Table of Contents
- Ecopedagogy and travelling
- Your journey includes
- Reasons to participate
- Ethics and economy
- Faculty and team
- Learning Journey summary
- Covid safety and considerations
- About the Interbeing Learning Journeys series
Yucatan journey: weaving time and care for life in times of climate emergency
The Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico is a privileged witness of the last mass extinction event, caused by the impact of the Chicxulub asteroid. It shelters the mysteries of cosmic events sculpted as cenotes, windows to the underground. Jungles, lagoons and the ocean are home to vibrant and endangered communities of life. Similarly, it preserves the memories of ancient cities built by peoples who were and are some of the most prestigious observers of the stars and life cycles, the Mayans.
Embraced by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, the Peninsula has a strong relationship with rich and threatened marine ecosystems, including the second largest coral reef in the world, the Banco Chinchorro.
The Yucatan is home to an intercultural society facing very complex challenges. The economy is driven by extractivist tourism, attracting crowds enchanted by the beauties of the jungles, beaches, and villages of this region while overlooking the damage of a development model that is polluting on a vast scale, devastating mangroves and jungles, endangering species and ecosystems, and deepening social inequalities and injustice.
This is an invitation to undoing tourism and development and a provocation to learn to be good visitors, setting aside the Western sense of neo-colonizing entitlement and focusing on the attuning of sensibilities, journeying together, holding the inevitable contradictions and caring for the nourishment of local communities, land and waters that will host us, as well as for the lands and waters where we travelers usually dwell.
Ecopedagogy and travelling
The values, pedagogy and approach of the Enlivened Cooperative in this journey emphasize:
- Relationality – learning by weaving relations between all learners (including faculty);
- Emplacement – nurturing inquiries, practices and attention towards place (and one´s own place) including the beyond human;
- Cosmopolitical learning - including many ways of being-knowing-doing-relating, towards human becoming and possible worlds, slowing down reasoning;
- Buen Vivir and Responsibility - for the common flourishing, alivelihoods and well-being of all beings, which calls for a reinvention of the human and the tending to new stories and practices, particularly of those directly participating in the shared learning experience.
Before the journey, registered participants will get access to a platform with resources on different topics of the journey, such as: Mayan 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, lectures, practices and free time. Participants are invited to document their journey in the way that suits them better for their learning process.
March 26th - April 5th
Day 1. Arrival
Arrive at Cancun International Airport. 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. Chichén Itzá
After a 2h30min drive, we will visit Chichén Itzá, the most important archaeological vestige of the Maya-Toltec civilization in Yucatan (10th-15th centuries). Its monuments are among the undisputed masterpieces of Mesoamerican architecture because of the beauty of their proportions, the refinement of their construction and the splendor of their sculpted decorations that have made it one of the Wonders of the World. We will visit this ancient city with the help of a local expert, learning about archeo-astronomy. In the evening, we will host a lecture and conversation on astronomy and Deep Time perspectives. Sleep in the Valladolid area.
Day 3. Cenote Xooch
We will visit the Cenote Xooch (1h drive), one of the most impressive cenotes in the region, with an underground pool diameter of approximately 60m, surrounded by exuberant, breathtaking nature. In this unparaleled location we will host a lecture about the Ring of Cenotes, a 180km-diameter semicircular band of abundant karst sinkholes which coincides with the concentric ring of the Chicxulub structure, caused by the impact of the asteroid. Learn about this event that reshaped the history of our planet and the majority of her species. In the evening we will host a group reflection and have some free time in Mérida (2h drive), the capital of Yucatán, where we will spend the night.
Day 4. Peto
Travel to Peto (1h 40 min drive), where we will learn with the help of a local expert about Xook K’iin, a contemporary Mayan agroecological calendar that has enabled peasant communities to better adjust to the changing and unpredictable conditions of climate change. We will walk in the milpa and get to know the different varieties of local flora, fauna and the strategies of indigenous communities to take care of life. After lunch, We will travel to the lagoon of Bacalar (3h drive), where we will sleep.
