Tag Archives: Xela

Nada es imposible!

22 Nov

Often times I’ve dreamed and hoped that one day ill get to travel and paint walls.  Even though walls are by far my favorite way of doing an art piece, they are not always the easiest to find…legally. Needless to say that combining the dream of painting on walls abroad has seemed far fetched…

And then I was in Xela sitting at Cafe R.E.D.. I got to talk to the owner, Willy, and pretty soon i learned a whole history of activism, revolution, spirituality, hopes, and dreams. Cafe R.E.D. is an awesome space with food, music, poetry, and film nights.  The walls are covered with amazing murals and photography. I mentioned to Willy that I was also an artist and he surprised me by inviting me to paint at the cafe. I said YES! and I returned the following week with brushes and a sketch book in my hands. The wall i painted was on a cute little balcony on the 2nd floor overlooking the cafe’s patio. 

my sister Maria helping out her little sister paint!

I learned that paint back at home in LA is really good paint bc what I was working with was kind of a hassle. It took several layers of paint to get the true colors out. Ni modo. It was part of the experience and it was still fun...

Almost done... it's the details that complete the vision ...

It’s a compliment when other’s think an art piece is done and it’s really not. It’s only done when the artist thinks its done. The details complete the vision. The vision lies within.

Soy Libre, ~7' x 5', 2011 (c)

The text reads: “Soy libre como el colibri. Vuelo desde las montanas Inkas hasta los templos Mayas. Al segui mi vuelo visito templos de Teotihuacan. Descanzo en tierras del Huichol y tomo medicina. A un mas lejos llego con amigos Apache, Navajo, Hopi, y Chumash…”

Because CAFE R.E.D.’s birth comes from a story of migration and a fight for liberation I wanted to paint a mural that proclaimed freedom. Birds are a representation of freedom for me and the only bird that is found in both North, Central, and South America are Hummingbirds. The flower has the America’s painted on it because our lands are beautiful, majestic, and fruitful. I painted a Mayan glyph symbol of the moon to honor divine femininity. And that more or less is my piece in Guatemala.

I feel really happy about contributing art in Guatemala. I would love to paint again and again in Guate. There are many huge cinder block walls that need color. Graffiti has been coming up in Guate… maybe next time ill get to spray paint…

Graffiti and Street Paving in Xela

As i continued my own flight across the America’s, my next stop was Panama. I shared some of this experience on my previous blog, aqui. The last two nights in Panama i stayed at a hostel in the historic town of Panama City. Panama City sits on the Pacific Ocean side and it is crazy, it has overgrown immensely, lending itself to tourism. (PIX will be uploaded later) Colon, which is the canal’s city on the Atlantic side is a mess… it seemed to me that it is forgotten and poverty overrides the streets. The Panama Canal expansion is set to open in 2014 and Panama City is very much rapidly changing and preparing itself for its GRAND Opening to the world. The canal is indeed impressive, even more impressive is the amount of cargo that passes through. Most of it going to the States where we consume, consume, and consume… Anyways, I learned alot about the history of Panama and there’s still so much more to understand.

All that to say that I was in the historic, colonial looking side of Panama City sitting in a hostel when i read that they need art in exchange for free a room. So i asked and that same afternoon I began painting… the only colors they had were purple and white… ni modo …

Nade es Imposible!, 5' x 8', 2011

The turtle says: Nada es imposible, tienes toda tu vida para alcanzar tus suenos… Nothing is impossible, you have your whole life to reach all of your dreams.

I wrote as a reminder for myself and a womyn named Maria, she works at the hostel cleaning rooms and she came to peek at my painting. We ended up talking for a good hour and she shared with me the story of her children. Her oldest daughter is 21 and she birthed her when she was only 17. Her daughter recently graduated from college and she told me that her daughter’s success was also her own success and dreams reached. We talked alot but i mentioned to her what I learned about turtle wisdom, which is that they know they have their whole life time to do everything they want to do. I remind myself to take it easy, i will reach my dreams, we all do… and so far I got to paint on walls in Guatemala and in Panama…I hope there’s a wall for me in Colombia…

My Great Uncle’s Passing at 105 Years Old

5 Apr

imgp4760It was friday around 8:30PM when i received a text ” vos , que el tio reginaldo fallecio a las 8″. My great uncle, my grandmother’s brother, past on. 

I stopped. Re-read the text. And a wealth of signs i had witnessed for the past month zoomed thru my head signaling what was now fact. Deep inside, my spirit was already aware of this. I faced the fact and could do nothing else but cry. I had to sit and get some air. The friends who were with me could do nothing at the time, except give me some space to go thru my emotions.

They drove me home and i felt in a complete daze. My mind wandered everywhere. I made it home and zoned out in my room. I found my journal where i drew a portrait of him when I last saw him in August 2008. I knew back then that i needed to see him, his wife had just past and I knew he would soon follow. I found him and took pictures and film while my mom interviewed him for me. “Ubico!”, is what he kept mentioning. Ubico was a Guatemalan President/dictator that funded many infrastructure projects through out Guatemala. My great Uncle Reginaldo built roads, tunnels, buildings, and bridges in Xela.

There is a bridge in Xela that took many of the men’s lives while being constructed. The Goddess that protected that area needed sacrifices made to her if this bridge was to hold up. So she took them. This bridge my great uncle helped to build remains strong, through the earthquakes and hurricanes that have past by.

My great uncle, he lived a full life. He past at 105  years old, the oldest person in Xela. No one could have asked for more. I only wish I would have sat next to him and heard more stories. Before I left, me despedi as he sat in his rocking chair, the place where he decided to leave this reality. I kissed him and told him that when I asked for his blessing and wisdom I would pronounce his name in prayer.

I know he’s fine. He has joined his wife and my grandmother amongst my ancestors. I dreamt my grandmother a couple times before I left to Mexico City. She was so happy, skipping around, becoming younger, even her hair was darker. I saw her on a gloomy day, much like what Thursday looked like. We sat down to talk at a bench in front of a lake. Last Sunday I found my grandmothers corte after it was lost for over 3 years. I also found VHS tapes of my trips to Guate when I was a kid. On Thursday a flock of white doves flew over me.

I know he’s ok.

Mi Tio Reginaldo and his wife