We Need You
The journey to opening the Embassy has taken years of outreach and relationship building. Yet, we are still building. We need you.
We invite you to join our effort and CO-CREATE with us.
This Embassy belongs to you.
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The Aztlanahuac Cultural Embassy will be located in Teotihuacan, Estado Mexico, Mexico. It will be a place for gathering and grounding into the beautiful legacy of our Mesoamerican ancestors. This space will serve as a haven for those who have not had the opportunity to visit these sacred monuments that speak to the spiritual connection and intelligence of our ancestors. Due to five-hundred-years of colonization, and the violence and oppression that come with that, descendants of peoples all over Abya Yala are largely displaced from their ancestral lands. Whether that be folks leaving their communities in search of jobs in the city, to people leaving their home-countries completely. The diaspora is numerous and widespread over North and South America, and the world. When we lose our direct connection to our homelands, we also lose our relationships with the peoples that surrounded our territories. This loss of relationship is as impactful as our loss of home because context is as much a part of our identity as our place of belonging.
The colonization of the “New World” largely coincided with the ideological birth of nationalism, so for the inhabitants of Abya Yala, to be colonized also meant the indoctrination of a nationalist identity since the end of the 18th century. The result of this was that as diasporic peoples, we have adopted a lens that sees great separation with our relatives across Abya Yala. This separation is not a historical reality. What we know from oral tradition and what is confirmed by the archaeological record is that people across Mesoamerica, South America, and the Caribbean as well as North America were deeply connected by trade routes and a legendary grain for the western hemisphere: maíz/corn.
Born in Southern Mexico, by the cultivation and selection of teosinte about 9,000 years ago by human hands, corn unifies us. Corn is not a crop that can spread naturally like common weeds. It can only be grown by intentional cultivation. The significance of this is that in order for corn to have spread across the western hemisphere as it did, it was necessary for people to travel and pass the corn with the knowledge of how to care for it. This of course means that travelers and peoples along their path must have been in contact for at least one growing season, likely multiple in order to successfully pass and receive the wisdom of maíz agriculture.
This process, of course, took place over countless generations. Archaeological evidence in the eastern United States demonstrates that as little as 1,000 years ago corn had newly become a large scale crop in the region. The journey of corn and the migration of peoples along with its trade across the Americas, thus, has been one in motion since its birth.
The word maíz was first heard by Spanish colonizers in the Taino language on the island known as Hispañola, formerly and forever Ayti. Through the survival of this term for corn, we know the Caribbean nations had this important crop. Today, the story of the continent of North America is not told in a manner intertwined with that of the Caribbean nations. However, according to archaeology and genetics in the last decades, the Caribbean was settled by indigenous peoples of Central America and northern South America as much as 7,000 years ago. This was 2,000 years after the birth of the corn in Southern Mexico. Did the people who populated the Caribbean already hold the knowledge for cultivating maíz when they settled? Did they possess maíz seeds? The answer to these questions has yet to be illuminated. However, we do know that by the time of the Spanish invasion of Abya Yala, corn was an important crop in the Caribbean. In fact, the most widespread name for corn used in the last 500 years has been
the name given to it by the people of Ayti and the surrounding islands.
The path of movement of the maíz thus provides a map of connection and relationship among people from South America through North America to the Caribbean. Recalling and honoring this connection is an important part of the vision of the embassy. Now, though this history is incredible, its connection to Teotihuacán specifically may remain a question. The answer to this is simple. Teotihuacán is a site that was uniquely multiethnic. In fact, the layout of the city was made of neighborhoods where people from specific regions in Mexico lived among one another and next to people from other regions. This is evidenced by the accumulation of items from specific places like regions in Oaxaca, the coasts of Mexico, Yucatán, etc in specific barrios in Teotihuacan. Additionally, artifacts with origins in Teotihuacan have been found across Mexico and Central America and artifacts across Mexico and Central America have been found in Teotihuacan. In this way, we can see that this site of ceremony and commerce was a hub that brought many maíz-based peoples together to co-exist and commune. The vision of the embassy is to honor this memory by creating a space to once again come together, from across the diaspora of maíz-based peoples whether they be in their homelands or displaced, in order to ground in our connections to each other and the powerful histories of our ancestors.
email@example.com EE. UU. 520.501.2821 Teotihuacán 724 114 5525 Teotihuacan, Estado México, México.
Aztlanahuac: Embajada Cultural de la Nacion Xicana
La Nacion Xicana is made up of maiz-based peoples, primarily of Mexican/Central American descent that live in the entirety of the United States and who have long been considered foreigners on native lands. They also include peoples from throughout the Americas. Aztlanahuac takes its name – Aztlan and Anahuac - from the symbolic concept of the north and south – regions of the continent that have always been connected. The North includes the U.S. and Canada. The South includes Mexico and Central America, though maiz cultures extend to South America and the Caribbean.
