Initiatives of the Manitou Institute & Conservancy
Teyuna Fund
Please Contribute to The Mother of Clear Thinking Fund

The Manitou Institute & Conservancy and Sanctuary House, Inc. have created The Mother of Clear Thinking Fund to assist the Teyuna people – collectively the Kogi, the Arhuaco, the Wiwa, and the Kankuamo – and the Fudación Social Gunnakun, their Columbian non-profit. The purpose is to reclaim an important ancestral sacred site known as Aty Kwakumuke, which translates as “The Mother of Clear Thinking” or “The Activation of Great Thoughts.” In the center of the 988.5-acre Aty Kwakumuke is a sacred rock formation that connects to an underground aquifer, similar to crystalline formations in the Sangre de Christo Mountains which sit atop the confined aquifer in Colorado’s San Luis Valley.

The Teyuna live in the higher regions of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region of Colombia, the highest coastal mountain range in the world – only 26 miles from the Caribbean Sea. Their ancestral territory has every micro-climatic possibility and eco-system on Earth within its 8,000 square miles – from coral reefs to glaciers on snow-capped peaks. The Teyuna viscerally understand global climate change because in their melting glaciers and destabilized rain patterns they see the impacts of human decision-making and ecological unconsciousness. They tell us that whatever happens in the land they call Gonawindua (“The Heart of the World”) flows through the entire Mother Earth, just as each beat of the human heart sends forth the vital blood needed for our physical survival.

The Heart of the World contains a multitude of ancestral sacred sites. To the Teyuna, each site has a jurisdiction, a role, a purpose – and all sacred sites around the world interconnect to form an energetic network. Kandymaku Busintana, General Secretary of the Council of the Cabildos, the highest Teyuna authority in the Sierra Nevada, refers to Aty Kwakumuke as a “spiritual and energetic control panel for the planet.” This system of interconnectedness includes our human realm and social organization. The Teyuna will use this reclaimed ancestral site to empower and support other sacred sites around the world, to stimulate clearer thinking and harmony among all people, and to elevate the capacity of Mother Earth to restore systemic balance.

Given the continuous deterioration of life systems on our Mother Earth, it is urgent that we work with true ecological expertise to protect her. The Teyuna have maintained the knowledge of the Earth that we in the developed world have lost and still need if we are to survive. Manitou and Sanctuary House are presenting this initiative to acquire and protect this Place of Clear Thinking, taken from the Teyuna during European colonization, in order to mitigate worldwide climate change and to enliven sacred sites around the globe.

If Aty Kwakumuke is not protected by the Teyuna, this sacred site will be sold, cleared, and turned into a palm- oil plantation. We are working against time. Please make your contribution today!

Manitou Institute & Conservancy and Sanctuary House, Inc. are both 501(c)3 non-profit tax-exempt organizations. Your gift will be tax deductible for income tax purposes to the fullest extent provided by law.

Manitou Habitat Conservation Program
A program implemented by the Manitou Institute & Conservancy for planning and protecting 1,504 acres held by the Manitou Foundation in Crestone, Colorado known as the Mountain Tract. Years of indepth studies were conducted in collaboration with The Conservation Fund (TCF) and its consultants -- taken together, entitled The Manitou Habitat Conservation Plan (the “MHCP”) -- this was formulated to assist the Foundation and prospective land grantees in identifying feasible sites for land development and for managing environmental resources. It is a “how to” program/manual for cooperative planning and a guide for understanding the importance and sensitivity of this particular landscape.

The MHCP is intended to serve as the “planning and zoning” standard for the property in the absence of comprehensive public land use regulation. It has been designed to work in concert with the Foundation’s “Covenants and Restrictions” and “Environmental and Architectural Guidelines.” As with a public by-law, review of the “Land Use Plan” illustrates whether the density and pattern of uses sought by a grantee is supportable. If so, the proposed uses are then tested against the other components of the MHCP -- including “Ecological Summary”; “Habitat Sensitivity on Manitou Lands”; “Soils Analysis”; “Sample Conservation Easement”; and the MHCP map series:

Land Use Plan Land Capability Summary Colorado Division of Wildlife Summary Colorado Division of Wildlife Resource Inventory Series MHCP Wildlife Summary Soils Analysis.

