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I graduated from the Indigenous Permaculture (IP) Certificate Training in October of 2006 and since then my world has been painted with impossible possibilities of making earth-loving, socially, politically-economic environmental changes.

I am from San Jose in the South Bay area where, for the most part, people have little idea about what earth steward consciousness is and the potentials for composting, gardening, solar power panels, rain-water harvesting, grey water, etc., which I would learn from IP. One of the places that I first learned about the environmental issues was through a class in Environmental Studies where the teacher spoke about transnational organizations that dominate natural resources in order to maximize profits and whose results are seen in the extinctions of many flora and fauna species.

I’ve also learned about the cosmic philosophy of my ancient Mexican roots that prioritize our four (Earth, wind, water, air) vital elements as the source of life. I continued to make changes with my wife to be responsible and make choices looking ahead for our future generations. When we conceived our first and only child, we searched for the best ways to give him a natural environment using our ancestors’ spirituality and sustainable methods adopted to today’s modernization.

I have used and shared this information with my community through our already established business that sells and trades sustainable baby products, body care and through managing an organic produce Community Supported Agriculture (C.S.A.) (M.A.N.O. Ledesma Farms) from our home using the name of Los Antepasados. As a 5 year plan requirement to graduate from IP, my goal was to implement more eco-sustainable services such as community organic gardening, clean air vehicle, children’s natural raising and awareness in health using indigenous power foods.

As of today what we can now share with the community of San Jose is our C.S.A. transportation running on Compressed Natural Gas van, a family based support group called “In Ixtli In Yollotl” (True face- One heart) to help raise children using the ancient Tolteca’s cosmovision philosophy and this year’s big cultural event celebrating the Mexica/Aztec New Year is going to be a “zero waste” event, we will prepare food that is all organic and with native power foods and sponsored by Whole Foods with a 5% of all sales.

I have used the sustainable organic methods learned from IP and we have converted our backyard into a blossoming community artwork from being barren using grey water, rain water, human “waste”, double digging and most importantly relating myself with our cosmos, knowing we are one, the greatest value I learned from IPP. I remember my first day in the program Guillermo said, “Once we see the plants, the water, and the birds as one, we will never feel alone”. So true.

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