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


Johanna – Adventure in Paradise

After hearing so many stories from my friends experiences at Wishtoyo in Malibu, I could not believe that I would finally step on Chumash Village reservation. July 16, 2017 to July 18, 2017 were days to meet new people and connect with them, but also have a deeper connection with people I met on July 11, 2017. Arriving to Wishtoyo, with the sun being at its highest point, the wind blowing our hair and hearing the rattles and voices singing made me feel so welcomed and made me run and automatically hug everyone, filling up my heart with complete love and happiness. Throughout the weekend, we had different activities such as; sacred geometry with Uncle Joe, traditional crafts with Uncle Ray, traditional archery with Mati Waiya, women’s circle with Luhui Isha, climate change with Nicole and Kote, and we even had time to get surfing lessons at Zuma Beach. It is so amazing how we did all these different activities, but still had time to learn from each other and to admire the nature around us because most of us do not have the opportunity to see natural beauty at its finest. 

So thank you, thank you Mati for sharing your songs and culture with me and showing me a way to hunt our sacred animals that sacrifice their lives to keep ours going. Thank you, Luhui for teaching about the moon cycle every woman has each month, reminding that it is such a powerful time for us and that we should not see it as a punishment as most of us do and for taking such good care of me. Thank you grandma Georgie for sharing the wisdom story, being so funny and energetic was extremely beautiful to see in an elder. Thank you Mena for sharing the story about your people, how they crossed the rainbow bridge and how they had to work together. Thank you Nena and Sergio for being such amazing cooks, making me feel at home with my family with the delicious traditional foods that was provided to me. Thank you Lia for been a great conversationalist and listener with our conversations early in the morning while everyone is sleeping, you will be such a great mother to Mateo. Thank you Sarah for being an inspirational person and always giving people positive energy Thank you, Uncle Joe for being a great teacher and teaching me about something that I have never heard about, sacred geometry. Thank you Uncle Ray for helping me created a necklace or choker from only black string and one bead. Thank you Kote for being such a cool person that I related to so much and very quickly, just shouting out our stories to each other and giving each other such a positive vibe that both of us blew us away.

I could not believe the experience I had with these amazing peers, mentors and staff at such a beautiful place. 

always happy, Johanna Osuna

Violet’s Wishtoyo experience

For my first day at Wishtoyo we were welcomed with a great song that made us feel like family. We got to do activities like secret geometry, beading, and learning about high tides. I thought the secret geometry was really interesting because Joe taught us how to use geometry with art which was really cool because I love art and to see how to incorporate math with art stuck out to me. The beading we did was awesome because, we got to actually make the whole necklaces from scratch and we got to learn about the traditions of the chumash people and how they made jewelry. When we learned about the high tides it really shocked me because i was unaware of how serious the high tides are in the Wishtoyo village. I thought it was helpful that the chumash people educated all of us about all the high tides so we can take that information and tell others about it so more people are aware of the situation and how serious it is. The best part of the whole Wishtoyo trip I thought was getting to go to the beach and swim and learn how to surf. The beach was just so amazing and beautiful and it was a great way to bong with everyone.Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 9.27.22 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-07-19 at 9.34.30 PM.png

Ansels Wishtoyo recap

From the moment we got there to the moment we left everyones energy was exhilarating. Hearing our Chumash relatives sing us in with their beautiful songs made me feel right at home. Seeing elders that have so much influence on my life sing with so much pride and joy to see us, reassures just how much they truly care about the indigenous youth that come to visit their beautiful village. Aside from all the ancient knowledge that we learned at Wishtoyo the most empowering experience was participating in my first sweat with my brothers. Feeling the sweat sprint down my face like it was running a hundred meter dash along with my prayers bursting out my heart was one of the most amazing experiences I ever had. When I crawled out of the payet with mud, sweat, and honor all over at 5AM; the cold water that my brother tekpatl poured on me just brought me back to life. A couple hours later we went down to Zuma beach where we received surf lessons from some cool dudezzz. Sweating, Surfing and learning were the best parts of my trip to Wishtoyo; before I wrap up my experience at Wishtoyo I just want to say I am extremely grateful for all of the amazing things the village does for the native and environmental community, truly inspiring.



Surfing and dancing and Science

It was nice that we were able experience and participate in the dance, the trip to western university was also amazing, I learned much about the research that graduate students do, along with the requirements that it takes to become a doctor. How important it is to do good in school to be able to accomplish these things. Also I never realized how cool Myan math is and how complex it is. I wonder what my math teacher would think if I used that on a no calculator test??  We also watched a movie that explained how important surfing was to the Hawaiian people, which is nice to know that their traditions are very important to them.