Since the beginning of human history we have been gathering together as families, tribes and communities, to strengthen our relationship with each other, to council about important community matters, to exchange seeds, medicines, gifts and to simply celebrate life; to sit by the fire and hear the stories of our elders; to heal and honor the spirit and the body.
A prominent gathering in Mexico and several parts of Latin America, the Consejo de Visiones- Guardianes de la Tierra or “Vision Council- Guardians of the Earth” has been in the forefront of cultural, environmental, social innovation for over two decades. This unique event has managed to combine ancient with modern ways of converging together as human beings in a way that achieves a strengthening of community ties while inspiring the creation of new communities and planetary transformation networks.
In the Consejo de Visiones, environmentalists, representatives of sustainable communities, , indigenous leaders, artists, healers, and people from all paths in life have been gathering together. These gatherings also have the purpose of supporting the host community by improving infrastructure, boosting the local economy with the influx of visitors and also supporting specific environmental protection and restoration efforts in the area.
The Consejo de Visiones’ is a temporary “peace village” that has been a source of inspiration for a great number of regional events, gatherings, ceremonies, festivals, exhibitions and caravans in various parts of Latin America and worldwide. In the same manner the Consejo has been greatly inspired by the Bioregional Movement North America, which has held 10 Continental Bioregional Congresses since 1984 and by the Rainbow Gatherings that begun in the U.S. in the 1980s.
What’s a temporary peace village you may ask? It is a temporary ecovillage that is built and maintained by any group of people bringing together different areas of interest in sustainable and community living to strengthen bonds between each other, to celebrate life and discuss pressing challenges. A temporary peace village typically uses a consensus decision making and a council-based form of organization that is deeply influenced by ancient governance models and spiritual practices of Native American and tribal cultures from around the world.
The Consejo de Visiones uses a unique organizational structure based on different thematic areas or ‘Consejos’ ( Councils), where specific groups of interest create their own scheduled activities during the entire event. These councils are the following: Arts and Culture Council, Ecology Council, Health Council, Social Movements Council, Natural Time Council, Children’s Council, and the Elder’s Council. All the Consejos are autonomous and come together each morning at the general plenary. They also prepare a presentation, performance, ceremony or song to present in the final plenary, on the last day of the gathering.
The “peace village” model also includes the following areas of convergence:
1 – Central Camp
The Central Camp is the village’s main community space and is used for cultural presentations, workshops, circle dances in the evenings, films at night and many other activities. Every morning a community plenary is held here where large board is informing participants regarding the program and different activities for the day.
2 – Eco-kitchen and Café
Catering all-natural and organic food, the Eco-kitchen is managed by a team of experts in the field of sustainable food, serving two or three healthy and delicious vegetarian meals. The Café offers different snack and food items as well as teas and natural drinks throughout the event for a very low price and which is the basis for the financial maintenance of the kitchen, and support for the local community projects.
3- Youth Camp
The Youth Camp held by the Youth Council, aims to be a space for youth to gather, to offer workshops on different subjects. This space also includes an outdoor fire and/or tent used to prepare cultural activities for the young and not so young.
4 -Health and Healing Tent
Area used by the Health Council for their activities. This place also includes a first aid and medical response team as well as holistic health practitioners that can offer their services for all participants in the event.
5 – Moon Tent
The moon tent is a space dedicated to the honouring of the sacred feminine energy. In this space different activities take place such as women’s circles, ceremonies, discussions and workshops, eco-feminism, women’s spirituality, etc.
6 – Kids Zone, Flower Beehive
Children are the new consciousness and will be the future guardians of the planet. In the Village, we reserve a space for mothers, fathers and children, where Ecopedagogy activities, workshops, circus, theatre, plays, children’s games and presentations are offered.
7 – Bioregional Village
This is the specific area for internal management of the temporary Ecovillage. The Bioregional Village will focalize on such tasks as management of composting toilets, solid waste, composting systems, security, water, communication and internal programming of the village.
8 – Fair Trade and Exchange Market
This is the convergence point for the commercialization of goods such as crafts, clothes, natural foods mostly consisting of local and natural products and for incentivising the use of local currencies as well as bartering .
9 – Sacred Fire
On the first night of the event, a Ceremonial Fire is lit which will remain all during the event and which will be guarded by a team of fire keepers. During the day and in the evenings this fire is used to lit the fire in the sweat lodges. This sacred fire receives the community prayers and invites for the purification of our minds and bodies.
10 – Permacultural Technology
Scattered around the village, there are numerous environmental low-cost technologies, available for all participants. Examples of this eco-technologies are: composting toilets, compost, greywater filtering systems, green roofs, recycling station, solar oven, earth oven, bicycle generators, bamboo construction and other natural building techniques.
In the Consejo de Visiones we are all participating in the creation of the world we wish to live in. This is usually a very empowering experience for those who are more used to being spectators rather than co-creators. In the context of the need to create new types of festivals and gatherings, the Consejo de Visiones may not be a new perspective, nevertheless, it will always be the ground for creating new valuable experiences and templates for permanent and temporary communities.
