Itzel and the Water Guardians (Itzel y Los Guardianes del Agua) VIDEO

The following 12-part kids series is an earth-conscious show (in Spanish and indigenous Mexican languages) that documents the journey of a young girl from the city and her abuela as they search for clean water.  They visit and speak to nature, receiving teachings as they search for the “guardians of the water.” This show features many indigenous communities and their water creation stories in their respective languages.

Ayoyotes On The Ground: A short film by Laura Varela

An interview with San Antonio filmmaker Laura Varela 

1.  Name / location / how you identify

Laura Varela, San Antonio, Texas Yanaguana via El Paso, TX.  Xicana.

2.  Why did you feel compelled to witness and document this event?

I wanted to support the Water Protectors in Standing Rock and I just wanted to do something anything.  This is when people were just starting to come out, before winter, before the assaults by the Morton County Sheriff and private security attacks on people praying.  I was compelled to go because of the location to make sure I could be of service somehow even if it just meant documenting.

3.  Why was it an historic moment (and location) for our Texas community?

Being from Texas the Alamo has a different meaning if you are Mexican American or Indigenous; this Danza group was going to do ceremony in front of the Alamo.  I knew it was historic for both those reasons.

San Antonio is going through a rebirth right now of young people reconnecting with their indigenous roots.  Also many Mexican Americans are working to decolonize their minds, diets and ways of life.  Part of that decolonizing process is opposing systems and structures that do not protect mother earth, the water and our families.  I just wanted to make sure that that event was documented and wanted to share it with the world.

Excerpt from video:

In solidarity with the Water Protectors in North Dakota, in September 2016, Kalpulli Ameyaltonal Tejaztlan and other Danza groups in the United States all dedicated a day of ceremony called Ayoyotes on the Ground. Many ceremonies were held in different cities as well as Standing Rock. The ceremonial Danza and prayer was dedicated to the people of the Standing Rock Reservation and for all those working to protect Mother Earth. This particular historic gathering in San Antonio was held in front of the Alamo; which was originally Mission San Antonio de Valero and built by indigenous labor. Yanaguana is the indigenous name of San Antonio, it means place of clear waters; it had always been a gathering place for the indigenous populations for thousands of years.

Special Thanks to Laura Rios Ramirez, Delia Enriquez, Maribel Hermosillo, and Kalpulli Ameyaltonal Tejaztlan

Call for art: What does it mean to be #IndigenousAgain?

Seeking art, music, and multimedia by indigenous artists with themes of what it means to be #IndigenousAgain. All ages welcome! Pan-MeXicanx indigenous community is invited to apply!

OPEN CALL for multimedia art from indigenous community members (especially youth) that address the following themes:

  • Becoming “Indigenous Again”
  • Protecting Mother Earth
  • Celebrating Indigenous Day, removing Columbus Day
  • Decolonization
  • #Indigenous BC (#IndigenousBeforeColumbus, #IndigenousBeforeColonization, #IndigenousBeforeCapitalism,
    #IndigenousBeforeCoalMining, #IndigenousBeforeCommodification, #IndigenousBeforeClimateCounting,

SEEKING: original art, poetry, written, multimedia, music

WHO SHOULD SUBMIT: People of all ages are encouraged to submit original artwork. Art will be featured across the website and social media. Artist will be featured in an upcoming written article on the site.

DEADLINE:  October 1, 2017


Environmental crisis looms over Houston via chemical & oil industries after Hurricane Harvey

Photo by Bryan Parras

From the flooded streets of Houston, longtime community warrior Bryan Parras of TEJAS (Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services) has been on the ground in his city documenting the damage caused by hurricane Harvey.  Through live feeds he and the TEJAS family have been keeping a careful eye on the hurricane’s impact in the community and in particular communities already dealing with contamination and environmental justice issues, most of which are communities of color.   These extra circumstances of “multiple marginality,” such as being undocumented or being from a low-income neighborhood already experiencing contamination, add extra layers of crisis to an already devastating situation in which people facing life and death can’t escape and ask for help, much less ask corporate companies already violating human rights to take extra measures of precaution during a natural disaster.

