Bernardo is a forester and gardener who came to Oxkutzcab, Yucatán in 1980 to learn natural farming from traditional Maya campesinos. He stayed to rescue some of the Maya knowledge he found, and in Chan Ká Vergel he has established examples for different ways of life.
Chan Ká Vergel is a 15 hectare organic farm and forest garden operated in the old style. Planting trees on a small hill belonging to the farm Bernardo found the remnants of a pre-hispanic Maya village and spent 30 years figuring out how it may have operated 2000 years ago. All the structures were in ruins, yet he identified and restored many remnants of daily life. The existing materials and indications were then used to rebuild terraces, rainwater collection platforms and underground cisterns following the logic of the place itself. Supported by shamanic guidance, a village structure emerged that is communicative, ecologically sustainable and pleasant to live in. Some 12,000 stones were hewn to create places and spaces.
Part of the pre-hispanic village’s spiritual base pattern was a Maya sweat lodge, Temazcal, a lost practice in Yucatán. A classic ceremonial Temazcal house is in the center of Chan Ká Vergel. It is dedicated to its totem animals, eagle, rattlesnake, puma and owl but also to Catholic Saint Mary Magdalen. Rituals are offered to be reborn into the cycle of life. The center is being co-powered by North- and South American indigenous allies dedicated to building a continent-wide network for transformation.
“The Maya were masters of sustainability – until they, too, failed to some degree, and a less experienced but more dominant culture took over,” explains Bernardo. “We are part of that dominant warrior civilization and it is from the Maya and other still-present civilizations that we can obtain support helping us recode our presently failing patterns and beliefs.”
In Chan Ká Vergel a Maya example of a lifestyle option for Westerners was therefore created:
– offering a new economic structure for professional endeavours
– promoting an active relationship management between the new and old cultures
– integrating Western technologies with the Maya way of life and
– through such synergies making sustainability profitable and thereby real.
Chan Ká Vergel’s agriculture produces a large array of food supplements being manufactured on the farm, always using simple yet sophisticated old Maya technologies: fermentation, alchemy and energetic transformational practices. Chan Ká Vergel’s food is highly valuable, often medicine-like. People come to be cured and to rediscover their sense of taste.
“In 2012 the Maya calendar created wider awareness for other options in life and we started sharing the experience with curious people,” says Bernardo. “A pre-hispanic Maya village in Chan Ká Vergel is being restored to become a storyteller place to share the experience of concrete action towards owning the future, restoring forests, farming sustainably, detoxifying our bodies and maintaining ourselves independent of the usual entanglements. Our histories entail all basic fields of life and professional engagement.”
Chan Ká Vergel offers learning and training opportunities to all those truly interested. Workshops are held in English, Spanish, German, and French for 600 pesos per day, food and all services included. Minimum participation 5 people. Temazcal ceremonies are offered at the full and at the new moon evenings, 200 pesos per person. Inquire with Bernardo for accommodation and travel at [email protected].
Dr. Bernd Neugebauer
Chan Ká Vergel
Oxkutzcab, Yucatán, México
Tel. (997) 101 5794
Cel. 9971 01 57 94
Correo: [email protected]
More info: www.yucatek.tumblr.com
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