Game of life

Audiovisual of the first ¨Pok Ta Pok¨ World Cup Mayan ball game in Pisté, Yucatan, Mexico in September 2015. Five teams from Belize, Guatemala and Mexico gathered to play this sacred and ceremonial sport.  Mayan ball player José de Jesús Manrique Esquivel, who organised this first World Cup of its kind, says he wants to recuperate the spirit of his ancestors and motivate young Mayans to recognise the greatness of their culture.
Game of life. The "Pok ta Pok" ceremonial Mayan Ball game
(Photo ©Chico Sánchez-All Rights Reserved)


Audiovisual of the first ¨Pok Ta Pok¨ World Cup Mayan ball game in Pisté, Yucatan, Mexico in September 2015. Five teams from Belize, Guatemala and Mexico gathered to play this sacred and ceremonial sport.

Mayan ball player José de Jesús Manrique Esquivel, who organised this first World Cup of its kind, says he wants to recuperate the spirit of his ancestors and motivate young Mayans to recognise the greatness of their culture.

Pok ta Pok is one of the most important rituals from Mesoamerican culture. The sacred ¨Popol Vuh,¨ or ¨Book of the Community¨ written around 1550 by the Mayan Quiche people in today´s Guatemala, describes the game as a representation of Divine Mayan Twins defeating the ¨Ajawab,¨ God of the underworld.


The sport is more than just a game. Before the match, players evoke the Lords of the four cardinal points: Bacab of the East for protection and health; Bacab of the West for protection; Bacab of the North for enlightenment and strength; Bacab of the South for abundant harvest, female fertility and good health for children and the elderly. Then they invoke the God Hunahpu, the most important Mayan deity, and the 13 supreme Gods for protection and abundance. They ask the Lord of Death, who reins over Xibalba, the underworld, to respect their game and not to intervene on any player´s behalf. 

The Mayan ball game was popular across Mesoamerica and is played with one´s hips or arms. Different regions play by different rules. The goal is to shoot the ball through a ring on the wall, which ends the game.

The ball, made from a rubber tree, represents the movements of the sun and other stars, and can weigh anywhere between half a kilogram and four kilograms.

Pok ta Pok is one of several varieties of the Mesoamerican ballgame, a ceremonial game played since 1,400 B.C. by the pre-Columbian natives from this ancient civilisation. At least 1,500 ball courts have been found in the Mesoamerica, which is today´s southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador y Belice, western Honduras, Nicaragua y Costa Rica.


Teams
“Ek Balam”, Yo Creek, Belize
San Juan Comalapa, Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Dirección General de Educación Física, Guatemala
“Pucxical Keej”, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, México
Chapab de las Flores, Yucatán, México

Interview
José de Jesús Manrique Esquivel

Shaman/H-mem
José Guadalupe Tecam

Mayan Songs and Prayers
Lorenzo Moisés Díaz Alcocer

Flutes
Song: Ru q´ojom ya´(Water Music song)
Played by: Ajpop Tijax & Josué Cristal
From Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Drums
Prehispanic band, Chapab, Yucatán, México

Locations
Yaxchilán, Chiapas, México
Toniná, Chiapas, México
Cobá, Quintana Roo, México
Chapab, Yucatán, México
Ek Balam, Yucatán, México
Chichén Itzá, Pisté, Tinum, Yucatán, México
Grutas Balankanché, Tinum, Yucatán México
Tepetlixpa Seed Bank, México State, México
Museo Nacional de Antropología de México

To see more of my audio-slide shows www.chicosanchez.com

The Mayan Prophecy of the Fith Sun

An entomologist from Portugal would have never guessed he would walk into a Mayan prophecy carrying all the signs they were waiting for.

His half wilted face. His broken tooth. Even the timing of his arrival to Merida, Mexico.

The Gods could not have arranged it any more perfectly for him to realize that everything was happening according to plan.

He was the boy who played with the bees and who as an adult was given Mayan secrets on how they cared for the insects.