Below are a few clips that detail what is happening on the ground in these neighborhoods:

  • Interviews with Democracy Now and the environmental crisis unfolding in Houston
  • A live taping of the Nuestra Palabra show discussing the situation around Hurricane Harvey
  • A live toxic tour around Houston that was broadcasted on FB live during the first days of Hurricane Harvey’s arrival

If you would like to support the critically important work that Bryan and the TEJAS family are doing, please donate to them here:






Guatemaya: Eco-tourism, carbon dioxide sanctuaries and military displacement of 5,000 people

Peasant Community Evicted from Parque Nacional Laguna del Tigre
Laguna Larga, San Andres, Peten

Photos: Irving Mondragon
Text: Nakay R. Flotte

On night of June 1st, the community of Laguna Larga, San Andrés, Petén was evicted by
more than 5,000 members of the National Civil Police, Guatemala’s National Army, the
Special Jungle Operations Brigade (Beos, Personnel of the Protection of Nature Division
(Diprona) and the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP). According to the Public
Prosecutor for Environmental Crimes and in accordance with a federal judge from the
Narcotics and Environmental Crimes court created, the border community was accused of
illegal settlement in the protected area. According to regional director CONAP of Petén
department, the inhabitants of Laguna Larga have “invaded” a piece of land within the
Laguna del Tigre National Park in the Maya Biosphere Reserve for the last five years.
However, the farming community claims to have lived here for over 17 years. Local
testimonies say that CONAP refused to talk to them to reach an agreement that will
regulate their village and plans to divest other 18 communities present in the Maya
Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala. This institution had issued regulatory documents for the
community in 2004 and after having decreed to the peasant community as “invaders”,
they themselves have violated their own documents.
The spoils are connected to foreign and transnational interests to create luxurious
eco-tourist complexes, as well as to maintain certain areas of the Peten as carbon dioxide
sanctuaries. The repressive measures with which the community of Laguna Larga was
expelled will be used to evict the La Mestiza community, scheduled on the 14th of this
The current situation is critical and precarious for the more the 500+ people who are
stranded on the border line between Guatemala and Mexico.
Having been stripped, they left behind harvest, animals and fled with a few belongings.
The present rain has made the supply of food even more laborious and has worsened the
sanitary conditions of the place. Children present symptoms of influenza, gastritis,
diarrhea and malnutrition Three pregnant women are close to giving birth, awaiting the
arrival of a health brigade. The community is living in a temporary camp made with tarpas,
sticks and aluminum sheets exposed to the inclemency of the climate located four
kilometers from the town of El Desengaño, Campeche.
During the afternoon of June 7, representatives of the INM, Grupo Beta, CNDH,
Campeche State Municipal Police, as well as the Guatemalan consulate in Tenosique,
Tabasco, met to find an agreement. Beta Group director Jorge Vázquez Oropeza reports
that no agreement has yet been reached, but reiterates that the decision on the
settlement should be taken mainly by the Government of Guatemala
The community of Laguna Larga are grateful for the attention received from Mexico and
hope that a resolution is found soon. They demand:
● The Laguna Larga community demands restoration of damages after having lost
their crops, their animals and their homes, which have been burned and / or
dismantled with chainsaws and axes.
● The community calls on international institutions to provide them with health
services as quickly as possible.
● The Laguna Larga community demands international assistance to monitor their
situation with dignity and justice.
In the event of a negative response by the Guatemalan Government, peasant families
expect their application to be approved collectively for all members of the community.
They have rejected their temporary relocation to a shelter since they want to continue
harvesting their products and raising their animals in the jungle region.
“In our faces we feel happy, but the pain inside is great.”

Calling water protectors and danzantes: Stop the Trans-Pecos pipeline in West Texas

A call for water protectors and danzantes to stop the Trans-Pecos Pipeline in West Texas.

Via Jefe Jose Garza of the tradición of danza Azteca (Texas/New Mexico) and Madeleine Santibañez of San Antonio, Texas

Jefe Jose Garza:  “Good afternoon, we are here at the Two Rivers camp this afternoon outside of Marfa, Texas. We’d just like to invite everybody to come join us. We are here to fight the Trans-Pecos pipeline. We’ve got this black snake on hold since Cannonball and we need some help.

“We need water protectors and anyone that understands the dangers that are presented by this pipeline. To take a minute to pray with us. To work with us to put an end to this pipeline and all the pipelines, that are not needed. Thank you.”

Madeleine Santibañez: “This is a call out for any people of this land that have the opportunity to come out here and do some prayers or direct action directly on the pipeline, we’d love for you to come out.

“This is a call out for Ayoyotes on the Ground.  It’s about time that we come together as a people rising up and regaining that knowledge that this land teaches us and the sacred elements. So I invite everyone, if you can, come out here and put your boots on the ground and ayoyotes on the ground and help us stop this pipeline.”

Jefe Jose Garza:  “Estamos llamando a toda la Danza Azteca que se unen para este resto y que nos ayuden a parar esta línea. Espera nuestra llamada.  Tlazocamati.”

Translation: We are calling all the Danza Azteca to unite for this prayer and help us stop this [pipe]line.  Await our call.  Thank you.”

