|Tecúm Umán, the last leader of the K'iché:|
statue on main plaza with black cape
signifying that the town is in mourning.
The following video descriptions are currently in the planning stages. The videos will be available early next year.
El Canto del K’iché
El Canto del K’iché is a four-part video series that focuses on the lives of children and their families in the communities of El k’iché or Santa Cruz del K’iché in the western highlands of Guatemala. Featured in the videos, either directly or indirectly is organizer Paulina Vus Lopes who works with the community in an effort to address the various social and cultural issues that confront them. Some of these are of a violent nature, such as domestic vioence; others are laden problems rooted in discord and animosity; and still others are due to a lack of adequate educational programs for children. The economic base is weak and unstable; thus, a large amount of difficulties stem from the lack of resources that affect the peoples’ outlook on life, their daily negotiations with the insurmountable psychological turmoil, and their dimming view of the future and hope for their children.
Following are brief summary descriptions of the proposed videos.
When Children Speak
With Paulina’s leadership, the community works together with limited resources to implement a two-week school, La escuelita: Despierta Conciencia, for 8 to 10 year-olds. Their curriculum is tailor-made to meet the needs of 60 children and their families, focusing on goals of cohesiveness in the community, and working toward solidifying their value system, and embracing the spirituality of their Mayan ancestors.
The wisdom, talent, and visions of women are highlighted in this video. The community centers around those they respect and admire, and conversely, women who are active contributors in their field give their heart and spirit to advance the social and spiritual causes of the community. Thus, the circle of good faith, respect, and giving is repeatedly generated and practiced by the womenfolk.
The Family That Stays Together
In this video, families are featured in an effort to educate the audience about the families’ struggles and difficulties, as well as their triumphs and advances. The historical context and economic reality put the families to the ultimate test, and their challenges are immense and obstinate. But their vision remains steady and clearly anchored on the horizon, and their success depends to a great extent on family unity.
The Healing Arts
The use of medicinal herbs and other plants to heal and promote a healthy body and mind are keys to a good, productive life according to Paulina Yus Lopes, the spiritual healer and community organizer. This video highlights her work and philosophy, and how her roles as feminist and community worker have energized her own spiritual well being and healing process.