María Feliciana Ujpan Mendoza: Humans of Lake Atitlán

by Erwin Colli Chayax, OG’s Hub Administrator in San Juan la Laguna, Guatemala. This article is also available in Spanish on Facebook, here.

This article is part of a weekly series of posts from Operation Groundswell’s Guatemala Hub in San Juan La Laguna. “Humans of Lago Atitlán” features influential people around the lake and shares their stories.

Meet Mrs María Feliciana Ujpan Mendoza. She is originally from San Juan la Laguna and is 53 years old.

Mrs Feliciana is a Mayan Spiritual Guide. She graduated from university with a Masters of Psychology and Pedagogy and is accredited as a Social Therapist who can treat the emotional, psychological or spiritual needs of people. Mrs Feliciana descends from a lineage of spiritual guides since her grandfather was a great spiritual guide and a healer who used the fangs of snakes and jícaras to cure people in the community.

From a very young age, Mrs Feliciana felt the call to become a spiritual guide through dreams, symbols and signs from mother earth and the sacred universe. Signs that she could not yet understand. Mrs Feliciana began by interpreting dreams of some of her co-workers. In her work in the Quiche area, Mrs Feliciana met a great Spiritual Guide of the Quiche ethnicity, who guided her in her process. She spent a lot of time walking through the mountains to be able to connect and allow the ancestors, the guardians of the sacred places, to speak to her. In the Mayan world one has to be born to be a spiritual guide, and it is through dreams that you feel the call.

Mrs Feliciana is still discovering the path. She knows that being a spiritual guide is something very special from the Mayan cosmovision and that every Nahual is special because each one has a gift or a destiny to follow. There are midwives, bone workers, pediatricians, healers, Mayan veterinarians who have been born with the gift of knowledge.

For Mrs Feliciana, the Mayan cosmovision is like a great spiritual spring since each day has its color, its number, its energy, its mission to help. Mrs Feliciana says that it is very important to live and drink from this spring in order to be and walk in balance with nature and the great Ahau.

Mrs Feliciana and a group of young people make ceremonies to offer for the community. She sees that the youth are very interested in Mayan spirituality and tells them that they have a great mission just to let themselves be guided. Her message to the parents is that they are the main guides to the source of wisdom and the right path.

For Mrs Feliciana, both the ancestral and modern medicine should prevail, since there are many people who practice it and for whom Mrs Feliciana sends a warm greeting.

Mrs Feliciana invites us to get to know her, in case you have any doubts, want some advice or a Mayan ceremony. She also invites young people to make positive use of social networks. Young people who wish to join the spiritual activities are cordially invited. You can find her at the New Sun Spiritual Center.