Community: Coming together
You can't have community without UNITY!
As I continue to reconnect with my paternal biological family and homeland of El Salvador, I'm learning the importance of unity, kinship, acceptance and reunion.
There is a prophecy of the eagle and the condor, which highlights the connection between Indigenous people of the Americas, and that one day we will all come together through reconciliation, reunification, and healing of the land and its peoples, rebuilding community. Whether from North, Central or South America - we are all cousins, connected through our shared histories and experiences.
"As we enter a new year, we ask ourselves some difficult questions about how to make the shift from one dimension to the next without a well laid path to follow. As we begin to take our first steps into a reality humanity can only image at this moment, we wonder what that first steps will look like, and how will we know if we are moving in the right direction" - Mayan Elder Hunbatz Men
As I ruminate about the quote from Hunbatz Men, I realize how our hurt and painful experiences may form or change our opinions and perspectives, which can lead to division. Which to me only signifies, that if we work on healing, it can leads us to a path of unity!
Recently individuals from the Anishinaabe Nation came to Izalco, which is located in the department of Sonsonate, El Salvador, to meet with Nahua Elders. Tito Pazi references the prophecy, reminding us that we are connected and must support each other.
Anishinaabe brethren at the Indigenous Library. Photo above shared with permissions from Indigenous library, Municipality of Izalco.
Unity is a must! Understanding that we are all cousins, brothers or sisters is important. I’m excited to see this union happening because as I continue to learn and reconnect to my paternal homelands, I’m recognizing the need for debunking myths about the Indigenous nations of Central America, and beyond.
I'm fortunate to have found my big sister (pictured below), who reminds me to embrace all that I am. Having spent every summer visiting family in Ahuachapan, Turin and San Salvador until adulthood - she has seen and lived the oppression that exists, and she helps me understand the current struggles and history of Indigenous people in El Salvador.
Photo: (L to R) Me and my Sister Haydee
I'm also incredibly grateful for my cousin Fressia (pictured below), who encourages me to use my voice, speak my truth and find joy in my reconnecting journey. Having her remind me that I belong, and welcoming me into the family with a tender and open heart, has played a big part in my healing process.
Photo: My beautiful cousin Fressia
Reconnecting with our communities is the key to understanding not only ourselves, but each other, helping us to create an environment of love, acceptance, and safety. Through this reconnection, we can learn more about our shared pasts and build a strong foundation of support for one another, laying out a path that will make our ancestors proud.
So let us remember to come together as a united front to build awareness and understanding of Indigenous People from all the Americas. By sharing stories, listening to each other’s perspectives, and embracing differences, we can create a learning journey that will benefit us all. Let us join hands in unity to create a future of social inclusion, safety and community support.