Sacred Temple


We walked the sacred sites of Tulum…many elemental beings greeting our every step and showering the girls and i with blessings! How absolutely magical to see this sacred site of worship with Iguanas guarding the sides of the door and stairs leading to it. There were 8 iguanas symmetrically positioned  along the steps looking very Zen. My daughters could not get enough pictures. i couldn’t help be reminded of the importance to meditate and learn how to just be and be still and present. Message(s) understood! And as if the sacred sites were not enough to take my breath away the beach below with water so emerald green it shifted my state of consciousness and waves so powerful they struck chords against the rocks creating rhythmic melodies that simply left me breathless and in Grace. The rock  you see below in the picture appeared to me as a sphinx…isn’t that very telling…..

Tulum...sacred beach

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Chocolate Maya is the best ….

Angeles, Laura, Claudia y Lupita

way to meet and share space and time with three wonderful ladies, Angeles, Laura and Lupita. All three women are passionate social and enviornmental activists using their talents in distinctive ways to deliver information and healing to the community at Playa del Carmen. We met, sipped delicious Mayan Chocolate, talked shop and shared stories about cooking. Our conversation about food, cooking and eating brought back memories (and smells) of childhood experiences i had while cooking with my grandmother, abuelita Cuca. The story behind the recipe and how family recipes can be the thread that connects us to our culture and our ancestors is a story that calls to be told and kept alive. In Mexican households storytelling often takes place in the kitchen as a wonderful meal is magically coming to life merging smells and meals with pieces of family history. Our Abuelas did not use recipes…they used their intuition to measure amounts and choose ingredients needed. Cooking was, and in some households continues to be, an oral tradition. We talked about the importance of writing down the recipes and the stories behind the recipe… so that our children and their children still know how to make chiles rellenos the way Abuela did bringing her story and invoking her spirit in the process. These women are multifaceted, creative and powerful, despite limited resources they are making a difference to their community. They made a difference in my life, thank you ladies for opening your hearts, showing me such heartfelt hospitality.

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Second day spent at Cancun. Miriam has been a wonderful host, she drove us around all day as we got aquainted and prepared for our work this weekend. Visited with a local female Shaman/healer who owns hotel named El Rey del Caribe. It is a EcoHotel and Spa in the heart of downtown Cancun. It is surrounded by tropical gardens and is truly a Spiritual retreat that replenishes the Soul. The owner and founder Araceli is an old soul with a direct communion with Mother Earth. We talked, laughed and stood still. She gave me blessings and light for my journey into Mayan country.
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The Adventure Begins…

In about 7 hours my daughters and I will be boarding a plane to Southeastern Mexico, the Yucantan Peninsula on a service and learning trip, our first one as a family. This adventure had been possible by the support of many…special thanks to Gregory Gomez founder of Indigenous Institute of the Americas https://www.indigenousinstituteamericas.org/Apache.html and our hostess Miriam who has so graciously agreed to open her home to my daughters and I and my loving husband Kevin who without hesitation gave me his support and blessing. I will blog and post pics and stories as best I can (despite my limited tech abilities) in hopes of raising awareness and shedding light.

Blessings and thank you for reading.


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Dr. Gabor Maté



claudia hinton and amy roth lead the Social/Emotional staff meeting at GCE this morning.  The meeting began with a Democracy Now video featuring Dr. Gabor Maté author of Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers and Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It. Dr. Maté says, “schools have to become not just places of pedagogy, but places of emotional connection. The teachers should be in the emotional connection game before they attempt to be in the pedagogy game.”  To learn more about Dr. Maté’s research and findings please click on the link.

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Sache teaching GCE how to DRUM

Sache honored us with a visit bringing her knowledge of drums and drumming into our classroom and turning us all, students and staff, into drummers! Thank you Sache we hope you visit us again very soon. Please watch the video of our finale (coming soon.)

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Amy Roth…

joins GCE introducing The Empathic Civilization, a YouTube video with bestselling author, Jeremy Rifkin taking a look at the evolution of empathy, how it has impacted our development and how it has help shape our society. Please find the link below.


Amy concluded her hour with Circle and the question “What is your Spark?” Peter Benson (president and CEO of Minneapolis-based Search Institute) helped coin the concept of Spark in his latest book Sparks: How Parents Can Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teens. The students shared thoughts about their Spark and left pondering the question, “Have you thought about how this Spark/talent could get you paid later in life?”

Students were also encouraged to go home and ask their parents three questions and comment on my blog. The three questions are below.

1. As a teenager, what was your Spark?

2. Did it change?

3. What is it now?

Thank you Amy, we are very fortunate to have you on the team.

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Sound Meditation

Preston Klik pays GCE a visit and treats students and staff to a Gong-Bowl talk/play Meditation. Students learned and explored creative instruments of music and sound. Students really enjoyed their experience. It was a great way to start our day.  Thank you Preston. Come back soon.


Please visit Preston Klik (and his wife Emily Klik) at Synphorium to learn more about their organization.

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Circle: The Fluid Lines of Cultural Identity

During our second Circle gathering the students created music. The instructions included creating rhythm with hands and body and incorporating vocals w/o sound. Three groups, One community. As a community the students had to bring their individual music or identity into the community while each group simultaneously played their own music. The students came up with very creative songs/rhythms. We processed how one develops a cultural identity and how our cultural identity dances and at time clashes with other cultural identities. Can there be a Global Identity made of several colorful identities co-existing in peace? What happens when we rigidly adhere to our cultural identity and close ourselves off to cultures that are different or appear to contradict our own cultural identity? These and many more questions we will try to hold and play with during the school year in Circle. Gracias!

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Our First Circle Gathering.

“The Divine in me salutes the Divine in you.” Namaste (or Namaskar) is a Hindi/Sanskrit term of “hello.”

We began our first Circle having all the students hold hands.  i ask them to look into each other’s eyes and say “I see you, welcome.” There were the giggles and rolling of the eyes that is expected of high school students. There is solidarity growing among our students. i have seen students show extraordinary examples of friendship with depth and maturity, complimented by the laughter and thumping of the ball hitting the pavement as  students play basketball with joy. Feeling very blessed to be part of such a vibrant and mindful community. Thank you.

~ claudia

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