Maya Monthly October 2018
Dear Friends of the Maya,
I couldn’t find a parking place as I arrived in Komchen. “This is strange” I said to myself. I had to go around the village a couple of times. “It must be because of the Circus which was in town-not far from our Maya Missions Office.” It WAS for a circus but I was the main act. I still can’t believe it. Close to 250 people from all of our pueblos had gathered at Maya Indian Missions Office – in spite of heavy rain and lots of mosquitoes.
They all were there to wish me Feliz Cumpleanos (Happy Birthday). Skits, poetry, dancing and lots of laughs as we celebrated this old man’s life with the people of Komchen, Sierra Papacal Noc-ac, Cosgaya, Dzitya and San Antonio Hool. I was surprised by the families present- haven’t seen many in years. Marcos, our leader of Scholarship Students, was M.C.
The young people distributed food and drink during the two hour ceremony. It all ended with Billy knocking the hell out of a piñata that looked like very much like Donald Trump! I returned home exhausted and grateful for 77 years of life – and thanking God for the Maya people and for people like you too!
Paz y amor,
Maya Monthly September 2018
Looking forward to Fall and Returning to Mexico
Dear Friends of the Maya,
Dios Mio….It’s time for me to head back to Mexico. I hope you haven’t been thinking that we have forgotten you. Nunca, Niemals, Never.
The truth is we have been trying to set up a new system of communication with our friends – which will include a monthly bulletin, as well as a special letter from one of our leaders in the Maya villages and pictures.
The NEW Maya Monthly was supposed to be ready NOW. But it ain’t. Our new mailing address isn’t ready. The new post office box number isn’t ready. The letters from the village are not ready etc.etc.
I have been “on the road” for the last few weeks. First it was in Asheville, N.C. After that I went to Brighton, Michigan and then to Bowling Green, Ohio. Before that, I was at St. Rita’s in Clarklake, Mi Then it was off to Florida.
Last week I was at St. Mary’s in Adrian where Fr. Erik Jorge was preaching. Erik is from Cosgaya and was ordained in Mexico last February. It was wonderful being with him once again. No matter where he goes, his Mayasmile is contagious and his message is powerful. I am so grateful for his perseverance. He has just returned from our General Council meeting in France where he served as a translator between Portuguese and English. His first languages were Mayaand Spanish.
When I am not travelling around the country, I stay at our family cottage in Cement City, MI. No one, or very few, have ever heard of “Cement City” so I usually say I live South of Jackson. My grandpa built this place 70 years ago. There is a quiet lake out front. No gas motors. We have a canoe, an old pontoon boat and a small sail boat which I am having more and more trouble getting into. Lots of trees out back. I even have a small garden which produced two small tomatoes so far. A perfect place to swim and reflect on what is happening in our world, my life and life in the Maya Pueblos where I have worked for 30 years.
People keep saying “I thought you were going to retire!” I have. Trips to Mexico are an opportunity for me to “enjoy” the programs we have set up over the years. As long as I am able, I hope to visit and share with you what is happening in the pueblos and how we continue to make life better for the people of the Yucatan.
Here is some of the latest news. Marcos Sosa, the leader of our Scholarship program just organized a trip for our scholarship students to Ruta Puuc. This is an area of Maya Pyramids not too far from Merida. Our 100 scholarship students had the opportunity to visit the incredible archeological sites where their ancestors lived centuries ago. Most of our youth have never had the chance to visit the caves of Lotun, or the “ruins” of Uxmal, Xlapak, Zayil, Labna or Uxmal where their ancestors lived and began the life which they share until today. Part of our scholarship assistance, which you provide, enables us to encourage these young people, not only to continue their education but also to understand and enjoy their culture and rich heritage.
I look forward to sharing stories like this with you via our Maya Monthly. In a few days you may receive a letter via the post office asking you to update the data we need to keep in touch with you in the future.
Thanks for all you do to help us make this a better world.
Paz y amor,