Despertar del Camino Sagrado

“Reawakening the Sacred Ways” is a multilingual and multicultural initiative co-founded by Ana Paula Soares and Alejandro Cerda that seeks to honor the ancestral ways and support a reawakening of ancestral knowledge through the voice of abueles (Elders), Knowledge Keepers that have been historically marginalized from Western epistemologies and practice due to coloniality. 

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Despertar del Camino Sagrado seeks to: 

  1. Create direct access to the voices and ancestral knowledge of abueles. 
  2. Create spaces of knowledge sharing to increase community access to ancestral knowledge, technologies, sharing of traditions, and culturally-grounded healthcare that integrates traditional healing through training and consultation. 
  3. Strengthen multidirectional relationships between abueles, healthcare providers, and community members that revitalizes a holistic approach to health and wellness. 
  4. Decolonize our relationship with ancestral knowledge: build a framework grounded in authentic and restorative dialogue that facilitates healing and disrupts dismissiveness, devaluing, cultural appropriation or exploitation of ancestral ways. 
  5. Inform policy-making and research development that centers indigenous voices and knowledge to promote health and wellness, and is respectful of ancestral knowledge. 
  6. Support and train new leaders who will advocate for indigenous epistemologies and practice across community and academic spaces. 

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Two Pillars ground this work: 

  1. Indigenous Community Development, Identity-Building and Reconnection: supporting the dignity of indigenous communities and strengthening their reconnection to spiritual traditions. For example, supporting Latinamerican indigenous communities rebuild their ceremonial houses (“casas ceremoniales“) which are locations of knowledge building and practice, and development of indigenous cultural centers that are grounded in ancestral knowledge and art.
  2. Creating Spaces for Reciprocal Connection with Broader Communities: honoring sacred coding of reciprocity and bidirectional respect of knowledge sharing, and creating spaces to share indigenous ancestral knowledge through partnerships. For example, Despertar has partnered with Esperanza to facilitate a Healing Ethno- And Racial Trauma (HEART) Sanctuary space that convenes mental health, healthcare and community supporters across Madison, Dane County, the U.S. and Latinamerica once a month to do workshops and healing circles to dismantle institutional Whiteness and support the transformation of systems to redress harm and implement culturally affirming health practices.

Reciprocity with our communities:

Have you benefitted from plant medicine and want to give back? Are you interested in making a difference by supporting ancestral work and Indigenous practices? Please join us in supporting the initial stages of the Ancestral Cacao Reclamation Project. Every donation makes a difference! Please share with your network!