BLOG WP future olympian -2336

I know, I know … every great-grandparent, grandparent, parent, believes his child is the best child at everything … and we have this grandiose idea that someday they’ll achieve success at whatever they set to accomplish … and better than anyone else.

Well, it is true … our children are the best at whatever they do at their young age,
they are fearless,
they are loving,
they are generous,
they are creative and resourceful, etc …
no-one is better at what a child can do.

However, lets keep one thing straight … your child is just as good as mine, and many others … neither one is better than the other one … each one has it’s own especial and unequal talents …

In order for the hopes for our children come to fruition, it’s most imperative the role we play … to help them explore life so they can find their nature, their identity. We need to guide them through a maze of challenges where hopefully they’ll find their adventure; so they can fully become, and be passionately alive when they grow up.

That said, lets help them keep their innate sense for cooperation with each other rather than competition … only then, we will be able to enjoy the fruits of a better community, a better nation, a better world … and ultimately the gratification to have contributed to the making of a GREAT human being …

And if you ask me again, yes my great-grandchild will be a future olympian … at least in my heart.


definition of relationship-7777

While reading Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, I came across this quote that stopped me death on my tracks ‘ Marriage is not a simple love affair, it’s an ordeal, and the ordeal is the sacrifice of Ego to a relationship in which two have become one.’

Although I have contemplated many times the significance on being in a relationship, this is the first time stated in such bold and simple way. It forced me to confront the significance that my Ego interprets it, and plays in every relationship I’m engaged with … with my family, children, grandchildren, friends, acquaintances, and humans in general … even do there are differences between the relationships to a mate, to a friend, to a grandchildren; they all require a certain death of the Ego. A certain death that it’s absolutely necessary for the relationship’s health and longevity.

Many may have encountered this pearl of wisdom already, however, for this Peruano, it comes at a moment most in need for his spiritual’s growth and identity … the conscious act of sacrificing a layer of Ego with every encounter; and hopefully, its permanent separation and death will allow me to relate better.



April 21, 2010 Urubamba-Sacred Valley of the Incas

Today, I visited the two Safe Haven’s teachers and sisters, Adriana and Dina. Adriana’s busy schedule hasn’t permitted an earlier meeting. She is studying for her master’s degree, in addition to carrying the full financial load of the family, for her mother, brother, and sister. Dina, her younger sister, just gave birth (via emergency C-Section) to her first child and is unable to work yet. Read more



Sunday, April 18 Early this morning I traveled from Yucay to Qotohuicho in the Sacred Valley, to meet Pelayo, an old friend whose character I respect, and also as a ceramic artisan and karate instructor. The agenda had been pre-set Friday eve. We were going to design a plan for ceramic workshops for the children of the Safe Haven.

While I was waiting outside in the yard for him, I looked around at my surroundings:  a couple of adobe structures, dirt floors, bee hives full of activity, a laundry line full of clothes drying with the radiant and powerful sun. As I pulled out my laptop, I realized what finally brought me to this particular place. I had the assurance that what will transpire today has the potential to change many lives. At that very moment I felt connected to the hand that wrote all, in silent prayer without words or pleas.

Within a couple of hours we had laid out an ambitious but simple plan, which will start before my departure on May 12. The plan, not only will explore the children’s artistic abilities, but will provide them with life skills they could tap into in the future.

Pelayo is raising his three children alone. His needs seem beyond my comprehension. Giving him just money would be an insult to his character, but offering him an opportunity to work together in a larger purpose, will give him life.

As I was leaving this humble but nurturing environment, I looked at the distant mountain, the Nevado Chicón. It reminded me of the encounter in the spring of 2003 when I became lost during a hiking adventure that changed me forever and turned a visiting observer into a man on a mission to bring positive change into lives of people in the sacred valley.



 While traveling solo in Cusco, Peru, in the fall of 2008, I experienced a period of loneliness like never before. I felt that a companion was missing to share the joy, excitement, compassion, and adrenaline rush of the adventure. A traveling partner who could feel, taste, and experience the profound significance of my heart for the journey. My heart ached, was weak, and confused. I was longing for intimacy.  In a frightening moment of loneliness and desperation I started to read ‘Never Alone’ by Joseph F. Girzone. I had tossed the book in the bag at the last minute while packing at home in Oregon before the long trip began; the title had intrigued me.  The content of the book’s dedication provided a deep relief to my heart’s loneliness:

“I dedicate this book to my Friend who is always by my side and in my heart, who is never far when I am lonely and confused, who always gives peace to my soul when I am troubled and frightened, and fearful of the future. I share with Him my deepest secrets, my joys, my sorrow, my accomplishments, my shame. He always understands. He never accuses or criticizes, but often suggests a different way of doing things. When He does, He inevitable prepares the way so it is not as impossible as I thought it might be. Over the years I have learned to trust Him. It was not easy. I thought that in following Him I would have to give up all the fun in my life, but I found that He was all the Source of all joy and adventure, and, indeed, He turned my life into a great adventure at a time when I thought it was about to come to an end. I would like to suggest that He could become your friend, too, if you would like Him to be. Do not be afraid; He will respect your freedom and independence more than anyone you have ever met, because He created you to be free. He just wants more than anything that you will accept Him as your friend. If you do, I can promise you, you will never be alone.”

