December, 18 2012
Teams competing in the ancient pelota maya game called "Chajchaay", Maya Tzutuhil ethnic hip-hop artists swaying on stage and theater pieces from a group from Sololá; these are a taste of the celebrations awaiting Guatemalans and foreign tourists around Lake Atitlán during the last three months of this Mayan spiritual era, which ends on December 21.
The traveling “Q’ij S’aq” festival, a Mayan name meaning "transcendence in time", is organized with the support and assistance from several international cooperation organizations, including CECI, through PROSOL, Projet de développement rural de Sololá, as well as the many volunteers from Uniterra, jointly managed by CECI and WUSC.
From September 1st to December 12th, many successful activities have taken place in nine municipalities bordering the Lake Atitlán tourist area, all celebrating the Mayan culture and carrying a powerful message to all of humanity. Rafael Olivares Hidalgo, Festival Coordinator, explains that this festival is created to provide a positive message to humanity as it prepares for the energy transformation at the end of December through the Mayan spiritual Era change.
According to him, the festival is a great opportunity to raise awareness and promote a deeper consciousness about a balanced and harmonious life between people and Mother Nature.
Through art, the “Q’ij S’aq” traveling festival presents the appreciation, preservation and development of the Mayan culture and the ancestral knowledge of the original peoples of Guatemala.
The tour was a huge success and brought many people together, including 800 in the small village of San Antonio Palopó. The festival has also traveled to Santiago Atitlán, in Solola, San Lucas Tolimán in San Juan La Laguna, San Pedro La Laguna, Panajachel and the final performance was held on December 12th in San Andrés Semetabaj.
Antonio Calabay, who lives in the area and attended one of these performances, praises the excellent organization of the festival and adds: the presentation of these groups "shows the great values that we have in our communities; this allows us to travel through time and in our minds to our origins, our roots, and perceive the greatness and richness of our ancestors and culture.”
Photos: Antoine Jaujou, Uniterra volunteer in Guatemala
Videos about "Q'ij S'aq" Festival and the PROSOL Project (in Spanish only):