Casa de Colores



These are some of the projects that I have developed and oversee at Casa De Colores. Aside from the programs held here at Casa De Colores, I also do a lot of outreach in the community and surrounding communities, including Matamoros, Mexico. I never expected to be living and working in the southernmost tip of Texas, and it has been a bittersweet challenge for me. When I accepted the position here at Casa de Colores, I knew that my road would be spiritual and that has been the basis of all our programming here.

Working for the Foundation for a Compassionate Society has been a turning point in my life. The resources of the Foundation are like no other that I have ever experienced. The growth I have gone through these past two years, I know I could not have achieved outside of the Foundation. Working for the Foundation has put me in a position to look deep inside myself and find what I have to offer of myself to all that surrounds me, and with what I come in contact. Working for the Foundation keeps me well-grounded and continues to be a learning experience for me, through its many projects and the women who oversee and help develop these projects.

The most rewarding of all for me personally has been the documentation project of the women elders of the Conchero tradition. Having the opportunity to document the different aspects of the tradition has been an experience that I have no words to describe. The experience has brought a healing to my life, I could have not accomplished these achievements without the help of the Foundation.

The Conchero project insures our survival in Texas of the traditions left to us by our ancestors. I will always be deeply indebted to the Foundation for a Compassionate Society for giving me the opportunity to document a tradition so close to my heart.

MUSEUM. Exhibits Indigenous thought and culture through a variety of multi-media exhibits. It is open Tuesday -Saturday 10:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m. The current exhibit is "Tira dela Peregrinacón" a reproduction of the codex depicting the migration of the "Mcxica" from Aztlan to Mexico Tenochtitlan. Also an exhibit on pottery and artifacts from Mexico, Central and South America. During the month of October, we will be expanding the exhibit with a photographic exhibit of the indigenous tradition of Mexico, as well as exhibiting a traditional women's ceremonial dress which will be on loan from Mexico City. We will also include indigenous musical instruments for hands-on educational programs. During the month of November, we will include altar installations using fireplace frames. We will invite people from the community to install the altars. Tours are given upon request, and an educational program has been developed in conjunction with the exhibits.

RESOURCE CENTER: Consists of a mini-library with a wide variety of books and educational materials. Also includes an audio and video library. The Resource Center is the base for programming at Casa de Colores. Programs include: Native Plants, Greenhouse and Gardens, T.R.I.B.E. (Tribal Roots In Biocentric Ecology) Children's Programs, Intertribal Council of the Rio Grande Delta Educational Programs, Workshops, Lectures, Environmental Right to Know Act.

TRADITIONAL MEDICINE: Consists of the Temezcal (traditional sweat bath), herbal healing and traditional massage with herbs and lotions. We are making all oils, lotions and teas used in the healing as well as growing the medicinal plants necessary for this program.

NATIVE PLANTS, GREENHOUSE AND GARDENS. In the native plant program we gather seeds of papaya, sabal palm, ebony, mesquite and tepehuaje trees, as well as transplanting banana trees, aloe vera and cactus plants. In the greenhouse we grow a wide variety of plants which we sale. In addition to the small gardens we have medicine plants, flower and vegetable gardens. We have a Papaya grove, from which we manufacture shampoo and soap. We will also be selling the papayas at the farmers market under organic produce. Through this project we also demonstrate composting.

CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS. Consist of summer camp held each summer, where children study Indigenous music, songs and dance as well as explore the natural beauty that surrounds Casa De Colores. The children are also encouraged to express themselves through the arts. Beginning in October, Casa De Colores will be offering Saturday morning classes on arts and crafts, creative writing, theatre and music.

T.R.I.B.E. Tribal Roots in Biocentric Ecology. TRIBE is a community founded on biocentrism. TRIBE aims at retrieving the tribal roots of all humans and replanting them in fertile soil, to allow them to grow back into the world. We pursue this revival by organizing and holding Earth education gatherings, going on nature hikes, learning native plants and their medicinal, edible, physical and spiritual qualities, celebrating solstices, equinoxes and moon phases.

INTERTRIBAL CHAPTER. This intertribal chapter is the result of the overwhelming response to this summer's Pow-Wow held in June at Casa De Colores. The group will explore intertribal dance, drumming and singing, as well as learning feather and leather beadwork. We will study the spiritual aspects of the red tradition through the sweatlodge and other ceremonies.

DOCUMENTATION PROJECT. Documents the Women Elders of the Conchero Tradition. Documenting life stories, ceremonies, dances, songs and music as well as medicinal practices. All documentation will be available at Casa De Colores Resource Room. Documentation includes audio, video and photographic material.

RESOURCE ROOM. Houses information on the Foundation and its projects. Other material will include documentation project material, information on environmental and political issues, as well as offer material available through PeaceNet. The Resource Room will be a clearing house of vital information.