This story is being shared as the ManKind Project USA steps into a role as a mentoring Region for the emerging MKP Mexico Region. The First New Warrior Training Adventure in Mexico took place on March 20-22, 2015.
THE MAKING OF MKP MEXICO.
By Jaime Valdes Neri, Rhino walking on water.
In 2002, I joined a group of people in Mexico City who were interested in mythology. We had a reunion once a month. Pedro Servín was the head of that group which was called: The round table. We were always hungry for workshops, lectures or conferences. One day, Pedro told us that his US friend Karen Armstrong recommended a training for men only, which for the first time, would be offered in spanish in Chicago. Another two men in that group and myself signed up without knowing what we were getting into.
I was initiated on October 2004 in Pottawatomie Hills, Wi. and became Rhino walking on water.
There I met: Agustin Gurule, Mariano Guas, Eduardo Somoza, Martin Lassoff, Gerardo Ramos and Max Freund from the US, Victor Torres, Leopoldo Torres (not relatives) and Fernando Lozada from México. I took my ST1 in Milwaukee, WI and there I met Rich Tosi, who was one of the trainers. I was taking a leak and he came in to do the same. He said: “Are you having a weekend in México?” I replied: “Uh yes, but I believe we should do it by the book, because of culture.” He zipped up and said: “Just do it.”
We initiated our I-Group and met at Victor´s house once a month. The first casualties (men who left) were Fernando Lozada and Leopoldo Torres. We carried on and invited other men, took care of most of the logistics and after a year we rented a space for our meetings. Results were discouraging as we did not get but one man initiated in three years. Our kings and warriors were not in shape and money was an issue, but most of all, not being able to convey what the initiation was about, what it meant, presented a problem for us.
Interesting side note; a retired man named Don Karp from the US, became a Mexican resident and was a New Warrior before my time. He joined in for a few sessions, then we lost him. We knew that there were other Mexican New Warriors but did not join in because they didn’t know there was an I-Group.
Victor and I departed. He took some men to be initiated and I invited Alejandro Guerra, an uninitiated man to keep the I-Group alive. Didn’t work; again, no men had the resources, visa or language to be initiated in the US. Then I continued with Eduardo Araiza a younger man also uninitiated. We reached a wider audience, conducted workshops but again. Money, visa or language killed the project once again.
Then, at the end of 2010 -six years after my initiation- men in Costa Rica were trying to launch an NWTA there. They invited me to participate and in the email exchange, I met Carlos Legaspy, another Mexican. We exchanged some email and agreed to meet in Mexico City in one of his business trips. We met on February 2011. Eduardo was about to step down from the project but Carlos’ view, an initiated man, changed his mind.
I staffed some more and Carlos lobbied MKP USA and got 100 scholarships of $200 US. With that we got more men initiated using about 10 of those. Now, we are about some 40 New Warriors in Mexico. Carlos was always generous with his financial support for the men coming from Mexico. Carlos is a guy whose body thermostat is out of order, eats for three, has an arsenal of dirty mexican jokes, he takes a ‘no’ for a ‘why not,’ and likes to break his leg playing rugby. This is why I selected him to be the spiritual godfather of my son Jaime Jr.. We became compadres.
We then staffed together in the bilingual trainings in the US in San Diego and New Jersey. I honor those centers as well as Chicago for having the vision of reaching to the latino community. Carlos and I translated almost all processes and protocols as we translated simultaneously. I staffed in California, Texas, Chicago and Florida looking for spanish speaking New Warriors. At some point, we started offering open Circle of Men sessions to invite more men. Then we started inviting men from the US for PIT: Arturo Salazar, Dennis Nicely, Mariano Guas and Rick Broniec donated their time and sometimes travel expenses to help out.
Boysen Hodgson interviewed in spanish Mariano, Carlos, Jose Mondelo and myself and uploaded it into the MKP YouTube channel. We were now public. See the videos here.
In Mexico we managed to create five I-Groups. We now have one in Guadalajara one in Ajijic both in Jalisco, one in Toluca, State of Mexico, and two in Mexico City. We had to create a non profit legal organization and a bank account. It took us one year to accomplish. To meet MKP International standards, an emerging community must have a mentoring center. It was like looking for a father. San Diego was the natural choice since it is Carlos’ original community (Now he is San Diego-Chicago-Mexico), and also the least expensive airline route to the US. San Diego was appointed our mentoring center. They gifted us our elder’s staff, our ceremonial sword, many blessings, and a financial donation for our first training.
With the arrival of Mariano Guas we got another ally, a Cuban who is struggling to speak correct mexican -because he believes firmly that Cuban is a language – cigars are part of his body and has no difficulty switching from rum to tequila. Anyhow, in the second semester of 2014, along with Carlos we decided it was time for our weekend, and planned for the first quarter of 2015. It was discouraging, not having more men initiated and no resources at all. So Carlos and I started considering moving the date from March to July 2015. Mariano went for advice to Martin Lassoff and Crazy Hawk replied: “Just do it, get profit from the impulse.” This was the second “Just do it” in the american way. That was it.
On the eve of our first NWTA in México and Latin America, we have: 36 men enrolled and a waiting list. A full leader and two co leaders appointed. Martin Lassoff, Rick Broniec and George Faison who are Certified NWTA Leaders and Sheldon Weinstein a Certified NWTA Co-Leader signed in as plain staff just for the ride, we have also in staff an Emeritus Leader who now lives in San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, a whole pack of spanish speaking LIT’s and mid level staff from the USA, a rookie force of 14 mexican men and Carlos and me as LIT’s. A total of 45 men on staff.
Martin Lassoff, Agustin Gurule, Mariano Guas, Max Freund, Gerardo Ramos, Leopoldo Torres, Fernando Lozada and myself who participated in that initiation in 2004 in Pottawatomie Hills are here today, March 19, 2015, one day before our first Latin American, NWTA.
It is spring, and the equinox will find us in the heart of Quetzalcoatl’s realm initiating men.
To be continued.