KEY PEOPLE

DEBORA MONTOYA

Founder

Debora is an activist, artist and lifelong member of the Denver Chicano community. She has been most privileged to practice her Indigenous traditions throughout her life. She was raised during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s and 70’s and ultimately became a High School Social Studies Teacher. She has a broad background in all of the Social Sciences in which she has had the opportunity to teach for the past 30 years. She has spent the last 40 years cultivating and creating the 6th Sun Calmecac which through a traditional model allows us to weave the knowledge of our ancestors with that of which our children are the ultimate beneficiaries. She has a Master’s Degree in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction from the School of Language and Culture from CU, Denver. She is a Colorado Licensed Teacher and has a BA in Chicano Studies from Metropolitan State College, and a  BA in Sociology from CU Denver. Debora’s educational focus has been in the area of language and culture.Today, she offers classes in Xicano History, Culture and Philosophy to a broad Indigenous community. She is honored to lead us in this new learning effort.

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PHYLISS CANO

Facilitator of Women's Healing Circle

Phyllis Cano has been facilitating traditional indigenous ceremonies as an Aztec dancer since 1980. She has worked as a birth and death doula and continues to answer the call to community. She has recently completed a four year apprenticeship journey with Strawberry Moon Energetics. She has stepped onto her path as a Maya Cosmology Priestess Initiate through Kapulli Oxlahu Ochoch Tzikin (The House of the 13 Eagles). She has been able to incorporate her Maya healing work into her lifelong walk as an Aztec danzer through Kalpulli ColorAztlan and the 6th Sun Calmecac. Phyllis is the lead Malintzin (keeper of the smoke) for Kalpulli ColorAztlan. She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of healing energies with her community in the years to come. “The Curandera Who Walks With Clarity.” -Phyllis Cano

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MARIAH BOTTOMLY

Project Manager

Mariah is a medicine keeper, a practitioner of curanderismo/ancestral folk medicine, and owner of Sacred Expansion Wellness, LLC. She has inherited and (re)learned from renowned and respected teachers, elders and other medicine keepers from across the expanse of earth. She combines different sacred elements and modalities into her work, using intuitive medicine, herbalism, quantum healing, and integrates this with her other multifaceted talents. She works in the reproductive health field providing support for birthing bodies and beyond. She is Mestiza, with lineages across the Americas as well as Europe. Mariah is taking a pilgrimage to Ireland to (re)connect with the land so that she may take this knowledge, and use it to help others of European descent remember their own rituals and practices so that they stop appropriating and commodifying the ancestral medicine and lands of the Americas. She is a danzante with Kalpulli ColorAztlan. Currently, she is helping to support 6th Sun Calmecac and Kalpulli ColorAztlan with administrative and technical assistance, planning, organizing, and documenting, using the art of photography. She is forever a student who continues to practice and learn.

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ARACELY NAVARRO

Co-Facilitator of Language is Culture

Aracely Navarro is a first-generation Chicana, daughter of Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants. Aracely believes deeply that there is great healing and decolonization needed for the land and the people. For this reason, Aracely's work centers Environmental Justice and the healing of her community, Mother Earth, and all the generations that have come before and those that will come after. Aracely holds a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health from Emory University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Colorado College. Aracely loves learning about herbal medicine, birth work and regenerative agricultural practices. Her heart is truly in this work to heal community and protect Mother Earth and all of her children. Aracely will always welcome you with an open heart and a ready ear!

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DANIEL FLORES

Co-Facilitator of Language is Culture

Daniel Flores Avila's family comes from Jalisco, MX and is first generation here in the US. Daniel is a massage therapist by trade and currently helps people apply for SNAP (food stamp benefits). He loves  his culture and because of this he has been a Danzante de Danza Azteca for 9 years. He considers himself as a young man who loves traditional medicine within his ancestral roots.  He looks forward to being of service to his community in any way that he can!
Tlazocamati (thank you)

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METZLI ARAGON

Artist/Workshop Facilitator

Metzli is a Xicana, Danzante, and Mama of 2. 
She is a community volunteer, Brown Beret, and a Mexica danzante with Kalpulli ColorAźtlan. 
She makes ancient musical instruments of the cuicacalli or early Mexica education. She is part of the Cuicacalli program of 6th Sun Calmecac. These ancient instruments connect the cosmos to our hearts. Metzli creates these instruments of medicine with natural elements gathered from Mother Earth. She also makes other indigenous crafts and strives the importance of sharing this traditional ancestral knowledge with our future generations. 
Metzli’s journey is a call from her ancestors to walk the red road and share healing art with generations to come. She comes from lineages of indigenous healers & artists, who used their hands to heal through art and touch. 
She is a Tlaquilo which means storyteller, a trained scribe, those who record the stories of our ancestors through art.  Metzli and her partner Anthony (also a Tlaquilo) are creators of their shop Xicano Tribe. 
She believes through self-love, movement & expression our spirits are free, sending our prayers to the Creator and in return healing ourselves, while simultaneously making peace within ourselves to spread peace to others… She uses all of these modalities as a proponent for healing ancestral and societal trauma. Ometeotl.

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ANTHONY SAIZ

Artist/Workshop Facilitator

Anthony is a danzante with Kalpulli ColorAztán.  He is part of the Cuicacalli program of 6th Sun Calmecac. 
He creates huehuetl & teponaztle which are ancient musical instruments.  The huehuetl & teponaztle are the heartbeat, the drum of Mexica Danza.  He recycles materials from Mother Earth to create these sacred instruments. 
Anthony is a Tlaquilo which means storyteller, a trained scribe, those who record the stories of our ancestors through art.  Anthony and his partner Metzli (also a Tlaquilo) are the creators of their shop Xicano Tribe.
Anthony stands at the great pyramids of the Olmec, Toltec Aztec, and Maya civilizations- an aberration and anomaly in defiance of rational explanation. He is a Xicano from the Southwestern regions of the United States. The story he is about to tell is intended for other Children of the Sun but can be revealing and insightful for anyone that can communicate with their heart. Anthony is a well-educated man fully cognizant of his role in the universe, the earth, the nation, and his community. During his spiritual awakening, he discovered that his most significant obstacles have been founded upon his need to overcome the teachings and values of the society in which he lives.

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CRISTOBAL MONTOYA

Facilitator of Cuicacalli

Cristobal Montoya, born in Denver, CO. He was raised in a traditional Aztec dance group and
is well versed in many other ways of Native American song, dance, and instrumentation. He
holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance at Metropolitan State University of
Denver. He is involved in the local Denver music scene and has performed within different
bands throughout the city. During his studies at MSU Denver he has performed various roles in
the University’s opera and art song programs. The most notable being Figaro in Mozart’s Le
nozze di Figaro. Cristobal is also a first prize recipient in his division in the Colorado/Wyoming
NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) District student auditions. Cristobal plans
on continuing his path to attaining musical, cultural, and educational excellence in as many ways
as possible.

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