Day 5. Lagoon of Bacalar
We will experience a full day of solace in the seven-colors Lagoon of Bacalar, regenerating our energy, processing the learnings of the past days and having ample time to engage with the place and with self. We will offer optional activities throughout the day, including somatic practice, Janzu therapy, astrology workshop, visit to town and temazcal (sweat lodge). In the evening, we will host a collective reflection.
Day 6. Lagoon of Bacalar
We will learn about the stromatolites, one of the most ancient forms of life on Earth, responsible for increasing the amount of oxygen in the primeval atmosphere through their continuing photosynthesis. They were the first known organisms to photosynthesize and produce free oxygen. Participate in a panel with local activists about the current challenges to the ecosystem of the lagoon. In the afternoon, we will travel to Mahahual, a coastal town.
Day 7. Banco Chinchorro
We will take a 1 hour boat ride to visit the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, a mosaic of open water, seagrass beds, mangroves, sand beaches and coral reefs that is considered one of the most outstanding marine sites in the region. Banco Chinchorro is the biggest platform type reef complex system in Mexico, and the second longest reef in the world. We will have time to snorkel (scuba diving possible with an extra fee).
Day 8. Tulum
We will travel To Tulum, the ancient seaport and city with a stunning view of the coast. After lunch, we will head to Sian Ka’an Reserve, where we will have a conversation with activists around marine ecosystems, urban development and current challenges. We will have a stargazing night and the opportunity to share talents and stories around a bonfire.
Day 9. Sian Ka’an
We will enjoy free time by the white-sand beach and delight in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. After lunch, we will hold space for preparing for an emergent and self-organized bonfire/stories/art night. As an off the grid area, this will be a great opportunity for stargazing.
Day 10. Sian Ka’an
We will host a day of integration and sharing of the experiences and learnings during the journey. We will close with final reflections, ceremony and a celebration.
Day 11. Departures
After breakfast, we will travel to Tulum, where we can help you to set up your transfer to the airport of Cancun.
Itinerary at a glance:
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).
- 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 preserves and other attractions except optional activities.
- Complimentary WiFi access where available.
Your journey does not include:
- flights to and from Cancún.
- bus from or to Cancun airport.
- optional activities (massage, snorkeling, scuba diving) and local tours in free time.
- health and travel insurance
Reasons to participate
You have an interest in:
Learning to be a good visitor.
Becoming aware of the individualistic, neo-colonizing, extractivist and consumerist logic of tourism, developing an approach that is sensible with the land, the people and the communities of life that host us as travelers.
Becoming present for the Earth in a mutually beneficial way.
Delving into indigenous and peasant 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 localized, 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.
Meeting fellow travelers with kindred 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:
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.
Udi Mandel has 20 years of experience teaching social anthropology and sustainability in higher education and collaborating with communities in Europe, the Pacific, North and Latin America. Udi’s focus is on issues of social, ecological and epistemic justice with an emphasis on regenerative practices that can bring human and ecological flourishing. Udi’s work combines action research, writing, filmmaking and community collaborations in a range of settings, including diverse indigenous communities, social and ecological movements from around the world. Udi received his PhD in social anthropology from Goldsmiths College (University of London), an MSc in international development from the University of Bristol, and an MFA from the University of Edinburgh. Udi has held faculty appointments at EARTH University (Costa Rica), the University of Bristol (UK), and the University of Oxford and other institutions in the UK and US. Udi co-founded with others the Enlivened Learning Project and the Ecoversities Alliance, an international alliance of learning places committed to social and ecological justice and regeneration. Udi is also a co-founder of the Enlivened Cooperative.
Stephan Martin is an astronomer, educator, and author who has taught astronomy, physics, and consciousness studies at colleges, universities, and learning centers across the US for over twenty-five years. Between 2003-2008 he studied directly with Brian Swimme and others at the California Institute of Integral Studies, out of which came his first book Cosmic Conversations, in which he held dialogues with scientists, spiritual teachers, and cultural creatives on the nature of the universe and our role in it. Since then he has led workshops on the New Cosmology at seminars and retreat centers across the US and Europe and has been active in exploring multidisciplinary approaches to exploring the universe. He is currently adjunct faculty in the Consciousness and Transformative Studies graduate program at John F Kennedy University where he teaches a course on “Cosmology and Consciousness.” Steve is also a co-director of the continuing care program at the Center for Spiritual Emergence in Asheville, NC where he assists clients in living more conscious lives from an expansive perspective.
