After one year of existence, the C.A.S.A. Mexico branch of the Latin American Ecovillage Network is very active. Fernando Ausin-Gomez reports from the second annual meeting and the EcoCaravans Gathering.
Imagine what it must be like to hold the memories of 13 years criss-crossing Latin America on a caravan of buses promoting peace councils throughout indigenous communities, favelas, schools and rural areas. Imagine trying to process and convey ancient indigenous legacies during prophesied times to our modern-day society. Imagine the excitement in sharing the adventures of 15 years of living on horseback throughout Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
Or simply imagine leaving everyone you know, everything you own, and everything that would otherwise make sense, to embark on a permaculture odyssey throughout Mexico and Central America. Well, these are only some of the stories that were recently shared during the “Rainbow Caravan for Peace” summit in one of Mexico’s oldest and inspirational Eco villages: Huehuecoyotl.
Two weeks of reuniting with the nomadic family in November has provided a great opportunity for C.A.S.A. Mexico and its Eco-Caravans. Two days prior to the 8th Council of Visions: The Call of Quetzalcóatl, in the sacred lands of Temictla, State of Mexico, C.A.S.A. Mexico held its second annual reunion. Members from its seven different bioregions helped strengthen the national network with new agreements and commitments.
The “C.A.S.A. Seed Council” was guided by various elders and international C.A.S.A. seed members in its review of last year’s actions throughout the national network (actions occurring in the states of Morelos, Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Veracruz, Michoacán, Querétaro, Hidalgo, México City and the State of Mexico.)
C.A.S.A.’s first year in Mexico allowed for several bio-regional community-building activities, new education work groups, and community tequios (work trade activities). The C.A.S.A. seed council members agreed upon maintaining a horizontal and equitable governance structure, and strengthening its membership communication web platforms (or integrating into the existing C.A.S.A. Intercontinental webpage). At the end of the two day workshop, C.A.S.A.’s Seed Council, with just over a dozen members, was able to achieve a great year’s recap and new agreements to follow for C.A.S.A. Mexico.
At the XIII Consejo de Visiones, C.A.S.A. helped foster an important strengthening and entanglement of organizations and people interested in creating a more sustainable world from Mexico. Through different workshops, run with the help of C.A.S.A. Colombia and C.A.S.A. Brasil members, important alliances and collaborations were reached between old and new C.A.S.A. Mexico members. Team building activities helped strengthen 11 existing projects, integrate a half dozen new bio-regions to C.A.S.A., and consolidate the different petals within C.A.S.A. in each of the bio-regions.
The “Chaskis”, Eco-nomads or C.A.S.A. Eco-caravan movement became present at the encounter with the meeting of four different established nomadic movements and half a dozen other nomads. After a week and a half of forming a long serpent of bus caravans and living closely at the Council of Visions, the Eco-Nomads reunited at the epic Huehuecóyotl eco-village in Santo Domingo Ocotitlán, Morelos.
Five buses from four caravans served as a base platform for the encounter. Present at the encounter were the Subcoyote Alberto Ruz and other members of the Rainbow Caravan for Peace, a nomadic caravan that has helped forge peace villages and different Councils throughout Latin America for 13 years; Kareen Kohn and members of Nomads United, a horse-back nomadic caravan of worldclass adventurers that have been traveling dozens of countries during the last 15 years; Fernando Ausin and members of BioTU, a modern sustainability mobile education program that has been learning from indigenous communities across the United States Mexico over the last 7 years; and David Casey and Project Nuevo Mundo’s 20-person caravan, that embarks on a permaculture integration initiative from California to Panama for the next 4 months.
Although the encounter served mainly to introduce, link and strengthen the networks among the participants, the eco-caravaners shared deep words of wisdom from the road and about their nomadic projects: “Live your message”, “forge new paths with your example”, “listen and learn from native peoples and teach the rest” were some of the most noteworthy words of advice from the participants.
Little by little, and with great patience, the different C.A.S.A.s begin to form in Mexico, integrating the different members that comprise them, and launching the caravans that help pollinate them. Tlazokamati, ahooo mitake ayeowasin: thank you, for all our relations!
Fernando Ausin-Gomez is from the BioTu ecology education caravan, www.biotu.org