If you are interested in participating in the Consejo de Visiones consider attending the 14 Vision Council – Guardians of the Earth will take place in the community of Kalpulli in Jalisco, Mexico from the 21 to the 18 of November 2015. More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1431711597149505/
Video from Consejo de Visiones 2013
References and Links:
Eagle and Condor Meet in Visionary Gathering of Souls by Tracy Barnett.-
Offical website for the Consejo de Visiones-Guardianes de la Tierra- www.consejodevisiones.org
Offical website for the Coucil of Sustainable Settlements of the Americas or C.A.S.A (acronym in spanish). This is the Latin American branch of the Global Ecovillage Network – www.casacontinental.org
Today its exactly 2 years since the state police of Morelos, Mexico evicted by force the people’s camp: “the Caudillo of the South”, installed by the Los Frentes Unidos en Defensa de Tepoztlán as a means of peaceful resistance to the imposition of federal highway by the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes del Estado de Morelos of the State of Morelos and the company Tradeco. Here a personal photo gallery of what happened that morning in July 2013.
2 years of repression and eviction of the camp ” El Caudillo del Sur”. The struggle continues !
MORE INFORMATION: http://subversiones.org/archivos/28524
“We are Life, in human form. Descendants of the stars and galaxies, children of the oceans and forests, creative expressions of Nature. As much a part of this planet as the rivers, trees, mountains and butterflies.”
For thousands of years people in Western cultures have been wrestling with the illusions we’ve spun from our dualistic mindsets and beliefs. It’s like we’ve been dreaming a shared nightmare together, grounded in the mechanistic ways our society has been organized, rooted in how we live and think.
Across the centuries, the very foundation of our so-called “Civilization” has been based on ideas of separation and superiority- men above, women below, Kings above, peasants below, humans above, Nature below, etc. Walls of separation in our hearts and minds, a sense of sin and abandonment, believing that our entire species was “thrown out of Eden.”
With dualistic “ego” logical thinking came an emphasis on time, our consciousnesses…
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First Episode of “Voices of Amerikua” featuring different indigenous voices from the americas in defense of their culture, territory and mother nature. Thank you to Uplift Connect, Unity is Change (Unidad es Cambio), World Concious Pact, SokaVision and to Jeniffer Kumiko Hayashi for her amazing work !
by Lucia Battegazzore
C.A.S.A (spanish acronym for Council of Sustainable Settlements in Latin America) is the Latin American branch of the Global Ecovillage Network or GEN. It was formed in the Call of the Mountain in January 2012 to ‘coordinate the networks of various sustainable initiatives, both rural and urban, family or community, nomadic and educational, etc.” These types of initiatives, which are expanding rapidly in Latin America and worldwide are contributing in a big way to the regeneration of Planet Earth at this important moment we are living planet.
The recent Latin American Permaculture Convergence (or CLAP ) was held from the 15th to the 21st of June in Varsana Ecovillage south of Bogota Colombia. For 5 consecutive days the different open air and indoor spaces of the host community hosted a buzzing 140 people from over 16 countries, which shared tools and strategies in the process incubating and birthing the Latin American Permaculture Network. Some of the countries present included Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, Germany, United States, and even Russia!
Wirikuta is a region in the desert of San Luis Potosí, Mexico that is considered by the Wixarika or Huichol indigenous people in Mexico one of their most important sacred sites. The Wixarika people are known worldwide for their unique visionary art and for proudly preserving their spiritual identity despite a destructive civilizing process of over 500 years. Each year, for probably thousands of years, the Huichol people make a pilgrimage that has, as its starting point, the Sierra Madre Occidental (specifically the states of Jalisco, Nayarit and Durango) where they live permanently. The pilgrimage culminates in the desert of Wirikuta and recreates what they consider to be the path of their ancestors. In the desert, the Huichol greet the sun, leave offerings and perform ceremonies that are designed to maintain harmony and balance on Planet Earth.
Located in the plains and mountains of the Sierra de Catorce, in the state of San Luis Potosi, Wirikuta is a place of extraordinary cultural, spiritual and natural wealth. In 1999 UNESCO declared it one of the 14 sacred natural sites in the world to be protected. It is also one of the Natural Protected Areas of semi-arid climate with the highest biodiversity in the world. However, the Mexican government has conceded a large part of this region to companies that seek to exploit the mineral wealth of the area. This threatens not only the permanence of the semi-arid eco-system and biodiversity, but also the cultural heritage of the Huichol people. Recently Project Nuevo Mundo along with several Mexican environmental organizations such as Manos a La Tierra, Organi-K A.C. and the local team ‘Colectivo Patas Verdes’, organized a 3-day hands-on permaculture workshop that took place in ‘La Flor del Desierto’, a community ecotourism project located precisely in the region of Wirikuta.
Vandana Shiva visited Mexico in May 2013 where I was able to have her send a message to support our campaign to get Monsanto out of Latin America. More information https://www.facebook.com/fueramonsantoal?fref=ts