After completing a vigorous and successful night of healings with tobacco and ancestral songs, Flavio, his wife Beatriz, and close friends made their way to Tsleil-Waututh territory just outside of Vancouver, BC. It was pouring rain on a very cold November day, but nothing was going to prevent this meeting from happening, as the group was on their way to meet the highly esteemed Tsleil-Waututh leader, Sun Dance Chief, and fierce water protector Rueben George. Thanks to Mayan elders Felipe and Fabiana Garcia of Guatemala, this beautiful convergence was arranged, and it happened to fall on the same day that Rueben hosts sweat lodges on his family’s land.
The connection between the two leaders was immediate and undeniable. Although they do not speak each other’s languages, an energetic alliance was created merely after meeting and speaking to each other for a few minutes. With the help of translators, Rueben and Flavio shared their stories of reclaiming and safeguarding sacred territories from contamination, protecting ancestral wisdom, and of course, being a strong voice in their communities. Rueben recognized Flavio as a fellow brother who was visiting from the South and bringing a similar message to the world: NO MORE DESTRUCTION! In fact, he declared that a spontaneous blessing be made in Flavio and Beatriz’s honor immediately. There, Tsleil-Waututh family and friends who arrived for a sweat lodge ceremony, along with Rueben and the Wayusa School team joined hands in solidarity and encircled Flavio and Beatriz. The two were blessed with sage smoke, and Rueben offered a powerful prayer and song for their protection and well-being as caretakers of the Earth. Many were moved to tears, and afterward, with much excitement Flavio shared his famously robust myths and stories with a captivated community.
Due to the intensity of this first encounter, Rueben invited Flavio, Beatriz, and the Wayusa School team to meet his mentor, Ihanktonwan Dakota Chief Phil Lane Jr. Agreement was unanimous, and the next meeting was set for just a few days later. Synchronously, the team had already begun a collaboration with local filmmakers to make a documentary film that would tell the story of both the Ayuy Yu clan and the vision of the Wayusa School. Both Rueben and Phil had agreed to participate in the film, and a result, all became part of making history by way of chronicling the powerful union of wisdom keepers of the South and the North, the Condor and the Eagle.
Phil Lane has worked all over the world for decades and created the Four Worlds International Institute (www.fwii.net) in Panama City, Panama, a center for uniting indigenous communities throughout the world as an “international organizing and educational hub for actualizing the Reunion of the Condor, Quetzal, and Eagle via the Fourth Way across the Americas and beyond”. He speaks Spanish, but once he and Flavio locked eyes, a profound bond was established immediately. Each expressed that before speaking with the other, they knew that they had arrived at the right place, and right on time. In front of dear friends, family, and a small film crew, Flavio talked about his beloved ancestors and shared potent Amazonian mythology, and Phil spoke of prophecy and the magnitude of ancestral wisdom.
After these powerful conversations were initiated, Flavio was overwhelmed with gratitude and he shared many sentiments with us, his team. Firstly, he said that he deeply recognizes that these two brothers are extremely strong, for having survived the destructive impacts (physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, social) of living in an industrialized world but still cultivating sweetness in their hearts. He said that speaking about their ancestors together nurtures his spirit, and makes him feel even closer to them, as true brothers. For Flavio, it affirms that their culture is still surviving; that it is indeed full of richness. He proclaimed, “You cannot buy culture, you live it!” Conversing about the air, water, medicines, and sacred plants with his Northern brothers, he said he felt as if they were speaking the same language about the sacred Earth, and that they were a living part of the prophecy.
“There wasn’t much difference between us, indigenous brothers of the North and South, and very soon there will be even more alliances. We want to meet more brothers and sisters like Phil and Rueben.”
Flavio fondly remembered that Phil’s spirit ignited when he talked about the message of the South, and the importance of understanding the path from where “se grita el sol hasta que se oculta el sol”, where the sun cries to where the sun hides. He said, “After I said this to him I had a dream that Phil opened his large, sacred book. Together, we began to dust it off and read from it.”
“When I talked to him about our Wayusa tea, we were talking about the unity of the North and the South, and the Spirit of the Anaconda. Wayusa is the key to the spirit of the jungle. It is our green gold, and we are not poor, we are very rich people.”
He added, “Phil inspired us so much. When he spoke of his ancestors my spirit was fed by hearing about his fight and his experiences. It is an honor to know Phil and Rueben, and I have a lot to learn from my brothers in the North. I respect them very much, and I invite them to come to my home in the jungle. It will strengthen our alliance and the realization of the prophecy. Thank you for opening your hearts and homes, and thank you for supporting us in our cause in Pastaza, Ecuador.”
Flavio feels very strongly that through these alliances he is going to meet many more communities, other men, women, children, healers, and warriors. He looks forward to sharing more philosophical and spiritual principles with others in the future, to heal others and to continue the transmission of vital knowledge on sacred land for the survival and inspiration of future generations.
A huge thank you to our film team:
Co-directors: Ana Maria Carrizales and Arun Fryer
Producer: April Liu
Cinematographer: Pieter Stathis
Sound: Mark Dolmont
Translators: Andrea Davis and Ana Maria Carrizales