It is with respect that we share the spiritual elder and traditional teacher of the Mayan Ajq’ij and Day Keeper--Tata Pedro Cruz Garcia—and the visionary founder of the Mayan women weaver’s community, Casa Flor Ixcaco--Teresa Ujpan Perez—departed from this spiritual plane this month. They passed within two days of each other.
Tata Pedro Cruz Garcia
Tz’utujil elder and guardian of the ancient oral traditions, Tata Pedro, was one of the few surviving members of the Mayan Council of the Elders of Tz’utujil, which is a branch of the Maya Qui-che. He was a traditional Mayan Ajq’ij and Day Keeper, and one of the principal authorities of the Council of Mayan Elders of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. He received the title “Heart of the Lake Atitlan” by his fellow Mayan Council of Elders and Tz’utujil people.
He taught internationally as a ceremonial leader and spiritual guide, sharing knowledge, ceremonies, and practices. He was the interpreter of dreams for his community and a leader of the preservation and education of Mayan day keeping and fire ceremonies.
Tata Pedro recognized the interconnectedness of all people, the expanding consciousness of the planet, and the urgent need to unify our spiritual, cultural, and ethnic wisdom for the benefit of the planet and humanity.
We honor Tata Pedro Cruz, a beautiful spirit who contributed so much to the world and to the Mayan peoples during his lifetime.
Teresa Ujpan Perez
The vision for the women weaver’s community, Casa Flor Ixcaco, began in 1950 through seven-year-old Teresa Ujpan Perez’s interest in backstrap weaving. She eventually moved to the coast to begin work as a cotton picker. The job gave her the opportunity to learn about the plant and cultivation.
After marrying and starting a family, she needed to provide financial support for them, and so she returned to the weaving loom. Since the income from working in a shop wasn’t sufficient to meet her family’s needs, she formed her own group of weaving women.
In 1984, Teresa learned how to spin cotton, and in 1996, she began organizing the group so they could commercialize their own handmade products. In 2009, the market had grown, and the women decided to weave exclusively with organic cotton, planting their own cotton just outside of the town in the mountains. Today, Casa Flor Ixcaco houses 22 families dedicated to the production and commercialization of natural handcrafted items.
The Olympic Mountain EarthWisdom Circle (OMEC) has supported the women weavers of Casa Flor Ixcaco for many years through OMEC textile purchases sold in the United States, by sponsoring Mayan weavers to visit the United States, and with our engagement during our sacred expeditions. We are deeply moved that the women use all organic cotton and plant dyes, while emphasizing the spiritual qualities of the plants and preserving the ancient Mayan backstrap-loom approach.
We honor Teresa Ujpan Perez, a beautiful spirit who contributed so much to Mayan women and children in her lifetime, and to preserving ancient wisdom ways.
From my heart to yours,
Llyn Cedar Roberts, MA
OMEC Founder and President