Today he uses this ancient knowledge to help humankind help nature reestablish its balance.


For information about Cappas Insectozoo enter here: www.cappas-insectozoo.com.pt

For information about my photography works enter here: www.chicosanchez.com

The Guilds

I´m sharing The Guilds, a new audio-slide show about Easter week in Trujillo, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain, where medieval Germanic guilds evolved into today´s Holy Week brotherhoods. Jose Antonio Ramos Rubio, the town´s historian, explains how centuries ago his city solved a controversy between two neighborhoods that wanted to parade their statues of the crucified Christ on Holy Friday.

Trujillo is one of Spain´s oldest cities. The contribution of this city to the exploration and conquest of the Americas was substantial. Many famous explorers were born in the city, such as Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Perú, or Francisco de Orellana, the first European who found the Amazon.


To know more about my work enter my website: www.chicosanchez.com


Goatherd

(Photo © Chico Sanchez -All Rights Reserved)
Goat herder is an audiovisual about Jose Acosta Sierra, a man from southern Spain who has spent his entire life under the big open sky, walking with his goats and sheep.

He gives his perspective on modern society´s relationship with the land and suggests we should return to organic and natural milenary farming in harmony with nature.


Here you can watch the audio-slide show about Jose Acosta Sierra


For more of my photography work enter my website: www.chicosanchez.com


Awaken

Audio-slide show showing a series of iphone portraits using Instagram and Hipstamatic. The story, titled "Awaken," is about the life of Marco Martinez Pacheco, a shoe shiner who works in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City.


For more of my photography work enter my website: www.chicosanchez.com

Invisible Angels

Sharing my new audio-slide show production titled "Invisible Angels" featuring pictures taken by blind and visually impaired photographers Gerardo Ramirez, Palmira Martinez y Raul Lopez.

The story contains interviews on them explaining their experiences using Mexico City´s metro to get around the city.


Photography is a way to communicate, not a competition among shooters. There is no winner and looser. Their goal is to tell their story.

The art of communication is not exclusive to professional photographers or institutions. Life is richer when there are different points of view, experiences and diverse people share their stories. Everyone´s stories should be judged by the content and message.

Here you can see a playlist with all the previous audio-slide shows 
I have produced with blind and visually impaired photographers.


For more of my photography work enter my website: www.chicosanchez.com
If you would like to buy prints of my work please click here


Heartland


The Heartland is an audio-slide show about farmer Tomas Villanueva Buendia, who began a seed bank he calls "Tepetlixpa Seed Bank", to protect and rescue the original varieties of his nation´s corn.  The Mexican governtment is promoting foreign, genetically modified organism (GMOs) corn.  If GMOs enter Mexico, they will contaminate more than 1000 varieties of corn, killing the legacy of the Aztecs, Mayans, and other indigenous civilizations.  GMOs are banned in many countries due to link with causing health problems, environmental damage and destroying diversity.  If Mexico lets GMOs destroy their milenary culture of native corn, the legacy of their ancient god Quetzalcoatl (Aztec) and Kukulkan (Mayan) will be lost forever.
An old variety of corn in Tepetixpla Seed Bank
(Photo © Chico Sanchez -All Rights Reserved)
The Heartland is an audio-slide show about farmer Tomas Villanueva Buendia, who began a seed bank he calls "Tepetlixpa Seed Bank", to protect and rescue the original varieties of his nation´s corn.

The Mexican governtment is promoting foreign, genetically modified organism (GMOs) corn.

If GMOs enter Mexico, they could contaminate more than 1000 varieties of corn, killing the legacy of the Aztecs, Mayans, and other indigenous civilizations.

GMOs are banned in many countries due to their connection with causing problems, environmental damage and destroying diversity.

If Mexico lets GMOs destroy their milenary culture of native corn, the legacy of their ancient god Quetzalcoatl (Aztec) and Kukulkan (Mayan) will be lost.



 For more of my photography work please enter my website: www.chicosanchez.com
If you would like to buy prints of my work please click here