“...my eyes were open now. I could see what the Andeans and other indigenous peoples had been predicting for thousands of years: the need for balance between our modern world and its technology and the natural world and its wisdom.”
– Nigel Bennett
Peruvian Wisdomkeeper and Curandero (Healer) Jhaimy Alvarez-Acosta and his partner Starr Muranko have played an important part in opening my eyes. Jhaimy, founder of the Children of the 7 Rays Foundation, and his partner Starr, the foundation’s Events Coordinator and Facilitator, have become very close to our family. Jhaimy has led my boys through Andean rites of passage and our family has been on sacred pilgrimages to Peru with him: he has become like an uncle to my kids.
The Children of the 7 Rays Foundation is dedicated to serving people, communities, and the environment by honouring, celebrating, and sharing the ancient teachings of the indigenous peoples of Canada and Peru. The “seven rays” refer to the 7 central values of the Andean Wisdom Teachings: relationship/reciprocity, responsibility/beauty, sacred learning, sacred work, reverence, equality, and harmony. These are similar to the principles of the traditional indigenous worldview of First Peoples in Canada.
Jhaimy and I are united in a vision of helping people around the world form alliances as true stewards of our planet (Pachamama) for the sake of all our children, including seven generations to come. I also back 7 Rays’ long-term goal of building two healing and education centers, one in the Sacred Valley of Peru, the other in British Columbia.
That’s why I’ve invited Jhaimy to speak at my book launch in Vancouver on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Since a portion of the profits from sales of Take That Leap: Risking It All For What Really Matters go to their foundation, I thought it would be a great opportunity for people who support my book to learn more about this non-profit society and what they’re up to. Things like providing:
• A traditional breakfast and holiday gift to hundreds of children in the Sacred Valley of Peru every year
• School supplies for the community of Raatchi, including materials for a new roof, playground, and sports equipment. (This is part of a Peru-Canada student Penpal Exchange & Cultural Sharing Program with North Vancouver schools.)
• Clothing, formula, and toys for children of young mothers through local programs and orphanages in Cusco, Peru.
• Healthy snacks and art supplies to children and youth in the remote Cree community of Attawapiskat, in Northern Ontario
• The distribution of clothing, toiletries, and a monthly hot lunch to DTES residents in Vancouver, in partnership with the Traditional Grandmothers and Mothers Society
• Annual activities to share the traditional teachings of the indigenous peoples of the Andes and Canada, including a Sacred Water Walk held at Rice Lake in North Vancouver on Mother’s Day.
And if you want to know you’re making a difference by doing so, just take a minute to listen to the Peruvian children sing a song of celebration in their native Quechua language and to hear their shout out to you:
“Thank you to our friends in Canada—we love you a lot!”