T h a n k s g i v i n g N e w s l e t t e r 2 0 1 3 ~
Dear friends & supporters of Red Wind Councils,
This new era in 2013 is requiring people everywhere to have greater awareness of & more responsibility for moving beyond personal & collective limitations, & it is increasing concerns about the impacts of modern ways of life on the ecological balance of Mother Earth.
As the ancient Maya foretold, old paradigms, rigid institutions, & economic structures everywhere are falling apart under the weight of their arrogance & lack of roots in the sanity of Earth’s dream. Meanwhile, the people closest to the Earth, of which the Maya are visionary modern leaders,
continue to hold out to the world their profound, ancient wisdom,
strength, & hope.
This Thanksgiving, Red Wind & I would like to share a special, true story of a young Maya indigenous activist woman who I am most fortunate to
personally know. She has devoted her life to & serves, with us, the Maya
people that we have been privileged to work with for 30 years in Chiapas,
We sincerely hope your hearts are touched to donate this holiday season to support your Maya brothers & sisters who have shared so generously with the world their amazing, millenary prophecies of hope, ancient teachings, &
their actual, tremendous model of resilience & illumined consciousness in the face of the many terrible abuses affecting us all on this planet today.
Wishing you & your loved ones the full abundance of our beloved sacred Earth’s dreaming in her timeless wisdom,
Ohki Siminé Forest for Red Wind Councils
Renewal of Maya Traditions & the Dignity of the Feminine
D o n a t i o n s t o R e d Wi n d C o u n c i l s :
Your donation to RED WIND COUNCILS goes directly to support
spiritual, social, cultural & economic project
development, emergency relief funds, & operating
expenses for the Red Wind Centers in Chiapas, Mexico.
SEND DONATIONS TO:
RED WIND COUNCILS
P.O. Box 85
Uxbridge, MA 01569
Your contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Tax ID#: 20-3633955
Web s i t e R e n ewa l
Red Wind Councils & Ohki Siminé Forest are very
pleased to announce the recent rebirth of our 2
websites. Please take a look at the info on the
Red Wind Centers of Chiapas, Ohki’s teachings,
our vision, & project plans through beautiful photos
from Amalia, Ohki’s daughter.
You can now follow
Red Wind & Ohki
on Facebook & Twitter at
Red Wind Councils & Ohki Simine Forest
Save the Date ~ April 21–May 25, 2013
Red Wind is pleased to announce that Ohki Siminé Forest will be offering teaching seminars,
drum circles, private sessions, Limpias & ceremonies in the US this spring.
To learn more visit: www.ohkisimineforest.com/events/
Sparking Dreams to Life:
For over 520 years, it has been too painful for the Maya to
dream of a better future. Without any resources whatsoever, it
was impossible for them to even think they could improve their
lives. But the work of Red Wind Councils for the last 30 years has
brought many inspiring opportunities for the people to express
themselves & sparked life into dreams that have been so often
frustrated. We share a common desire to change an oppressed
mind-set born of 520 years of repression, a mind-set
that has instilled deep feelings of inferiority & lethargy. We at
Red Wind believe in the inherent strength & spirit of the people.
Our focus with the Maya encourages greater self-confidence &
an experience of unity through the recovery of their traditional spiritual ways. Through spiritual, educational, cultural
& social projects, we create islands of sanity, & egalitarian alliances with the people to help them revive their
traditional ways before they are lost.
Islands of Sanity sustained over 25 years:
The spiritual Medicine Centers in Chiapas, created by Ohki Siminé Forest (www.ohkisimineforest.com), have, over
the past 2 decades, served the spiritual, cultural & practical needs of Maya indigenous & international students.
These Medicine Centers are the heart of the Councils in Chiapas & the U.S., the strong central fire that supports
mature awareness & spiritual growth. The living models of Council Ways at these Centers are deeply rooted in the
dreaming of Mother Earth & her Medicine Wheel ways. The beauty, power & healing emanating from Chiapas,
considered the 3rd eye of the Americas, make these Centers crucial locations for the awakening of consciousness
& expansion of indigenous vision so needed in our world today.
For 30 years, Red Wind Social Projects have included:
Medicine Center Support: Operating expenses, staff employment, renovations, vegetable greenhouse &
flower garden projects for the Centers where people come for healing, spiritual renewal & to learn more
about the vast legacy of Native wisdom.
Women’s Development: Sewing, weaving, embroidery,
bread making & corn mills, literacy employment,
Healthcare Development: Funding for emergency
medicines & surgeries, food & transportation subsidies
for local volunteer health promoters, building & supplying
local pharmacies & clinics
Educational Development: Building materials for alternative
schools, school supplies, food & transportation
subsidies for local volunteer educators, shoes & lunches
for the children
General Community Development: Water systems, solar systems, communication systems, community
meeting buildings, community stores, community transportation solutions, Fogon wood-saving stoves, organic
farming, greenhouses & other ecological efforts
Urban project: Providing Hope & Skills for Urban Maya Youth. A program that provides culturally respectful
education, decent work, legal protection & healthcare to Native children & teenagers who are homeless &
exposed to domestic violence, sex trafficking & drugs.
