January 2, 2022
Consejo de Visiones, 2022, Tepoztlán
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Camp Meztitla: One of the many tepees at Consejo. Photo by author
Consejo de Visiones, Vision Council, is an annual week long camping event in the fall in Mexico that brings together different organizations promoting care of the earth by educating, sharing and networking. This year's conference was at the Boy Scout Camp, Meztitla, in Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. This is the entrance to the camp. Photo by author
Meztitla, the Boy Scout camp in Tepoztlán, where the Consejo was held this year (2022), is a very large site with many buildings and other structures. Inside the entry gate is a registration table to sign in and pay the fee. This is also where one buys meal tickets.
Food was plentiful and well prepared. Three meals a day, of Mexican-style cuisine were offered on a specific schedule, under a large tarp. In another area, food, including main course, dessert, and beverages, were sold continuously. And outside the Consejo, but very close, was a small outdoor restaurant.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Top: a small outdoor restaurant just outside the entry gate. Bottom left: food offered continuously by Los Mamazotas. Bottom right: the scheduled meals. Photo by author
Some, like myself, attended on a daily basis. Others who traveled camped out. There were 200-300 in attendance, and given the large size of the site, things were quite spread out.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Camping area for Consejo at Meztitla. Photo by author
Activities at Consejo were divided among various themes. To give you an idea of types of workshops happening, here are some of the signs displayed:
I attended a networking workshop starting with a circle of a hundred people standing under a huge tarp. We went around the circle one at a time, introducing ourselves--giving our names, where we were from, and the organization we represented. Then each person said their name, did a motion, and made a sound. The rest of the circle repeated this, then it was the next person's turn. The next activity was called "milling." Everyone walked around the space randomly without talking, but making eye contact with whoever is nearby. Following this were other activities to share what the different groups were about, but I was tired and left this workshop.
The signs below illustrate the difference between working alone and working in a group:
Creativity was a strong focus at Consejo. There was an abundance of art. We'll look at music performances towards the end of this article.
Here is a mural created by many people, including children:
jTepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. A large colorful mural created by many artists, including children. Photo by author
There were mask making workshops:
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Artwork at Consejo. Top: a large fish. Bottom left and middle: masks. Bottom right: a wooden sculpture. Photo by author
Goods for Sale
There were a plethora of things for sale of all kinds, some displayed on blankets on the ground, others on tables.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Lots of items for sale at Consejo, from clothing, to herbal preparations and handcrafted colorful fabrics. Photo by author
One section consisted of things for free:
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Here's a section at Consejo where evertyhing is free for the taking. Photo by author
The last two days of the week long event had a series of musicians performing on stage.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. The concert stage at Consejo. Photo by author
I recorded two of the groups. The first, Tribu, is a group I've seen a couple of times previously. I was excited to see that they were scheduled for Consejo. Tribu is a family collective that crafts ancient style drums and often includes ritual or theater with their playing.
The second group I recorded, Santa Rumba, is one I've heard many times in Tepoztlán. Oskar Balaños, the drummer and leader of the group, has an infectious enthusiasm that spills over to his audience. When my blues partner is in town (he lives in California), we have the good fortune to play with Oskar.
Ceremony and Ritual
Because it is an earth-friendly event, Consejo always has an indigenous component. There are altars, along with ceremonies and rituals
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Tipi of the Grandfathers at Consejo. Photo by author
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. The altar/fire pit at Consejo. Photo by author
The closing ceremony was a grand ritual.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. The closing ceremony at Consejo. Photo by author
One of the things I Iike best is meeting old friends at these events.
In my just published memoir: Better Living in Mexico. In chapter eleven, I highlight my experiences at two other Consejos. At these two, I was a more active participant than in this one, doing volunteer work at one, and facilitating a workshop at the other.
Please check out my memoir, available in both paperback and eBook formats. While you are at it, check out my compilation of Letters From Mexico, an eBook derived from this blog series. Here is my author page.
I am a self-published author and depend on you my audience to enjoy these writings I've worked do hard to get out, and then rave about them to your friends and relatives. Share them with your peeps on social media, please.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Exit sign at Consejo. Photo by author
Please email me your comments: [email protected]
I will post them here with your first name unless you ask to be anon.
I found myself dancing to the music in videos you made. Looking forward to reading more and especially your two books.
Thanks, Leonore, for your interest and support of my work.
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