Aug 20, 2014

100+ YEAR MAYA TRADITION IN GUATEMALA: ¨Convite¨ costumed street dances illustrate the Maya, the Conquistador, Mexican Dances and mix in the contemporary world as it impacts the spiritual elements around us in Guatemala!

DANCING IN THE ALTIPLANO - K´iche´ Maya, 101 Anniversary in Santa Cruz, de Quiche last SUNDAY - Henry Leonardo Minas Veliz , my art assistant traveled there.

Every year in some of the towns in Guatemala, on regularly scheduled annual dates, we have ¨Convites¨ which are costumed street parades. These extravaganzas, and they really are, have groups who are invited to participate. These groups plan a year in advance their elaborate costumes and dancing messages. Originally over one hundred years ago (that we know) the ¨Convites¨ displayed the local cultural mix of Conquistadors and Indigenous interpretations of their mix into each phase of contemporary and local society, also there is a heritage of ¨Mexican Dancing¨ that was also ¨invited¨ to participate. The organizational approach of these ¨dance´societies¨ reflect the way they see themselves connecting with the outside's a great a colorfilled mix. 

Last weekend my art assistant Henry and Glenda his wife traveled to Santa Cruz de Quiche for the famous annual, this year celebrating 101 year tradition. Henry returned home with videos and many photographs of the spectacular event...I will share some here so you can SEE how we have become inspired to paint ¨Convite¨ paintings, murals and even ceramics...they have already become a fascinating new direction for us because, like the dance groups, the imagination level is's all about absorbing influence from NOW and centuries before NOW! 

I love the ¨Convites¨ and in our town of San Miguel Dueñas we will ¨ritual dances¨ after the procession of the VIrgin of the New Year, December 28th, mid-day, in San Miguel Dueñas...really fascinating and I think I will plan a lunch party around it and after the Virgin of the New Year passes my house we will then see the CONVITE FANTASTICO de San Miguel Dueñas, come visit ...vamos a ver, but for now, here is more of a glympse of what appeared before Henry, Glenda and their baby at San Cruz de Quiche last Sunday: 



Aug 13, 2014

GENUINE - THE REAL GUATEMALA: The lushness, the delightful truth, the reality of the people and the great energy of everyday life among the MAYA! Leonardo Ricardo (video)

Visit Guatemala v.3.0 (Updated version) from skycamguatemala on Vimeo.



Note: There are NO huge/wild gangs rushing around or legions of starving children in the streets/etc. What there REALLY IS here are a few fundraising crooks selling faux U.S. Green Cards and ¨safe passage¨ to the U.S.A.  

Most people, Guatemalans and guests (NGO's, the Peace Corps, Religious organizations) are adding positive acts building stronger communities with wholesome energy that simply add to the increased all-around everyday life of regular Guatemalan citizens.  There is a sincere and eager interest in cultivating improved education/health life in this beautiful and historically important part of the Western Hemisphere. 

Guatemala is a lovely place which is also named the ¨Land of Eternal Spring.¨

The very best thing you can do to help STOP illegal immigration is to help the economy here, visit here, add your expertise here, join in right here in my little town, San Miguel Dueñas, at the foot of Fuego Volcano (export flowers, vegetables and coffee farms) or ANYWHERE in Guatemala to educate and elevate..don't exploit or discriminate! One more suggestion is to evaluate the financial transparency of any volunteer group or NGO you  may wish to help...some are better than others in the trickledown department.

SAFE, SOUND, EAGER and HARDWORKING -- predawn into night, beat that!

Leonard Clark Beardsley. I am one of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens enjoying the great gift of living a full life and right NOW, especially grateful to be a guest in Guatemala.  Please come visit us, you'll love it.  As a longtime Guatemalan friend once said to me ¨Guatemala, you either ´get it´ or you don´t¨...I think I do and I think you will too.

Thanks to SkyCam, Guatemala
Thanks to Visit Guatemala
Thanks to The Maya culture
Thanks to The Land of Eternal Spring

Aug 4, 2014

INFINITY and LEONARDO RICARDO: ¨As a child my mind drifted far away into the vastness of not knowing¨

The way I see things makes the world be things

I feel drawn to write/blog a few of my recent thoughts/feeling.