Christmas for Indigenous Children i n the Highlands of Chiapas
Christmas in rural Chiapas is primarily a religious holiday. Christmas Eve is celebrated as “Noche Buena,” the
Good Night. Late into the night among the hills, indigenous pilgrims walk singing
& drumming to visit the local manger scene. Christmas Day is a time of
family celebration, & while the richer Mexican mestizos feast on chicken mole
& chile rellenos, for the majority of indigenous, their feast is a simple chicken
soup, if they have chicken. In the majority of families, they share the same
bean & tortilla meals as all year long but with maybe a little twist of simple, corn
Yet, all the indigenous children are excited with the festival atmosphere. Little
do they know that for so many in this world it is a time of giving & receiving presents.
But this year, we at Red Wind Councils want to give them what they wish
Carlos (10) asks for shoes for himself & his 8 siblings.
Little Angelita (3) wants a new chicken “so there will be eggs for mamá”
Juan is a sturdy boy (4)–he wants a machete so “he can help in the
Maria (6) wants notebooks for herself & her 3 older sisters, who now all go
to the local community alternative school, & “some extra tortillas for everyone.”
These amazing kids all want something that impacts those they love–
they all think about their families & community, not just themselves. As
a part of your Christmas, please help them fulfill their dreams of a better
tomorrow for all & donate generously!
Please read Ana Maria’s story & find in her the same voice & potential
that is innate in every one of these heart-breaking indigenous
children’s beauty & innocence, struggling hard for a bit of
the decency & opportunity we all have & often take so much for
granted in the Global North.
When you are introduced to Ana Maria, her fiery, clear eyes see through
you. They are eyes that have seen much & are not easily deceived.
Those eyes are much older than her young face. Yet she laughs easily,
contagiously. You cannot help but feel her inspiring dignity, her outstanding
Ana Maria was the 8th of 9 children from a family of impoverished Maya
farmers. Her mother was sickly & died when she was barely 2 years
old. Her father was alcoholic, one of the terrible, widespread diseases of
the conquered & oppressed indigenous. She was raised with abuse, fear
& hunger. In her early years, the machismo & poverty of the community
prevented much intervention by her extended family. Her aunts tried to
offer support. There was no possibility of government aid, no schooling.
She married at 13 years of age to get away, but her husband’s family was also deeply traumatized & impoverished.
Despite her attempts to grow corn & care for her new in-laws, her husband became verbally & physi-
Ana Maria: A rising voice for healing, dignity, & justice for women & children
cally abusive. She starved during her first pregnancy,
the son was sickly & died when only 5 weeks old of preventable
diarrhea. She also nearly died & while recovering,
too weak to even help in the house, her husband
forced her out, calling her useless.
Homeless, Ana says that this is when the fortune of her
life changed. She was then welcomed into the home
of one of her aunts. This aunt’s community has declared
themselves in resistance against governmental
abuses. Along with so many other Mayas, the people
are seeking to regain their dignity & autonomy after 500
years of brutal conquest & extreme marginalization. In the face of constant low-intensity warfare from the government,
this community, like so many others, has made a clear stand to refuse government handouts & control.
Close to death from illness & grief, Ana Maria discovered with great interest a profound inspiration in the community
meetings. There she learned about human rights, indigenous & women’s dignity, & the basic laws of women
& children’s protection that the rebel Maya women had written into their constitution in 1994. She learned that, at
last, she is of vital worth as a woman, & that she can have a strong voice that can directly change others’
lives. When she understood that her small story is a part of the greater society’s illness & that her healing is not just
for herself, but for her people & the coming generations, she irrevocably chose then to live & struggle until the
end to improve the lives of other women, men & children of her community.
Like all rural women, she is rarely without something to do. During her long recovery, she improved her embroidery
skills. When it became apparent to her family that she was a gifted artist, her work was shown to the crafts
cooperative that Red Wind supports. Eventually, she became a main coordinator of the craft cooperatives,
whose sales of the beautiful pieces the talented crafters make support many families of the communities.
But Ana Maria’s connection to Red Wind Councils proved life-saving not only because it gave her the opportunity
to support herself & her community. She had never fully healed from the difficult birth of her child, & at age 19,
she developed a severe abdominal abscess. She would have died without surgery paid for by the emergency
medical fund, & lodging at the Centers that Red Wind provided. After recovering, she chose to become a health
promoter & now works tirelessly to advance & protect the health of her community through teaching sanitation,
hygiene, nutrition, & acting as an increasingly skilled healer.
Today, she also remains a strong voice in her community for women’s
rights, speaking to both men & women, confronting some of
the difficult, machismo customs entrenched in the society. She encourages
the young women to become educated & to learn skills.
She has a vision of the future of her people, & knows the road to it
requires the courage of all people around the world now to make
change in a common vision. She receives this motivating vision
from the Earth, & shares it so generously with us all.
She, like so many like her in this new indigenous movement of to
transform & heal the first wound of the Americas, needs our help. If
we are to support Ana Maria’s
efforts, Red Wind needs your generous contributions to weave a web of powerful
changes & re-create altogether the sacred Earth’s dream for a better
world – here, now, on this planet.
We, at Red Wind Councils, extend to you our muchissimas gracias
on behalf of our Maya brothers & sisters.
SEND DONATIONS TO:
RED WIND COUNCILS
P.O. Box 85
Uxbridge, MA 01569
w w w . r e d w i n d c o u n c i l s . o r g
w w w . o h k i s i m i n e f o r e s t . c om
Ana Maria’s story; continued