November 24, 2016

New Horizons


Photo credit: Tyler Tomasello
As runners and Mas Locos, we’ve all had our lives changed by one, or more, trip(s) to the Copper Canyons of Mexico. The remoteness, the authenticity and the culture have charmed, inspired and taught us so much. It has made us better in many ways, and shown us the true power of Korima.

Like our friends in the Barrancas, Norawas de Raramuri has navigated many challenges as an organization. From its inception to support Micah’s dream and actions to its revival in 2012, all the way to this very day, our group has had a single driving principle: channel our friends’ financial support to our other friends in the Copper Canyons. 

Over the years, you have helped us provide tens of thousands of dollars to purchase the food vouchers awarded at every Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon. You have supported the amazing Caballo Blanco Trail Project, which now spans all the way up and beyond the Canyon of Urique, reviving an ancestral pathway used for generations. You have contributed to the wonderful kid’s race, la Carrera De Los Caballitos, that now attracts hundreds and hundreds of happy, excited youngsters to the streets of Urique to celebrate health and running. You have supplied schools with material and supported health care intiatives, most of which I oversaw personally, in the field. As a group, as One, we can be proud of what has been achieved and of the vast movement of kindness that has reached the bottom of the Canyons.

2015 marked an important change of context for the race, for the Mas Loco runners and in no small way for the Urique community as well. Out of a tragic initial event, an idea sprouted that the local people could take over the organization of the race and see to its perenniality. This idea is empowering, beautiful, and ultimately a logic step in the life of Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco.

In 2016, we were witness to the very first, locally-managed UMCB and it showed without any doubt how much love and dedication the Urique people have for the event. I know they are hard at work right now preparing the next one, and many of us will be running it with great enthusiasm.

This change in context has redefined many things, among which the role Norawas de Raramuri can play in the future and my personal role in the organization. We spent some time thinking about it and as the flow of events unfolded, we have come to the conclusion that it is no longer the best outlet to show our support in the Copper Canyons.

Although Norawas will issue its own official statement about how it will manage the remaining funds and see to their distribution, I wanted to take this occasion to announce I am stepping down from my role as a board member and to personally thank you, our supporters, our family. You are in the thousands. I can’t count the number of times I was told by our friends in the Canyons how much they appreciated the help of us “gringos” :) These thanks go directly, rightfully to you.

I will, of course, keep being involved with the Raramuri and the Copper Canyons through other venues and I’m committed for life to keep living Caballo Blanco’s vision of creating peace at the bottom of the canyons using the simple, humble act of running. It is also no longer a secret that I am part of a wonderful new initiative, Mas Korima, to which I will devote my time, resources and efforts to develop a direct business partnership with our Raramuri friends. It’s a bold, new idea that I strongly believe in and I want to fully devote to.

In the meantime, I personally invite you all to join us in Urique on March 6 for another celebration of beauty and connection and I also invite you to follow – and join - us in our future Copper Canyons endeavors.

Much love,

Flint


November 13, 2016

Witness Haiti - 1 - The Dragonfly Chronicles

My love is gone. I'm sitting here, basking in the irony that we've just found each other and that she left this morning half way around the world for two months.

You could say she got the call about three weeks ago to travel down to Haiti for a disaster relief mission, but the truth is, she got the call very early in life to help her fellow Human brothers and sisters. The Dragonfly has a heart of gold, and I need not to be selfish and let the world benefit from it, too.

She has gone to extend a friendly hand, and to bear witness to the People of Haiti's struggle through harsh conditions made worse by the passage of hurricane Matthew. Funny thing, to give catastrophes familiar names. Like it can make them somehow more bearable.

She's stepping into the unknown, armed with only her good will and hope.

I tried all I could to join in and help, but it seems she has to be on her own, at least for now. So we decided I'd help by supporting the witness part of her mission. For the coming eight weeks and as much as communication is possible, FlintLand will serve as her chronicle, and I as a relay for us all to learn more about the situation in Haiti, from someone on the very front line.

We burned some sage together as she was leaving, thanked each other for all the blessings we share, and hugged one last time before we are reunited again. Until then, may this journal become a link we all share.

Godspeed, my love.





November 10, 2016

Let's Talk



I don’t want to talk about politics.

I want to talk about community. About the importance of being a friendly face to your neighbors, to your fellow citizens and to the stranger you cross in a random place. I want to highlight the power of a friendly hand extended in the haze of the unknown, of a smile offered freely without any expectation in return. I want to emphasize the strength of the words “welcome”, “thank you”, “together”, or “us”.

I don’t want to talk about anger.

I want to talk about love, felt and expressed in your heart in the face of harshness. Love as a true power to oppose fear, hatred and violence. Love as a brave display of Humanity, as a moral beacon offered openly to be witnessed by all. Love as a basis for your life and for your interactions with others.

I don’t want to talk about division.

I want to talk about oneness. I want to press the realization that we are all together, united in the Human experience, connected by the choices we make and the effects they generate. We cannot thrive when others hurt. We cannot prosper when others struggle to survive. We cannot enjoy freedom and happiness if others suffer rejection and oppression. True, fulfilling wealth can only be reached as a community, as a shared result of compassion, connection and integration.

I don’t want to talk about hatred.

I want to talk about how critically important it is to be tolerant, respectful and open to others. About the importance of disagreeing, and then discussing, sharing opinions and ideas, debating, and generally contributing to each other’s points of view, values and knowledge. I want to suggest that the world is not binary, black and white, left or right. Our experience as Humans has very little to do with us as individuals, and is way more about us being active members of a thriving community fed by differences, ideas, values, creativity and visions that stimulate our thoughts and challenge our minds.




Now is not the time to shut ourselves, to point our fingers and to be played into fear, loathing and self-righteousness. It is time to face a System built to divide and conquer, and to join our hands and hearts, no matter how hard, and opt for connection.

Because that’s where the true, absolute, positive power of the masses resides.