 Although I may be surrounded by people who genuinely appreciate, respect, and love me; there are periods of time when I am, and will, be alone, and sometimes filled with thoughts of confusion. I have carried this book with me on my trips since then as a constant reminder of its significance and lesson learned. The profound intimacy that I share with Him is not humanly possible or experienced; no matter how much I deeply treasure and love people.

                                                 Alone I came into the world,

                                                 Alone with my thoughts I live,

                                                 Alone with my thoughts I grow,

                                                 Alone with my thoughts I die,

                                                 But I will never be alone.

                                                                          Composed by José in an ‘alone’ moment.

 José, live from the Sacred Valley


So what is this all about….?

Every since I moved to the USA, I have returned to my native country of Perú. Most of us immigrants return to our homeland for short visits, to reconnect with our culture, families, traditions, or to experience what we have left behind and sometimes long for.

In my case, I’m one of the fortunate ones who have returned almost annually since I first left in 1972. My adventurous spirit took the opportunity to leave when it was presented, and dressed up, as an academic exchange program while attending the University in Lima, the capital of Peru. Two years later I found myself living in northern California, married, and starting a family.

To this date, is unexplainable to me how it all happened, it seems very surreal. The best explanation I have is that throughout my life I have been presented with gates/doors/paths/signs; although oblivious to their significance I have been able to navigate them freely and without concern. Let’s say I have been guided by a force that pointed to the path that will eventually take me to my final destination.

Over the years, I’ve met many people of all walks of life in both worlds. We have shared stories; they have taught me to appreciate the color pallet of humanity. We all start with a blank canvas and proceed to dabble at it; some cautiously and others with frenetic energy. We hold the brushes and our hearts guide the strokes with the hope that eventually will shape it into a masterpiece.

The closer I listen to my heart, the more creative and confident the strokes.  Even though I experience distractions in life like anybody else, I willingly continue my pilgrimage each year to tap into the pallet that colors each one who I encounter.

This is the reason why this photo blog has been initiated; to get me closer to my masterpiece.  This blog is about my continuous journey and discoveries.

CREDITS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: To everyone that I have encountered and will continue to meet. I’m able to travel this path because of our heart connection. You nurture my being even if you think it is a casual encounter.  I wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t for you.



 I woke up more rested this morning and a bit anxious as I lay in bed for a while. I couldn’t understand the feelings of emptiness I was experiencing.

I finished reading ‘The Alchemist’, by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho; the story of a Spanish shepherd boy who had a dream of finding a treasure at the pyramids of Egypt. A gypsy woman and a king advised him to pursue it in order “to realize one’s destiny’s only obligation”.

 What resonated for me in the final chapter:  “The boy turned to the hand that wrote all. As he did so, he sensed that the universe had fallen silent, and he decided not to speak.  A current of love rushed from his heart, and the boy began to pray. It was a prayer that he had never said before, because it was a prayer without words or pleas.”

 As I walked around Betty’s Pashnawasy’s yard, I stopped in silent prayer. I became absorbed with the activity that surrounded me:  chickens and ducks pecking for bugs, apples lying on the ground from the trees above, guinea pigs full of activity. Once I stopped to appreciate the beauty around me, my heart became more serene and peaceful.

 This morning I realized I did not have to react to my heart’s anxiousness in a confused manner, but to be aware that the feeling of emptiness was because I was starting the day with a blank canvas that waits to be painted. I first needed to be connected to the hand that wrote all, in silent prayer without words or pleas. My heart’s brush strokes to life my canvas from the day’s activities.

 Jose, live from the Sacred Valley


Beyond  the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Perú.

“We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.”

Pema Chödrön

I met with  local representatives of Toqra, a community that sets three hours away from the sacred valley of the Incas. We explored the opportunity to start a new children’s library. It was  approved within a short period of time. The process has started, and are in the planning stages.  This ambitious project will need


CCOTOHUINCHO – SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS:    As we are accustomed to say, the cherry on top has been to witness the renovation completion and opening of our school room in Ccotohuincho. Last Saturday the 21st of March 2009,  we hosted 90 plus eager, joyous, happy, enlightened children. The room had been transformed from a dirt floor and adobe loose walls, to sparkling finished walls adorned with balloons, colorful puppets hanging from the ceiling, and a new cement floor. The festive environment, our mascot puppet Al Paco Llama, our nurturing teachers and volunteers combined with music, activities, and the locally donated snacks, provided the stage for a most successful event. Adriana, our extraordinary teacher led the children through games, singing, learning, and having fun for 3 hours. Habacuc led the singing with his guitar, and Empe closed the event with a thankful prayer. 
At noon Saturday, we had started with nothing but a clean and empty room; 4 hours later, we had a child friendly and beautiful adorned room packed with children, and I mean packed, in an area of 3.40 mts by 5.60 mts. Adriana had taking care of posting the sign announcing the opening just a few days before. What was truly amazing was the almost overwhelming attendance within a short notice. The children had been waiting most impatiently for 3 weeks for their room to open, they were ready, and now we are….