To learn more:

Related video via Deceleration:


Texas Water Protectors Shut Down Trans-Pecos Pipeline (Video)

As originally posted on Deceleration
By Greg Harman

Dozens of self-described water protectors flooded a construction site in Far West Texas this morning, shutting down construction on a high-pressure natural gas pipeline for more than two hours.

Members of the Society of Native Nations and Big Bend Defense Coalition, two of several groups fighting the construction of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, chained themselves beneath an excavator while others ran deeper into the easement and occupied sections of the disjointed pipeline itself.

The event represents yet another escalation in a two-years-long-running struggle that has moved from local coalitions fighting state and federal regulators, regional land owners resisting eminent-domain property seizures in the courts, and, most recently, increasingly indigenous-led direct actions intended to more directly interrupt pipeline construction. In recent weeks, several native-run camps have been established in several area counties, including Presidio, Brewster, and Reeves.

Owned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the primary force behind the Dakota Access Pipeline being resisted by the Standing Rock Sioux and native and non-native allies from around the world, the 42-inch Tran-Pecos Pipeline is intended to transport fracked gas 148 miles from outside Fort Stockton, Texas, and beneath the Rio Grande, to join an expanding network of natural gas infrastructure in Northern Mexico.

Mexico’s Department of Energy’s five-year plan for energy reform projects (2015-2019) has focused on the enhancement and expansion of natural gas infrastructure across the country, including feeding U.S. resources into a network of existing pipelines in Northern Mexico. New lines in the states of Chihuahua, bordering Far West Texas, and Tamaulipas, which run alongside South Texas, and Nueva Leon, are expected to be finished in the next three year, according to the plan.

Through these new lines, the Mexican government hopes to triple the amount of natural gas it imports from the United States in that time. Natural gas imports from the United States to Mexico have doubled just since 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Standing Rock, Texas, and the Xicanx/Mexicanx nation


In this live interview, we speak to Bryan Parras of TEJAS (Texas Environmental Advocacy Services) / Librotraficante and Dr. Tane Ward of Equilibrio Norte about Standing Rock, Texas being critical ground, and the connection to the current wave of Xicanx/Mexicanx peoples identifying as indigenous.

SOURCE: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Department of Transportation
SOURCE: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Department of Transportation

View the Pipleline Safety Tracker here:



30 Years of Oil and Gas Pipeline Accidents, Mapped

Ayoyotes On The Ground camp for danzantes at Standing Rock

Prayer and fast in solidarity with Standing Rock


NoDAPL #NoTPPL #NoCPL #WaterIsLife#AguaEsVida

Nationwide floricanto ties broader MeXicanx community to Standing Rock and #NoDAPL

On Sunday, November 27, 2016 a first-ever online international floricanto was held in solidarity with the water protectors at Standing Rock.  Poets and artists from the broader MeXicanx community participated in live and virtual events, which helped raise awareness about Standing Rock and the importance of indigenous Xicanx identity and culture.  Events were held in San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas and recorded live online with artists from Los Angeles, McAllen, and Guadalajara, Mexico.  The online event was a “rascuacha tech” production by Xica Media.


From the FB event page:

Join us for a national floricanto in solidarity with #NoDAPL and Standing Rock!

Sunday, November 27 is a day of action in solidarity with #NoDAPL and the Standing Rock reservation and the greater Xicanx/Mexicanx community is invited to participate!


Poets, artists in action, danzantes, warriors, fire keepers, water carriers, and cultural workers to join the national day of action by organizing a floricanto event in their community to raise awareness and show solidarity with #NoDAPL and the water protectors at Standing Rock.

WHY A FLORICANTO? Floricantos are derived from the Nahua concept of “In Xochitl In Cuicatl” (in flower and song) which speaks to our ancestral wisdom, reminding us of the way we should walk with the earth and our relations.

In modern times, “floricantos” are what many in our community consider to be sacred, safe spaces where music, art, and poetry can be shared, weaving community, trust, and awareness of the issues we face individually and collectively.

The intention for the national day of floricanto is to engage in a simultaneous community conversation and connect with other floricantos happening across the country in solidarity with the water and our relatives at Standing Rock.

This call to action also aims to serve as a building block to work towards actually convening a national gathering in the near future.

Below is a video archive of this historic event along with links to the videos streamed during the event (and others.)

Links to support the participating artists  (live and post-show):


Links to upcoming related events :

Nov 28 – Dec 1 | Prayer And Fast In Support of the Water Protectors of Standing Rock

Month of December | Every day in December is a #NoDAPL day of action


How you can help the Sacred Stone camp:

Help setup the Ayoyotes On The Ground camp for danzantes and their families


Video of online floricanto:

Videos streamed during event + participating artists: