Cuyamungue International – Chile Update

Report form Belinda Gore

Sister Margaret

Thanks to Margaret O’Rourke, the Cuyamungue Institute has a strong and vital presence in Chile. As a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Margaret has been working in Chile for the past twenty-five years and at 83, is going to retire to Los Angeles this May. She discovered Felictas Goodman in 1998 and attended her first ecstatic postures workshop at the Institute with Felicitas when she was in the U.S. for her home visit. She participated in two more workshops at the Institute and each time enthusiastically shared The Cuyamungue Method when she returned to Chile. In 2006, at Margaret’s invitation, I made my first trip to lead a Masked Trance Dance in the Maipo Canyon region in the mountains southeast of Santiago. We returned in 2008 and now I have just completed the second certification training for a group of 24 participants. Their enthusiasm is inspiring!

After having taught many workshops and participated in the facilitator training twice, Margaret is finally receiving her certificate as an instructor. All of us at the Cuyamungue Institute are deeply grateful for her commitment in teaching ecstatic postures in Chile and for encouraging so many others to continue her work when she retires.

Belinda with Paula Olivares Gallardo

During this trip, Paula Olivares Gallardo has also completed her training as an Instructor and we held a graduation last week where she received her certificate. Paula has been my translator for every workshop in Chile and this weekend we will be co-teaching the posture-based “Good Dying” workshop that we designed to support the development of a hospice program in Chile. In the past Judy Ress, Delia Arellano, Marcela Rocca-Canon, and Daniela Perez also completed certification as practitioners, preparing them to facilitate ongoing postures groups. We will be announcing the graduates from this year’s training when they complete all of the requirements. What a great group! From Iquique in the north and Talca, Concepcion, and Valdivia in the south, with a strong group from Santiago, a few from nearby Valparaiso, and three women who came from Buenos Aires, the group represented therapists and professors, members of a group supporting a return to indigenous roots called Raises, and several journalists. Two graduate students are even planning to explore possible research with their faculty advisors!

I am looking forward to returning to Chile in late 2014 to teach in Iquique, drawing on participants from three northern regions. The indigenous people in that area are Aymara and my host for that trip, Yasmin, has worked with them ritually for many years. We are hoping that Yasmin can complete her training as an instructor and be our representative in the north.

In the next newsletter I will share our adventures – and photos – in El Valle Encanto, the Enchanted Valley, a small archeological site where we explored the petroglyphs of the Molle people near the town of Ovalle.