- What is an un/learning journey?
- Who is this for?
- Monday, October 23rd. Arrivals
- Tuesday, October 24th. Tamtok
- Wednesday, October 25th. Tamaletom
- Thursday, October 26th. Tancanhuitz
- Friday, October 27th. Tamul
- Saturday, October 28th. Sótano de las Golondrinas
- Sunday, October 29th. Rest
- Monday, October 30th. Matlapa
- Tuesday, October 31st. Xantolo in Matlapa
- Wednesday, November 1st. San Martín Chalchicuautla
- Thursday, November 2nd. Xilitla
- Friday, November 3rd. Peña de Bernal. Integration
- Saturday, November 4th. Departures
- Itinerary at a glance
- Ecopedagogy and travelling
- What is included
- Testimonials of past participants
- Reasons to participate
- Ethics and economy
- Faculty and team:
- Learning Journey summary
The Huasteca is a bioregion of enormous socioecological diversity and significance, home to the Teenek, Nahuat and Xi’oi cultures, nations that have dwelled in the rain forests, waterfalls, caves, mountains and valleys that configure its rich topography.
Ancient cities like Tamtok are proof of the complex urbanization systems and the observation of astronomical cycles. The rich oral history and the colorful weaving and embroidery tell the stories of the time before time and the vibrancy of celebrations and rituals announce a respectful way of being in relationship with the land and her sentient beings.
Xantolo is a month-long series of celebrations leading to the Day of the Dead. Dances, food, songs, conversations, art and food are shared throughout this vast region that comprises seven different states. Ancestors are an essential part of the community of life and in this particular period of the year life and death are celebrated as an integral part of one cycle of renewal and disruption, of grief and celebration, of mystery and change.
In this unique journey we will have the opportunity to engage with local communities involved in the co-creation of initiatives related to agroecology, food sovereignty, art, solidarity economy and activism. We will have the extraordinary opportunity of being hosted mainly by a network of indigenous women that has been active for the past decade in the region.
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.
Dates: October 23rd-November 4th, 2023
Monday, October 23rd. Arrivals
We will meet in the city of San Luis Potosí by noon and will have ground transportation to the Huasteca Region. We will stay in Tanlajás.
Tuesday, October 24th. Tamtok
In the morning, we will travel to Tamtok, one of the most important ancient cities of the Teenek people, where we will have a guided visit by an archaeologist. After replenishing our energy with delicious local food, we will then head back to our accommodation, where we will do an opening ceremony and a River of Life activity.
Wednesday, October 25th. Tamaletom
This day we will visit the contemporary Ceremonial Site of Tamaletom, where a collective of elders, women and youth are dedicating their efforts to make the Teenek ways blossom. We will witness the astonishing Danza del Gavilán, learn about the stories embroidered in the pieces of art created by the women and engage in a conversation with local indigenous leaders. In the evening, we will go back to our hotel in Tanlajás where we will host a reflection circle.
Thursday, October 26th. Tancanhuitz
We will visit different houses of artists, weavers and producers in Tancanhuitz, where we will learn how families are recreating the cosmic stories and the memory of Teenek people, from the way they tend to the land and create their raw materials to the different designs. After sharing locally sourced and cooked food, we will go back to Tanlajás for our reflection circle.
Friday, October 27th. Tamul
This is a day for navigating the Tampaón River, where we will embark on a panga -a small boat- to row as a team and visit the massive, 350-ft waterfall of Tamul. After a refreshing swim, we will enjoy a meal before heading back to our accommodation in Tanlajás.
Saturday, October 28th. Sótano de las Golondrinas
After a short hike, we will visit the caves of Mantetzulel, a sacred site of pilgrimage for the Teenek people, where we will be hosted by local leaders and visit in the nearby region an agroecological coffee farm. After sharing a delicious meal, we will drive to the Sótano de las Golondrinas just in time for the sunset, where thousands of swallows give a magnificent, mesmerizing spectacle when they enter the 1680 ft depth cave. We will then drive to the south portion of the Huasteca Potosina region.
Sunday, October 29th. Rest
We will spend a full day of rest, regeneration, and processing in a beautiful cabin in the woods. This will be an opportunity to slow down, digest and pause for a bit in our journey. It’s also a good opportunity to go on a long hike, lay on a hammock or gather around the kitchen to share stories and insights, among many other emergent possibilities. In the evening, we will host a group reflection circle that will lead us into a stargazing night.
Monday, October 30th. Matlapa
In the mountains of Matlapa, we will visit a Nahua family’s agroecological farm of cinnamon, vanilla and fruit trees. In the evening, we will go back to Matlapa for our reflection circle.
Tuesday, October 31st. Xantolo in Matlapa
We will spend the morning with local families in Matlapa preparing for the Day of the Dead, participating in the elaboration of ritual food and collecting the materials for the altar. In the evening, we will have a group reflection.
Wednesday, November 1st. San Martín Chalchicuautla
We will dedicate the morning to constructing our collective altar for our ancestors and our beloved that have died. In the afternoon, we will drive to Escuatitla, in the municipality of San Martín Chalchicuautla, where we will visit the ritual wood-carved mask artist, dance at the rhythm of the comparsas and attend the ceremony of cambio de fiscal.
