Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Wisdom, originally uploaded by sulustumoses.

Yicela comes from an indigenous group in Ecuador known as the Awa. Their lands are still very remote, without modern means of transport to connect their villages to the rest of society. As a result, much of their lifeways have remained intact across the centuries.

Throughout our exchange experiece, Yicela demostrated quiet wisdom and leadership. For example, during the sweat lodge ceremony, she noticed some of the other young people expressing powerful emotions. It was nothing bad, but she instinctively knew to lend herself as a support for the spiritual process of others. She gathered the group into a circle and led us in a ritual from her people designed to give strength and courage. She told us where to stand, how to act, and what intention to hold in our minds. She took complete control and provided a beautiful, calming influence to the people.

This photograph was taken during our return trip on the edge of the Clearwater River.

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