Synopses & Reviews
Martín Prechtel’s experiences growing up on a Pueblo Indian reservation, his years of apprenticing to a Guatemalan shaman, and his flight from Guatemala’s brutal civil war to life in the U.S. inform this lyrical blend of memoir, cultural commentary, and spiritual call to arms. The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic
is both an epic story and a cry to the heart of humanity based on the author’s realization that human survival depends on keeping alive the seeds of our “original forgotten spiritual excellence.”
Prechtel relates our current state of ecological crisis to the rapid disappearance of biodiversity, indigenous cultures, and shared human values. He demonstrates how real human culture is exterminated when real (not genetically modified) seeds are lost. Like plants that become extinct once their required conditions are no longer met, authentic, unmonetized human cultures can no longer survive in the modern world. To “keep the seeds alive”—both literally and metaphorically—they must be planted, harvested, and replanted, just as human culture must become truly engaging and meaningful to the soul, as necessary as food is to the body. The viable seeds of spirituality and culture that lie dormant within us need to “sprout” into broad daylight to create real sets of cultures welcome on Earth.
About the Author
A master of eloquence and innovative language, Martín Prechtel is a writer, artist, and teacher who, through his work both written and spoken, hopes to promote the subtlety, irony, and premodern vitality hidden in any living language. A half-blood Native American with a Pueblo Indian upbringing, he left New Mexico to live in the village of Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, eventually becoming a full member of the Tzutujil Mayan community there. For many years he served as a principal in that body of village leaders responsible for instructing the young people in the meanings of their ancient stories through the rituals of adult rites of passage. Once again residing in his native New Mexico, Prechtel teaches at his international school, Bolad’s Kitchen. Through music, ritual, farming, sacred architecture, ancient textiles, tools, and story, Prechtel helps people in many lands to remember their own sense of place in the daily sacred through the search for the Indigenous Soul.