Ja-Rey in her element


My best friend was shipped in last night to start the NY2C program a whole week late. Yeah a whoooole long week but she was at another summer camp so ya know it was all good. This passed week we had been disconnected from the world obsessed with speed and slowed down a bit to ground ourselves with the love of culture. We were invited to Wishtoyo and got to stay 4 great days on the restored village site of the Chumash people. I cant even begin to explain the amount of love I felt leaving those lands on our final day.  Those who have dedicated their lives to the culture and who took time to greet and care for us those 4 days are the most amazing people I have every meet. We did so many activities, like kayaking and snorkeling on Limuw island which is the origin place of the Chumash people. through all of that my most beautiful memory d at Wishtoyo is spending many hours of the day learning Chumash native songs and stories. sitting in front of the fire offering prays  was the best night. It reminded me of the pwoer within our culture and ourselves. It was an amazing experience and ooooh i slept outside every night too. (fun fact: you cant see the moon because of light pollution from the city)

Rainbow by James Fenelon

God_s Rainbow

I am now back from Wishtoyo which means rainbow in the Chumash language. Wishtoyo is one of few places which has managed to preserve much the culture from the natives of that area. For the most part the place is unaffected and tries its best to stay that way. The Chumash people are currently involved in a fight for the channel islands which was originally theirs. Many lessons were taught, but the most important of them was to fight to keep your culture alive. The Chumash like many native nations are still alive and are adapting alongside society with them being ahead in some cases. Many native nations were already aware and grateful for their resources which is something that most countries are having a tough time grasping. This is what makes Wishtoyo (Rainbow) a truly sacred place.

Wishtoyo- Kat’s reflections

First, words can not explain how closely related I feel to my Chumash people. Mati, Luhui, Auntie Georgie, Auntie Mena, Uncle Johnny, Nana, Uncle Ray, Leah (and Mateo), Sergio, Sarah, Kotes, Joe, Shoshoy, Sumo, and Ashk’a. Coming from another Coast Salish area and visiting with the Chumash who are also from the coast is absolutely amazing and such a blessing. The last three years in this program, I made a family and a home at Wishtoyo. It truly is a Rainbow, and I could follow it forever. The Turtle and Dolphin clan, I feel are gonna be my forever family. So many stories and teachings are stuck in my mind and I hope I never forget them. Songs, stories, teachings, blessings, prayers, gifts, creations, laughs, FOOD, scenery, history, love, kindness, traditions, and so much more are given to you when you go to Wishtoyo. Humaliwu, also known as Malibu, is the original homelands of the Chumash and we are always welcomed with open arms.

Right after I typed this paragraph above, my computer shut off and I thought I lost all my writing just now. I couldn’t stop myself from crying because I put my heart into it. It was a paragraph I could have written again but it just meant so much too me. The effect that Wishtoyo has had on me, its like I can’t even handle losing just a little piece of it. The memories and people that are now part of my life mean the world too me. I know there are going to be more journeys to Lemu, Wishtoyo, and Humaliwu. Thank you too my family, and friends from the rainbow.

You’re forever my family,

I love you all



Thank you,



Wishtoyo Cuauhtli

when i go there we were greeted by   MATI WAIYA and LUHUI ISHA.when i was greeted in that way bi t was pretty amazing to see the Chumash people use those songs.also i was able to learn more song and remembered old songs . it is like being home there and its so beautiful at night the stars shine and there aren’t enough words to use to describe it is just so powerful being there.one of the most fun things i did was cook in the kitchen i was serving the elders it was very enjoyable

secondly the classes were inspiring i lerend to twine and use it. first pound  leaves and they seperate into thin strands i split them in halfs twist outward and then around after that i repeted over and over till i got cord .later i made more and i really engoyed it so much i didnt have enough time to sleep eitheer but for a goog reason i did sweat loge with the men here ive done that all my life never befor had i experince that typew of enrgy. there is so much to say but rn im on a time dead line i hope to tell other people more about my time there.

