By Liliana Aceves
INDIGENOUS LEADERS WALK FOR PEACE AND UNITY
When indigenous communities in México, El Salvador, and Honduras heard about the the Universal Multicultural Dialogue II (UMD II), they responded quickly. As announced in TIO last December, UMD II is an international interfaith festival being held in Guadalajara from May 6-9,2015. [The original schedule, three days longer, has been modified.] Thousands will participate, as they did at the first UMD in 2012, with more than 120 speakers, workshops, panels, ritual ceremonies, and arts. The theme this year is “We All Live Under the Same Sky.”
The indigenous leaders approached the sponsoring Carpediem Interfaith Foundation to express their interest in participating in a special way. They would create a 16-day Spiritual Walk for Peace and Unity before the festival begins. Indigenous peoples believe that marches and walks have powerful, deep implications. In sacred marching you tear open the planet, opening furrows for a new spirituality for human beings to emerge, connected to Mother Earth and discerning the divinity all around and within us all.
México is a country with a large indigenous population – approximately 15 million people from more than 56 different ethnic groups that still speak their own languages and have their own customs, traditions, and beliefs. The native cultures are the roots for this wonderful tree that we call México. Without them we would not be the great array of diversitythat makes this such an extraordinary place. And now they are giving expression to their own yearning for harmony and respect among all people.
Why a Spiritual Walk?
The Walk for Peace and Unity is a way of letting the indigenous people of Latin America help us understand the importance of change and raising awareness. Having indigenous representatives from El Salvador and Honduras begin the Walk with their sacred poles is a way of letting the rest of the world know that there is still hope, that when we all unite in peace the Condor and the Eagle will fly together, making this a better world for everyone. The Condor and the Eagle are sacred symbols of the indigenous population. The legend says that when the birds fly together, we will all awaken. With their Spiritual Walk, the indigenous intention is to prepare the soil with the movement of their feet, to plow the land and make it fertile, where new seed can grow.
Over the millennia, the ancient cultures of the world have developed observations, calendars, and rituals that make the Spring Equinox a special date. The twenty-first of March is the day when day and night are in complete balance. It is an occasion for human beings to balance our own light with our shadows, to have a better coexistence within ourselves and with our environment. It is a day when we reconnect with Mother Earth and her energy, bringing positive energy into our lives.
So March 21 is the day the indigenous people of Latin America will begin their walk, starting in El Salvador. The leaders of these communities will carry their sacred poles and, with each step they take, prepare the land. Their walk continues through Honduras, where the leaders of the various communities will unite in prayer. Upon arrival to México, the indigenous groups of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacan will join the group. Walkers will be greeted by the various indigenous communities as they cross states and country borders, providing them with food and shelter as they walk across uneven terrain,climb mountains, and cross desserts and rivers, all contributing to helping the world awaken.
The walkers’ fatigue is minimized by their faith, which grows with every step they take. By the time they reach their destination in Jalisco, the strength and positive energy of this unique group will be multiplied as the local native culture, the Wixarica, greets them on the sacred island called The Scorpion in Lake Chapala, for a special ceremony.
Scorpion Island has been a sacred ceremonial site since ancient times and is the perfect location for a ceremony where a New Fire will be ignited. The indigenous people of Latin America are making this remarkable trip with sacred poles representing the cosmovisions of the native cultures of the continent. It is a grand gesture for our world, a gesture of honoring, harmony, and balance to join the Eagle of the North and the Condor of the South, also, a walk to deepen our understanding of working with the ancestors for a better world for all.
On May 5 a group of approximately 250 indigenous people from various communities will be walking the last leg of this amazing journey, covering the 48 kilometers (30 miles) from Lake Chapala to Guadalajara, bringing the New Fire, their sacred poles, their faith and energy, in order to spread their blessing upon the UMD and welcome all of those who will be attending the grand festival in Guadalajara. A unique beginning, a conmemorable start, a life-changing experience for those of us that will have the opportunity of feeling and living this event in Guadalajara…after all… We all live Under the Same Sky!
We look forward to seeing you in Guadalajara!
Universal Multicultural Dialogue II
We all live under the same sky!
May 3-9, 2015, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
For details about the Universal Multicultural Dialogue II click here.
English speakers, backclick your mouse to translate from the Spanish.
For early registration, click here. (Registration fees are in pesos, not U.S. dollars.)