archaeological sites, nature preserves and other attractions except optional activities.
Your journey does not include:
- flights to and from Cancún.
- bus from or to Cancun airport.
- optional activities (massage, scuba diving).
- health and travel insurance.
“Our journey together was the most inspiring, fulfilling, satisfying, and enlivening trip I’ve ever taken… well, with the exception of being alive and somewhat conscious at this particular time in the Universe. Thank you for this extraordinary co-creation of Imagination, Possibility and Beyond” Marianne
“Each person we met, each environment we engaged, was more astonishing than the last, making deep impressions on my consciousness about other ways of being. I carry these precious astonishments with me as I go”. Terri
Reasons to participate
You have an interest in:
Becoming present for the Earth in a mutually beneficial way.
Delving into localized wisdom and scientific breakthroughs, exercising presence and exploring old new ways of relating to the web of life, including but not limited to our selves.
Participating in, place-based, embodied, experiential learning that expands sensibilities and imagination.
Cultivating spaces for other ways of knowing and being -aside from mainstream, disembodied, fragmented knowledge- which are highly relevant for the current challenges of our time.
Unfolding a self and collective inquiry leading to the birth of new practices and stories.
Co-creating a space for deepening artistic explorations.
Meeting fellow travelers with similar interests and mutual inspiration .
Ethics and economy
As a cooperative, we believe in offering programs that help you, your community and the world be enlivened again. We strive to co-create regenerative livelihoods for our families and for the planet. We refuse to engage in deadlihoods and we engage in initiatives that support alivelihoods, regenerating ourselves, the earth’s natural systems and local healthy families and communities.
By participating in this journey, you support an effort to engage with equity and social and environmental justice, supporting localized circular economies, exploring more regenerative economic practices, helping a democratically run cooperative, and enhancing the practice of being a grateful guest of Earth.
Faculty and team:
Ana Marica, Romanian community weaver, facilitator and learning designer exploring the rich tapestry of cultures around the world. On a mission to understand how communities can change for the better when self-directed learning principles are introduced in the educational process, she has spent the last 8 years researching and connecting with projects and communities from around the world who actively contribute to reimagining learning paradigms.
During this time, she has co-founded Digital Romads, a learning and organizational design consultancy whose purpose is to support communities and organizations explore transparent, open, self-managed, and co-created ways of collaborating and communicating. Currently based in Bucharest, Romania - her basecamp in between travels and explorations of various territories (both at surface and underwater).
Commaya, short for the Coordinadora de Mujeres Mayas de Quintana Roo, it is an intergenerational group of 19 Maya women that promote the rights of indigenous women through training, monitoring and accompaniment with a gender perspective, human rights and respect to the diversity of indigenous peoples.
Cooperativa Cenote Xooch is a local, women-led organization based in Cenotillo, Yucatan. They take care of the cenote Xooch and promote responsible ecotourism while advocating for the conservation of cenotes in the region.
Gerardo López-Amaro, co-founder of the Enlivened Cooperative, is currently walking com-passionately the path of autonomous education with the task of imagining spaces of encounter for thinking-feeling together about ways to strengthen the defense of life, memory and territory. He sees this as part of a planetary struggle for cognitive, relational and ontological justice. He is purposefully becoming entangled in a great “we” of people enacting the pluriverse, that “world where many worlds fit.” He has a profound interest in intercultural translation as a political practice with the horizon of weaving together an anti-imperial, decolonizing, joyful South that can resist the current capitalist storm and create stories, practices, and ideas that nurture life and dignity. Born and raised in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, he’s a pilgrim of viable spaces informed by politics of love and consciousness regarding the healing of land and territory, love and intimacy, and labor and livelihood. These topics constitute his field of inquiry for his doctoral dissertation research in Anthropology and Social Change at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Guardianes de las Semillas promotes native seeds and local knowledge about agroecological cycles and practices for food sovereignty in the peninsula of Yucatan. The collective is formed by Maya women and men that work in the milpa and that are commited to conserving the biocultural legacy of the milpa, basis of their diet and cosmovision.
Haizel de la Cruz, Born in Ticul and currently living in Buctzotz. A young photographer that documents the Mayan resistance and the vitality of an ethics of care for life. A ceiba tree, that represents life, time, space and community for Mayan was the first image that she captured with her cellphone. And her world moved.
Mauro Barrientos born and raised in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, he has been guiding archaeological and nature tours for 10 years.
Mon Fernández Mon is a young activist specialized in a politics of care for life. From that space she moves, accompanies and promotes the rights of women and disidences, the conservation of the jungle biodiversity and the processes of free education for children, among other threads that weave her lifepath.
Pedro Uc Be is a poet and a defender of the Mayan territory in Yucatan. Born in Buctzotz, he is the author of several books and a recipient of different awards. For Pedro, poetry and the care for the land are the same, a deep root that is entangled to his relationship to the milpa. His proposal is to share Mayan philosophy, thought and emotion a a proposal of life, of survival, of joy and of health.