No place like home

Well, my spirit isn’t at Pitzer College…it’s at Wishtoyo. Those three days were the best. Anything involving my homeland is just so medicinal for my body, mind and spirit. The moment we got there, I was greeted by my grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, my brother (He’s not really my brother. He’s my cousin’s fiancee who is one of my favorite people.) and MY MOM! I missed my home-girl so much. After greeting, we had ceremony filled with songs, stories and prayer. Then we went out to the cliff and did a prayer for our Mother ocean because she is hurting. Then we went down to the water and people got their feet wet but the tide came in and majority of the people were drenched. We then had a separate Woman talk about the importance of the Moon Time. The ,men had their talk too but i have no clue what they discussed. Then we ate food BROUGHT TO YOU BY NENAAAAAA!!!! Then we went to the beach and I sang some Chumash songs to Anna. Basically the whole entire trip was amazing. The funniest part for me was the way back. So, the night before, the men had a sweat and everyone was sleeping but somehow Cuauhtli managed to stay awake. On the way back to Pitzer, Zaryn, Marissa, Sylena, Violet, Jasson, Aleyah and Kyle were talking and Cuauhtli passed out on the floor of the van. So while he was sleeping, we were messing with his face and stuff like that. Then he started to snore…LOUD! And Kyle laughed so hard. It was hilarious. Anyway, it was dank.



The three days that I spent at wishtoyo were powerful and i had such a great time. The first day we went down and got greeted with songs, also we had visited a part of the beach that the sea had taken over and their was barely any land to stand on without the water touching you. Afterwards we celebrated my Nana’s birthday (Julia Bogany). I felt special and grateful to still have my great grandparents in my life supporting me and teaching me about my culture. The first night i slept it was just a bit cold by the water, but very outstanding. Another great thing was that my family was their and i felt lucky that they got to see what im up to. When i woke up i had to do my daily things the way that our ancestors did, and it wasnt easy. We also had a sunrise ceremony which woke me up along with breakfast. Later on some kids and mentors went down to the beach to go swimming. It had been a while since i have gotten in the ocean, and felt the strong connection. Afterwards we had classes that groups of kids split up to do. I really enjoyed the oceanography part because it drawed me in, and caught my attention. Then everyone took a moment to look at the stars at night, and see part of the milkyway. The stars caught my attention. The next morning we all were excited to go surfing and or swimming. I was overthinking about wether i should surf or not. I was afraid of wiping out, so for the first half of the time i was boogy boarding because i saw many people falling. After i saw that, each time they got back up, tried again, learned from their mistakes, and got better. So i decided to try it, and the next thing i know i was having the time of my life, and i may have fallen a couple of time here and there. Just remember that its not about how many times that you fall, its about the times that you got up.

~ Marissa Aranda (DancingButterfly)35863449742_fa3ea70720_z

Huitz yo!

WIIISSHHTOOYYOO!!!!!!!!!!! What another great experience man. I had such a fun time and it was really important for me to get away from the city and go out and reconnect with myself as well as with mother earth. I was able to learn a lot from such beautiful elders and also learn from such knowledgeable teachers, I appreciate the whole crew and staff for organizing such a beautiful trip and for giving us the opportunity to visit such a sacred and positive space. My favorite part out of the whole trip was going to the Beach and being able to reconnect with my good friend Edgar, He came out and surprised everyone and spent the last day with us at Whishtoyo  the whole time we were at the beach we TALKED A LOT!!!!!!!!. The conversation was a balance of positivity and negativity and what I mean by negativity is the unfortunate events that go on in our system today sadly but it was very important for me to know especially being the next generation. I thank him so much for contributing to such a great conversation and for inspiring me to protect my people from suffering. While I was staying at Wishtoyo we sang sacred traditional Chumash songs and I thank Mati and Luhui for sharing and for trusting us. The food was very delicious and groovy thanks to Nena, such a beautiful funny woman and hard working I thank her for feeding me such great meals that were filled with love and kindness. So thank you again for letting me visit Wishtoyo again every time is another great positive experience.