A cultural embassy for la Nación Xicana is based on the idea that Raza that live in the U.S. continue to have a cultural connection to the South, and specifically, the ancient ceremonial center of Teotihuacan. This ancient city was important to all peoples of the continent. Raza maintain a cultural connection to maiz cultures because part of their daily diet - is thousands of years old: corn, beans, squash, chile. Probably the majority – due to colonialism and de-Indigenization - do not have a conscious connection to that culture, though they remain very much a part of it, as a result of the Indigenous foods and traditional medicines still in use to this day.
Cross-Cultural Connection and Learning.
Establishing a cultural embassy here is predicated on the idea that all maiz-based peoples should visit Teotihuacan at least once in their lifetime. One visit alone can inspire life-changes, enough to set a person on a life-long journey to come to know that ancient culture, a culture that actually spanned the entire Americas and one that continues to be very much alive. The embassy will facilitate learning of those connections that bind virtually all maiz-based peoples and cultures with the goal of seeing themselves as part of living interconnected cultures, giving them a sense of thousands of years of belonging that they are generally denied in El Norte.
As a cultural embassy, the outreach will be transnational in scope since it would be collaborative with other original peoples of the continent – including but not limited to artists, writers, scholars, educators, storytellers, knowledge keepers and other learned elders - of the Teotihuacan Valley and Anahuac, home of Mexico City-Tenochtitlan. Much can be done there, and Much can be done there, and there are no limits, from ceremonial runs, temazkales and sacred healing circles, to workshops to cultural exchanges, including visits to other nearby cultural, ceremonial and educational centers. It can also serve to facilitate retreats, symposiums and mini-conferences, especially targeting youth groups or delegations and those that have been denied knowledge of their living roots.
The embassy welcomes peoples of all races, nationalities, ethnicities and genders who support the ideals of the embassy.
History and meaning of Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan, more than 2,000 years old, located some 35 miles from Tenochtitlan-Mexico City, is one of the world’s greatest cities ever built. Most know it because of the monumental pyramids or temples to the Sun, the Moon and Quetzalcoatl. It is one of the most studied ancient cities in the world, and yet, most of its history continues to be shrouded in mystery. When the Mexica came upon this city, it had long been abandoned for many hundreds of years and by their own accounts, they were awe-struck, purportedly believing that only gods could have built such a place. Aside from Mexica accounts, the rest of what is known regarding Teotihuacan is the result of archaeological work done since the late 1800s.
The one thing most historians and archeologists agree upon is that this is where the ideas and the worldviews - associated with Mesoamerica - congealed. The truth is, much is known about Teotihuacan, and yet, much is still unknown, though it is a commonplace belief that this place was and is sacred. As such, we need to ask questions and answer them if possible, questions such as:
What was here prior to it being built?
Why was this place built?
Who built Teotihuacan and what language did they speak?
What did they accomplish during their hundreds of years of their heyday?
Did they have common beliefs, and how far away was their influence?
And what baffles most archaeologists; why did it collapse?
Does this place have meaning today and to whom?
Teotihuacan is considered the patrimony of humanity, not just of the nation, though these questions are actually relevant to all Indigenous peoples of this hemisphere. And whether the peoples that live here now are actually related to those who built it, several thousand years ago, generally, most that live here are undeniably part of Teotihuacan now and are undeniably Indigenous.
All the above questions are important, some perhaps more important but the last one is perhaps the most important, the one regarding whether Teotihuacan is relevant today or not? All of these questions may have multiple answers and in studying the literature, it is clear that there is no consensus regarding these questions. Myth is important for many peoples. Most of us know the myths of this place as told by the Mexica who communicated their knowledge and beliefs to primarily Spanish priests. Per the Mexica, this was the place where the Fifth Sun was born. There is a tendency to dismiss myths in terms of accuracy etc. But myth is not about accuracy per se. There usually are deep truths to myths. But the question is, what is knowable today about this ceremonial center? This can actually be asked of probably most ceremonial centers on this continent. What we do know is that Teotihuacan was the seat of one the greatest civilizations in world history. The people who built this place were scientists, mathematicians, astronomers, architects, engineers, agronomists and peoples who had knowledge of mediciine and the arts.
Today, many of these places are no longer viewed as sacred; instead, many have become, but simply tourist destinations. For many of us, we do indeed see these centers as sacred, and as ceremonial, educational and cultural centers. It also is a place of reconnection, a place of belonging and a place where the above questions can be answered.