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The Potential of a Tiny Seed


Here is a mural that I completed while in Pachaj. We were staying with an organization called Chico Mendez that is working to protect and restore the beautiful Guatemalan environment. They have a large focus on reforestation which has a direct impact on the quality of water that runs down from the moutains that Pachaj, and most other communities, heavily rely on. Chico Mendez is an NGO, and has choosen to be that way so that the government cannot influence their projects and goals. This organization started out very small, and grew into something much bigger; it has reached outside Guatemala and into surrounding countries. They have slowly become more and more powerful, gaining respect and acknowledgement.

I have been studying Mayan Spirituality for my ISP, and have mixed it with art. Although it may not be very obvious in the photo, there is Mayan symbolism in this mural. The symbol under the tree or the “seed,” is the Mayan symbol of life. The colors white, red, yellow, and blue are the four cardinal points representing the four colors of corn. White represents purity, yellow repesents the sun and harvest, red is unity and blood, and blue is the river and sky. Also, there are 13 roots underneath the tree representing the 13 Mayan Gods, and 13 months in the calendar. Next to the tree (behind me and to my left) are two plants with ten leaves each. This represents the 20 days in one mayan month. The 20th day is the day of Man. In total, there are 260 total days in the Mayan year (13×20).

Regarding the quote, it translates into: Every great tree was once a tiny seed. Its a simple message, but very powerful. It represents an ideal of Chico Mendez. I also hope that it will give hope and optomisim to the many that will read it. I have this quote in my room in my own home, and I read it frequently. I hope it will have the same effect on the people of Pachaj that  it had on me. Our role models were once children, every brilliant idea was once a passing thought, and the tiny seeds that we have planted in Pachaj will one day be massive trees bringing fresh air and water to the surrounding communities. All it takes are a few seeds and a determined mind to make a small change, one tree at a time.