I have always lived beyond the boundries of what I was expected to see and who I was expected to be.  As a child my mind drifted far away into the vastness of not knowing, into trying to make sense out of infinity.  Often I tell my Summer stories of sleeping in the outdoors and staring up at the stars...then beyond the stars.  I sometimes wondered how it could be that I didn't know where infinity would end?  Then, what space or place would come next?  Beyond the finish of infinity scared me a little.  It wasn't the not knowing that frightened me it was the stark understanding that I was so physically present when gazing into the BIG *it*  The BIGNESS and who, why. what, where and WHEN of it all!  Would I fall in or jump in? Would I be blindfolded and do a back flip into wherever there was?

Early in my childhood I realized I was *different* than others.  I knew I had longings of the larger than life variety and I knew I was a person  with different  longings than most of you-s.  What was the spell binding thing that took me far away? What was  the close-inside-of-me place lusting for space in my own safe backyard? Why did I have the built-in freedom to imagine such beautiful and colorful things that were both real and not-yet-seen in my early life?  Was I different, foggy or the same?  I now think it was the extra romancing of the possibilities of life that was perking inside of me.  My life and my eagerness to know about yours too.  Silently I decided what I must do, both with and without your approval.  Very early I discovered things were, in fact, not what they seemed to be (or ought be?) reality and imagination went wild in a good way as I played and romped and laughed and fished and planted and tasted every little attraction to be had around me.  I snuggled up to life.  As a child I was fearless. Life liked me back (mostly).  I always knew that in order to thrive I would need to operate both in and outside of the box, the boundries, the rules, the shame game the snear and those wavy ¨good¨ lines.   Infinity gave me permission to go as far as life would take me which meant way past the end of it in my minds eye.

Infinity has, it does, it will and I thank the God of my vivid understanding. I thank that same wonderdrenched God for letting me share life with all of you.  Some more than others, some closer up than others.  Now and before now it is you who still shine brightly for me dead or alive.  You are still there and here and I know who you are even from validate my innermost passion for life and you have not gone far away from my heart. I kiss you back. 

I love you

Leonard Clark Beardsley
Sacatepequez, Guatemala

Aug 1, 2014

CONCERNED ABOUT RETALIATION: Ugandan court invalidates anti-gay law, ¨Null and Void¨

¨The anti-gay measure was enacted on Feb. 24 by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who said he wanted to deter Western groups from promoting homosexuality among African children¨
KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan court on Friday invalidated an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying the measure is illegal because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum.
The panel of five judges on the East African country’s Constitutional Court said the speaker of parliament acted illegally when she allowed a vote on the measure despite at least three objections – including from the country’s prime minister – over a lack of a quorum when the bill was passed on Dec. 20.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga , Parliament of  Uganda
“The speaker was obliged to ensure that there was a quorum,” the court said in its ruling. “We come to the conclusion that she acted illegally.”
The ruling was made before a courtroom packed with Ugandans opposing or supporting the measure. Activists erupted in loud cheers after the court ruled the law is now “null and void.”
The anti-gay measure provided for jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex. It also allowed lengthy jail terms for those convicted of the offenses of “attempted homosexuality” as well as “promotion of homosexuality.”
Frank Mugisha, a Ugandan gay leader, said the ruling Friday was a “step forward” for gay rights even though he was concerned about possible retaliation.
Ugandan lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, an attorney for the activists, said the ruling “upholds the rule of law and constitutionalism in Uganda.”
Lawyers and activists challenged the anti-gay law after it was enacted in February on the grounds that it was illegally passed and that it violated certain rights guaranteed in Uganda’s constitution...please read it all:

Thanks to Nicholas Opiyo, Esquire/Uganda
Thanks to Stephen Kavuma, Judge/Uganda Constitutional Court
Thanks to Frank Mugisha, Ugandan gay leader
Thanks to Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi,, Esquire/Uganda
Anglican Archbishop  (emeritus) Henry Orombi of Uganda,


¨The religious leader called on Parliament to expedite the passing of the Anti-homosexuality Bill into law to combat same-sex marriages which threats the moral fabric of the Ugandan society...¨ HERE   (There already IS a NO SAME SEX MARRIAGE Law in Uganda)