The Genesis of Genesis

by Lee Christie


In 1999, while touring a then recent excavation at Ek Balam, a rather self-possessed 17-year-old boy offered to show me around. I mentioned that I’d been teaching English in a nearby city and, before I knew it, I’d volunteered to teach he and his friends at the ruins ticket office every Saturday. Even then, these boys knew that Ek Balam was going to be an important site and an integral part of their future. Somehow, I did too. My experience of the Yucatan—and those enthusiastic young minds--was so impactful that I sold everything in Canada and started looking for a place to build a dream. The parents of one student offered to sell me a piece of land and by 2002 I was planting, composting, building and stabilizing myself in an environment quite different from the eastern slopes of the Rockies where I’d lived for years. I knew things would be tough with my poor Spanish but I hadn’t considered that Spanish was not my neighbors' first language either! I made many mistakes. And although the village was like any community anywhere, some days I felt like I’d just landed on another planet. Luckily, I was often reminded of why I was there in the first place: the people, the way of life, the abundance of plant and animal life, the color green! Having the opportunity to live and work here for 12 years has expanded my perceptions in many and unexpected ways. And what I know and love about this land and its people, I hope to share with you. As well as providing a lush and comforting retreat --and wholesome food--and comfortable accommodations—I’m here to help build a bridge that promotes respectful, mutually-beneficial interactions so that we can all live better lives.