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The Organization for Environmental Education and Protection (Spanish acronym OpEPA), aims to reconnect children and young adults with the Earth so that they act in an environmentally sustainable manner, ultimately becoming agents in reducing environmental degradation and promoting a more sustainable generation of decision makers. OpEPA was founded in Colombia in 1998 and has been operating in the United States as OpEPA USA 501©3 since 2007.

 

Project Summary and Objectives

One of OpEPA’s current projects being developed in the state of Colorado is Spiritual Reconnection with the Earth. The objectives of this project are to generate consciousness regarding humankind’s spiritual relationship with the Earth and raise awareness of the current ecological footprint on the Planet. We do so by exposing audiences, through multimedia presentations and discussions, to indigenous wisdom, modern day uses of sacred elements (including corn, coca leaf and tobacco, among others) and the contrasting means by which food is produced in modern times.

 

Through the project we intend to uncover possible solutions and take steps towards creating a positive transformation starting specifically in the Boulder/Denver community. Our overarching perspective is that we must take action HERE and NOW, find our MODERN WISDOM and achieve sustainability.

 

Project Methodology

Given the abundance of easily accessible information today, audiences are highly skeptical- they have developed an “information filter”. Youth, in particular, as a digital generation, are bombarded with so much that it is difficult to capture their focus and help them see connections between seemingly diverse ideas. We approach the obstacle of “information permeability” with a unique methodology that helps the audience absorb the information offered.

 

OpEPA uses a distinctively crafted, interactive multimedia lecture and it measures changes in perception through questionnaires before and after the presentation. We are targeting universities, schools, treatment centers, recreational centers, spiritual communities and theater venues.

 

Our first strategy is to break down the information permeability filters and have the audience be present. We engage by having individuals connect with as many senses as possible; for example, trying to notice bodily sensations (temperature, heart rate, feelings of vacuum), breathing abdominally, tasting or smelling “mate” (a leaf beverage from South America), and singing or following rhythms of ancestral chants. We connect the audience with information that has been shared by humanity for over 4000 years – chants. The words brought forth in the chants makes one realize that humans have been in harmony with the Earth for millennia, experiencing the sense of cosmic oneness.

 

The chants we bring forth have been shared by Muiscas, Mayas, Cofanes – ancient communities from the Andes, Amazon, all the way up to Guatemala. The messages concur with some teachings from North American tribes as well. These are the lyrics to the chants:

 

“Four Elements” - Earth my body, Water my Blood, Air my Breath and Fire my Spirit…

“I Am” - I am a savage child, innocent free and wild. I am of all ages, my grandparents live in me. I am sister/brother of the clouds and all I can do is share. I know that all is everyone’s and all is alive in me. My heart is a star, I am daughter/son of the Earth. And aboard my spirit, I’ll travel eternity...

 

Indigenous cultures have connected with the Earth for millennia through food, chants, ceremonies, “knowledge” plants, and fermented beverages made from grains and psycho-tropic plants. They search for the sacred within themselves to be able to connect their spirit with the Earth. We take a close look at this indigenous wisdom and explore the sanctity of plants, beverages and medicine that continues to be used today on a daily basis. This contrasts with modern times where some sacred elements have been transformed into vices, addictions, money mechanisms and justifications for war.

 

Our second strategy is to bring information about the dire state of our Planet and humankind’s role in it close to the heart, to an undeniable reality. Our guiding premise is that for the last two millennia we have put what is sacred outside our bodies and become disconnected from nature. As a result, we take much more than we give back to the Planet and to each other; we oppress the feminine, and we seek never-ending growth leading to an unsustainable lifestyle.

 

Our final strategy is to come up with solutions as a group, during an audience participation section of our presentations. We explore vertical farming, legalization of elicit substances, resource based economies, respecting the feminine, and natural euphoria, among other topics. Transformation is possible but it must begin at the individual level, we must transform ourselves in order to transform our surroundings.

 

Desired Results

We hope to achieve the following specific results through our program:

Reduced personal carbon footprints – Inspire audience members to seek out lifestyle choices that reduce their personal carbon footprint and connect them with nature.
Approach substance abuse from a spiritual perspective – so that individuals are more aware of how abuse of substances that were once sacred causes spiritual voids and planetary disconnection.
Transform the perception of sacred elements – understand that much of the current destruction is being caused by modern humankind’s use of chemicals and technology in transforming sacred plants into vices and profit. The plants and nature are not at fault, it is our abuse of them that is.
 

OpEPA’s GOALS

We envision a film documentary, a theater presentation and many individual presentations done by spirited individuals within the Boulder/Denver community.

 

Our Ask

Your generous contribution will allow us to grow on the quest to spiritually reconnecting individuals with the Earth. We are able to issue tax deductible donation certifications in the United States of America or Colombia. Please consider donating toward anyone of our target areas: Documentary, Lecture Series or Theater Presentation. We hope you would like to be involved and would gladly go over budgets with you.

 

Respectfully,

Mateo A. de Valenzuela

Director of Development

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(303) 808-2358
 
 
© 2014 OpEPA · Calle 70 A # 13-18 · Teléfono +57 (1) 235 7577 · Bogotá D.C. · Colombia · Sur América