Past Project: Hamaatsa

Restoration: Land, Spirit and Water

HAMAATSA is an indigenous continuum learning center committed to sustainable living, spiritual wholeness and cultural restoration.

OUR MISSION is to provide servant leadership models for living simply and sustainably on the land integrating healing systems from traditional cultures; to restore indigenous life-ways and land stewardship principles through experiential land-based learning. For more information, visit www.hamaatsa.org.

In February 2010, Rio Grande Return sponsored a watershed restoration day at Hamaatsa on the main watershed, the Arroyo Los Tanos, that runs through the aboriginal lands of Hamaatsa.

Watershed restoration at Hamaatsa is one of their primary land conservation efforts. The human relationship to water is a process seldom recognized until the wellspring is dry. Through watershed restoration work, the volunteers who come to Hamaatsa were provided an opportunity to reconnect with this vital living element.

This restoration program provided an ideal land-based learning environment for people to experience real-time watershed restoration applications infused with indigenous ecology and land wisdom. The day was guided by Larry Littlebird, Hamaatsa founding director and guest instructor, Steve Vrooman, owner, Steve Vrooman Restoration Ecology.

After a day of working joyfully together, the group gathered at the Shepherd’s House for a savory Pueblo style meal followed by a talking circle. In this circle the participants reflected on the day’s work and how restoration of the land in turn helps restore the spirit of community. After this full day of hard work, good food, and conversation a dramatic 360 degree sunset was a beautiful confirmation of how giving and receiving are both functions of dynamic relationship. On this day, the hard work of moving rocks and branches to help restore the vitality of the land at Hamaatsa in turn helped restore a receptivity to the beauty and mystery of the earth, and the participants received this spectacular sunset with awe and renewed appreciation.

Some photos of this restoration day can be found at www.hamaatsa.smugmug.com

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