It goes without saying that I have learned so much more about Central American cultures. Iíve felt very comfortable here at times, and other times very uncomfortable witnessing third-world poverty first hand and feeling guilty to be a part of a first-world consumer culture that takes advantage of these people and their land. The term Ďmodern day slaveryí comes to my mind. But I guess we are using each other in our own countries as well. We spend a lot of time focusing on materialistic and selfish goals, competing with each other instead of trying to uplift our less fortunate brothers and sisters, fellow human beings. After so many intense conversations with my peers, it is obvious everything comes back to education, awareness, activism, and change, but poco a poco (little by little).
This trip has been great for my mind. I enjoyed countless hours of brainstorming with Adrian and by myself, while pushing along the rig or later on with some good ganja after settling in to a comfortable place. Iíve felt so many emotions while being on the road, had some pretty exciting interactions with locals and other travelers, and havenít been tested physically like this since college wrestling. Iíve decided that what is most important to me right now is to contribute to positive change within my own country as I believe it has to start first with the economic leaders, decision makers of this world, if you will, also known as the Ďfirst-worldí. The wealthy and healthy are looked up to in this world. Maybe it taps into our nature, our priority to survive. I know for sure that we, who enjoy a greater amount of opportunities in life, need to set better examples for the rest of the world. So that is where I want to start, with myself and then hopefully with my surrounding community members and family.
I want to start a community kitchen and food cooperative on the west coast of the US. There will be a number of themes and activities; they include promoting local, organic, and sustainable foods, offering cooking classes in a community/demonstration kitchen, having intercultural exchanges through food, participating in community service, a culinary library which will include cookbooks, info on food history and politics, and other media, and an organic cafť and grocery which will showcase organic locally grown goods. And so much more, who knows. I want to practice connecting food with art, music, health, kids, grown-ups, and everyday life choices. I am big on the cooperative idea of it and figure that I, along with a few close friends and family members will just have to make the jump into it and hope people can feel our spirit and join in and contribute to changing the way people live with food in a positive way.
I plan to work through the summer in Alaska after a cross country trip across the US. Going to go on a thumb, to visit friends and pick up ideas for the coop along the way. I have a couple websites to make, my photos and stories to go over, a few inventions to develop, and maybe even a book or two to write. I feel like this trip has left me full of creative energy and now I will choose my priorities and get to work!
I am very thankful for having run into so much positive feelings out there. Iíve heard horror stories about people being robbed or hurt, and none of that ever happened. Most all the time I felt very comfortable no matter where I was. I believe that my Spanish speaking ability helped make much stronger connections to the people. Getting to know the cultures of Central America was overwhelmingly awesome to say the least. Not to mention the natural sites, they werenít bad either! And what a better way to do it than with my own natural leg power, on a bike, seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, feeling, and living everything at just the right pace. Iíve had more stomach problems in the past 10 months than I have had in my life, but what doesnít kill us makes us stronger right? Maybe I carry a few new friends in me now as well.
So, now I head with a pack, back north through Panama and Costa Rica to hit all the detours I didnít make by bike.
More stories from the road to come!
As always, thanks for following along, thanks for your support.
Please continue to support leg power, driving less, carpooling, peace, organic farming, healthy living, education and social activism! War is not a solution to OUR problems!
And if you want to be a part of the coop in any way, please let me know!
Peace n Love!