Andrea Romo is an inter/trans/disciplinary practitioner of sentipensar, art, movement, healing and Buen Vivir, as a path towards the dissolution of the “I”, of the “mine”. Her areas of experience and integration are: Therapy and Education in Somatic Movement and Body Awareness, Doctorate in New Anthropology of Health, Zero Point Field Healing, Yoga Yoghismo and Somatic Yoga, Art Therapy, Experimental Art and Vipassana meditation. She has worked as facilitator, manager and creator of projects and spaces for creativity and Buen Vivir. “I feel that the development of consciousness at each level of existence (body, mind, spirit) contributes to its integration with the whole and in turn, to connect with the BEING / Essence, understanding that nothing is isolated but everything is linked in this network of interactions that manifest existence. We are the weavers and the woven. Working with unconditional Love as the definition of that essence is to connect with the power within each union to generate new possibilities in the internal and external world”.
Bernardo Caamal Itzá is a referent of the Mayan culture of Yucatan. Born in Peto, he left his hometown in 1989 to pursue an agronomy degree at the Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo. Upon completion of his studies, he came back home ‘as promised’, where his mother and the milpa were waiting for him. For the past 26 years, he has worked with pleasure positioning ‘our philosophy of life, between wind and tides’, collaborating with indigenous and peasant populations in the process of knowing better the milpa and developing the Xok K’iin, an agroecological calendar in times of climate emergency. Conciencia Tours and Travel. Local travel agency. More details coming soon.
Learning Journey summary
- We will take a maximum of 25 people
- Registration start date - January 1st, 2022
- Registration last date - March 12th, 2022
- Dates of the learning journey - March 26th - April 5th
- No of days - 11 days
- Cost - from $3,200 USD (early bird until February 15th, 2022. $3,600 USD after that date). 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 travelling roughly 1500 kms (average 2h30min per day)
Covid safety and considerations
Mexico does not require at the moment PCR tests or proof of vaccination to enter the country. Wearing a face mask and social distancing is required. We encourage participants in the journey to make sure they comply with all requirements of in-transit countries and travel restrictions. In the event that the journey is not viable because of sanitary reasons, we will reschedule for the next possible date. During our commutes in the van, you will be required to wear a mask at all times.
About the Interbeing Learning Journeys series
“If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow: and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are.”
Thich Nhat Hahn, Clouds in Each Paper
We humans do not exist independently in an isolated triumphant alienated bubble. The Interbeing Learning Journeys are an opportunity to explore interconnected issues of non-anthropocentric time and ways of being, of self and consciousness, of ancient and modern knowledge, following the paths of stars, water, and peoples. In journeying from place to place we also travel within, re-creating new stories and tapping into unknown sensibilities, possibilities and purposes for each participant.
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.
This is an invitation for travelers looking to go to the encounter of relations and “worlding practices”, complex interactions between human and non-human beings that constitute, care or disrupt the web of life. It is an opportunity to learn from stars, water, and from people in their vital territories. The main focus of inquiry of travel is to learn what kinds of worlds are enacted, through what practices, and with what consequences for what beings, both in the places we visit and also in the places where the travelers usually dwell.
In times of multiple crises, contradictions and nonsense,
it is important to slow down and take a pause to look at the stars and the messages that they hold about the evolution of the pluriverse, consciousness and life;
it is important to slow down and take a pause to take care of water and the history, flows, and nourishment that she provides for the multiple threads of the web of life in our shared home, our planet;
it is important to slow down and take a pause to listen to the wisdom of people who have cultivated a respectful relationship with the Earth -indigenous peoples, peasants, women, artists and environmentalists- in order to gain emplaced insights about our re-invention as human species; and
it is important to slow down and take a pause to breathe and tap into the rhythms, movements and creations of interbeing, and experience embodied learnings about how to become present for the Earth with reciprocity and care.