Thursday, November 2nd. Xilitla
In the morning, we will travel to Nahua communities in Xilitla organizing towards indigenous rights to sovereignty where we will engage in a conversation with local leaders. After lunch, we will travel to the town of Xilitla, where we will have free time to wander in this cobbled-street, charming town surrounded by rainforest. We will stay in the area.
Friday, November 3rd. Peña de Bernal. Integration
During the morning, we will drive for 5 hours to reach the quaint town of Peña de Bernal where we will dedicate time in the evening for integration and final reflections of the journey. After lunch we will host a closing ceremony and a celebration.
Saturday, November 4th. Departures
After breakfast, we will help you set up your transfer, either to the cities of Querétaro or Mexico City.
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: 1100 USD in camping. We provide the tent and mattress. Sleeping bags not included. Please note that you will be sharing the sleeping space with another person.
- Regular fee: 1600 USD in double room, 1850 USD in private room
- Plus fee: 2500 USD
Partial grants might be available upon request after applying.
What is included
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 city of San Luis Potosi.
All food and beverages (except alcohol).
Accommodations in shared room with all amenities.
All logistics for tours and transportation as outlined in the itinerary.
All entrance fees for archaeological sites, nature reserves and other attractions except optional activities.
Complimentary WiFi access where available.
Your journey does not include:
flights to and from Mexico
domestic transportation to San Luis Potosí and Querétaro
optional activities and local tours in free time.
health and travel insurance
Testimonials of past participants
“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.
We adopt the three principles of permaculture: Care for the Earth, Care for the People and Fair Share. We embrace the idea of surplus being shared with everyone involved in making the journey possible. We assign 40% of the profits of the journey to the cooperative, 10% for a local project aligned with this vision, and 50% to be proportionally divided between the team that carried out the project. 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).
Benigno Robles, Guardian of the Teenek Ceremonial Center of Tamaletom, linguist who positions the ancestral knowledge that the grandparents and grandmothers have protected. Founder of a meeting space between the indigenous Teenek wisdom and the curiosity of the youth who find in their tradition a way of living the present and future well woven with their history.
Carmen Ramos, Nahua woman that participates in learning communities advocating for ancestral culture, knowledge from elder women, and the ways in which they practice this in a changing and evolving day-to-day experience. She is a popular educator, a promotor of peace building and a weaver of alliances between women that do solid networks to walk together for a world sustained on a more just and solidarity economy.
Felipa, Master craftswoman Teenek, founder of the Women’s Network, wisely guides her companions in the knowledge of the tradition, language, and symbology. Felipa leads other women in community organization, tradition, health care and love for Our Mother Earth.
Gaby Ramírez González, daughter of Don Paciano, she has grown up in the embrace of our Mother Earth. She lives as a caretaker of her agroforestry system where she keeps the wisdom of her father, grandparents and grandmothers, conserving local species and integrating cinnamon, pitahaya and other species that are integrated into the acahuales systems that are Nahua tradition.
Gerardo López-Amaro, co-founder of the Enlivened Cooperative, is currently walking 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.” 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.
Hermelinda Vázquez, a Nahua woman, defender of women’s rights, literacy teacher and teacher of the word in Nahuatl. She is a sower, caretaker of the milpa and founder of the Indigenous Observatory of the Rights of the Peoples of the Huasteca potosina. She will accompany us to get to know the tradition of San Martín Chalchicuahutla in the preparation of the comparsas and the Xantolo festival.
Paciano Ramírez Juanita, a wise Nahua man, who has cared for and loved Mother Earth, honoring the ancestral knowledge he learned from his predecessors. Fearless to innovate by integrating cinnamon into his agroforestry production system in which he conserves local species such as vanilla, capulines, soursops, jobos, etc. He has done so wit his family, Nana, his life partner and Gaby, his apprentice daughter, both accompanying women in the production of vanilla and cinnamon.
Saraleth Ramos, Traditional Nahua cook. She makes the kitchen a space for empowering women to liberate themselves and sustain lives with justice and dignity. She vindicates the science that is kept in the indigenous wisdom that has been concentrated in traditional cuisine and that has been in force for many years to date. She is a vanilla producer and innovator in the use of revalued ancestral foods and founder of the Women’s Network.
Soledad Guerrero, Master craftswoman Teenek, part of the Women’s Network, a sage woman that shares among women of different generations the wisdom that embroideries keep in their colors, cotton threads and symbology of the same history they capture. She teaches and integrates youth to the work of embroidery as a way to keep tradition, language, stories and the sustainability of daily life alive.
Tomasa, Teacher Teenek of the backstrap loom, keeps the tradition that was inherited from her mother and grandmother, she shares it with her daughters and the girls of the community so that the care of the cotton, natural colors and the loom continue, safeguarding the tradition.
Learning Journey summary
We require a minimum of 10 people and will take a maximum of 15 people
Registration start date - October 21, 2022
Registration last date - October 7th, 2023
Dates of the learning journey - October 23rd - November 4th, 2023
No of days - 13 days
Cost - from $1,400 USD to $2,500 USD (please refer to the cost section in this page). We require a non-refundable $500 USD deposit to confirm a place.
How will we be traveling - We will have pre-booked cars for the travel.
Total Kms - We will be traveling roughly 1000 kms (average 2h30min per day)