Earth cathedrals: caves, corals and milpas to re-create life in the Peninsula of Yucatan

Earth cathedrals: caves, corals and milpas to re-create life in the Peninsula of Yucatan
  1. The calling
  2. Highlights
  3. In a nutshell
  4. Itinerary
    1. Day 1. Friday, June 21. Arrivals.
    2. Day 2. Saturday, June 22. Jungle, cenote and beach.
    3. Day 3. Sunday, June 23. Buctzotz.
    4. Day 4. Monday, June 24. Uxmal.
    5. Day 5. Tuesday, June 25. Hopelchén.
      1. Day 6. Wednesday, June 26. Chaksinkín.
    6. Day 7. Thursday, June 27. Lagoon in Ocom.
    7. Day 8. Friday, June 28. Underground river.
    8. Day 9. Saturday, June 29. Integration and celebration.
    9. Day 10. Sunday, June 30. Departures.
  5. Ecopedagogy and travelling
    1. Languages
    2. Number of participants
    3. Cost
    4. What is included
    5. What is an un/learning journey?
    6. Who is this for?
    7. Timeline
    8. Testimonials of past participants
    9. Reasons to participate
    10. Ethics and economy
    11. Faculty and team:

The calling

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.


  • Go off-the-beaten-path and engage with the vital richness of ancestral and contemporary Maya philosophy, thought and ways of knowing and being.

  • Attune yourself to be present for a deep time conversation from and with the jungle, the caves and underground rivers, the beach, the ocean, and with the people that care for them.

  • Carve space and find inspiration and insights for your creative projects

  • Be nourished by seasonal, local, natural and revitalizing food and participate in a profoundly transformative embodied practices. Slow down, journey within and regenerate your-self.

In a nutshell

Our 10-day journey across the peninsula of Yucatan is an experiential dive into a multiplicity of ecosystems -jungles, caves, cenotes, mangroves, lagoons and underground rivers. Maya people have dwelled in these lands from about 4500 years ago, developing a rich knowledge, experiences, ethics and ways of being that have emerged from this intimate relationship with the territory. Engaging with this vast cosmology invites us to deepen our understandings and our sensibility for a world composed of rich kinships.

The program is designed to hold space in depth and breadth for individual and collective inquiry of systemic change and expansion of ways of dwelling, thinking, listening and feeling. In our un/learning journey we will engage in conversation with local communities of caretakers of the territory and of biodiversity, learning with the bees, the seeds, the winds and the jaguars, as well as with our intuitions and creative spaces. The program invites space for embodied and movement practices, sharing and creation of rituals, word circles and storytelling.

We will convene first in the jungle of Chemuyil, halfway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, for a general presentation of the journey and of the biocultural diversity of the peninsula of Yucatan. During the following days, we will visiting some of the most inspiring initiatives of revitalization of Maya thought and wisdom, engaging in dialogue with local communities cultivating memory, rituals, native seeds, indigenous medicine, and forms of governance. We will also meet local activists known for their contributions in conservation, art, and community organizing.


Dates: June 21-31, 2024

Day 1. Friday, June 21. Arrivals.

Arrivals to Tulum and transfer to our accommodation in the jungle near Chemuyil. Grounding and welcoming reception.

Day 2. Saturday, June 22. Jungle, cenote and beach.

In the morning, we do a short hike in the jungle to arrive to a hidden cenote, where we will do our opening ceremony. After an energizing lunch, we host a conversation around Maya culture and have a collective reflection adorned by the light of the full moon.

Day 3. Sunday, June 23. Buctzotz.

We will drive 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. Monday, June 24. Uxmal.

We hit the road to visit the archaeological site of Uxmal, where we will have the opportunity to learn about archaeoastronomy and the relationship of Maya life with the cosmic cycles. We will then stay in the small town of Santa Elena to have our group circle.

Day 5. Tuesday, June 25. Hopelchén.

We visit this globally renowned community for its efforts in defending the biodiversity of the region, a beautiful approach to bee- keeping and an epic resistance against multinational GMO companies. We will stay in the community for a group reflection.

Day 6. Wednesday, June 26. 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 7. Thursday, June 27. Lagoon in Ocom.

We drive to Ocom, a beautiful 7-lagoon system south of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. We’ll have time to explore in kayak, refresh in a cenote, go birdwatching, and marvel at the colorful sunset from the lookout.

Day 8. Friday, June 28. Underground river.

We take the road back to the area of Paamul, where we 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. In the evening, we will have our reflection circle.

Day 9. Saturday, June 29. Integration and celebration.

This day is dedicated to creating an integration space. We do our closing ceremony by the beach. In the evening, we host our celebration and party.

Day 10. Sunday, June 30. Departures.

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.

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.


We will be using Maya, Spanish, and English throughout our journey. Translation into these languages will be offered by the team.

Number of participants

As we aim to offer personalized support, we only have space for the participation of 10 people on this call.


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, as well as making generous donations to local regenerative projects. 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

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. You will also be contributing to the partial grants fund for those needing financial support.

  • Basic fee: $1,600 USD in shared accommodation in tent or accommodation provided by the community.

We require a non-refundable deposit of $500 USD to book your spot.

What is included

Your journey includes:

  • Local mobility during the journey, starting in Tulum.
  • Food during the 10 days of the experience.
  • Lodging during the 10 days of the experience.
  • Camping equipment (tent, mat and sleeping bag).
  • Entrance fees to the Uxmal Archaeological Site.
  • Participation in all the activities of the program of the experience.

This amount does NOT cover:

  • Transportation costs from your place of residence to Huaraz and back.
  • Medical nor travel insurance

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.


Launch of the call - February 5, 2024

Applications and interviews - February-May

Applications close - May 31

Online pre-gathering - mid-June

Full payment - June 10

Journey - June 21-30

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.

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:

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.

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.

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)

Gerardo Lopez-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.

2021 - Copyleft, all wrongs reversed :).