The MHCP strives to ensure a high level of biological and environmental protection by limiting the total amount of development and disturbance that can occur on the Mountain Tract. By prohibiting development on sensitive lands and setting limits on total buildout, density of development, and intensity of use, the MHCP effectively preserves the integrity of well over 90% of the entire tract and achieves the desired goal of stabilizing habitats. It also protects essential resources by preserving all riparian corridors (and related seeps and springs), several unique sand formations, viewsheds, and cultural resources.

Fundamentally, the MHCP is a two-tiered system: While adoption of the Land Use Plan will initially yield a substantial threshold of protection, full implementation of the MHCP can achieve significant enhancements through intensive site analysis and planning. The degree of Mountain Tract protection afforded by the plan may not prevent all disturbance of all species, but will protect essential wildlife populations, significant habitat and the long-term viability of sensitive species. Micro-level protection for such elements as wildlife migration trails, roosting sites, and bedding areas, for example, can be accomplished as Foundation staff and grantees apply the technical portions of the MHCP in their due-diligence and planning of a particular site.

Accordingly, to fully implement the MHCP, TCF recommended that the Foundation should pursue a layered strategy. The first step, included executing a conservation easement over the entire tract reflecting the range of uses set forth in the Land Use Plan. The “master” easemen provides a baseline of resource protection while retaining flexibility for the Foundation and its prospective grantees for future planning and development. The second step entails executing a detailed conservation easement at the time a grant is made, restricting the property to the site plan and conditions of the grant. This “specific” easement cites the protection and development measures yielded by the MHCP site- planning process. The two easements, in turn, achieve the general and the specific, thereby realizing the promise of deliberate long-term planning for the Mountain Tract. It was Laurance Rockefeller's wish to support this program in perpetuity but unfortunately after his passing all funding was terminated and Manitou resigned to sell its land holdings in order to support the ongoing land conservation efforts of protecting the mountain tract and the requirements associated with the implemention of the conservation easement program.

Earth Restoration Corp
An innovative approach to addressing the problem of global climate change by mobilizing and engaging young people for sustainable livelihoods in earth restoration. A sustainability education program focusing on various forms of eco-preneurship is proposed that will prepare youth for the next phase of global economic development: the restoration economy. The global economy has already entered the first phase of a historic shift toward basing economic activity on conserving and restoring rather than plundering the ecosystems that sustain life on earth. This program is a prototype that promises to accelerate this shift.

The uniqueness of the approach lies in re-connecting young people with nature and culture as a basis for creating restoration economies based both on traditional and innovative appropriate technologies. The classical western one-size-fits-all development model, restricted to material economic criteria, has over time jeopardized life on earth by impacting negatively not only on biological but also cultural diversity, including the way we think and behave as humans inhabiting a living planet. Too many of us still lack an understanding of the inter-connectedness and inter-dependence of all forms of life. For the fundamental challenge we face in our ecological crisis lies in changing our way of living, working, and being in the world. A restoration economy cannot be rooted in the old mindset of material acquisition for its own sake and at all costs. Earth restoration is a function, foremost, of restoring the balance in the human-earth relationship. This involves engaging in a process of transformational change guided by moral/spiritual values that is culture bound, i.e., at the participatory level of the personal, local, and regional. Restoring the earth’s biological diversity is not a matter of technological quick fixes, but co-dependent on the principle that biotic and cultural diversity complement and reinforce each other. Both need to be harnessed to promote new forms of economic activity that sustain rather than pillage the earth’s resources.

Earth Origin Seeds – Farm School
"Ancient cultures representing the world's wisdom traditions maintained a sacred connection to seeds and agriculture; evolving with the natural world as one. As humanity becomes more and more disconnected from the natural world, so do our relationships with the life-supporting systems that we are destroying faster than our ability to understand the future impacts and consequences. Extinction of traditional seed species is likely to be one of our longest-lasting legacies and likely our own exctinction."

EOS conducts, demonstrates and teaches organic farming practices and seed banking techniques based on a philosophy integrating ecologically and spiritually sound principles. The primary goal of EOS is to collect, grow-out and create a gene pool of highly nutritious and endangered food and medicinal crops from heirloom varieties. Seeds from these crops, and information about them are made available to the public in order to forward the EOS mission to reintroduce and preserve diversity in the food chain; to perpetuate a healthy food supply; and to serve as an educational resource and model of how to do so.