The "Amoxcalli - Casa De Los Libros" aims to educate on ancient Mesoamerican culture by making available publications/resources that can be shared among community members that reference Classical Nahuatl and Mesoamerican (mostly Aztec) culture, art, philosophy, and language. As you might know, albeit there are more than 300 languages spoken in modern Mexico, Classical Nahuatl was the lingua franca in most of ancient Mesoamerica and makes for a great starting point.
The term "Mesoamerica" refers to a geographical area occupied by a variety of ancient cultures that shared religious beliefs, art, architecture, and technology that made them unique in the Americas for three thousand years – from about 1500 B.C. to A.D. 1519 – the time of European contact. Mesoamerica is one of our planet's six cradles of early civilization. Many aspects of the ancient cultures of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and México continue to the present and several of these cultural inventions and traits have spread throughout the world.
Further, starting with the Aztecs makes good sense as they were heavily influenced by the Mesoamerican civilizations that preceded their arrival in the Valley of Mexico, including the Olmecs, Toltecs, and the people of Teotihuacan; as well as emulated and incorporated the diverse artistic styles and techniques from other contemporaneous Mesoamerican cultures.
The publications/resources will be shared, swapped, borrowed, offered to community members working with LEAD, with the commitment that they will share the knowledge they have newly acquired during community talking circles and Aztec Dance classes that transpire twice a week (Tues & Thurs evenings) at a local community location in San Bernardino. The majority of participants are adults but there are also a number of school-age children who participate. This mini-library will work as a community book-lending and exchange program in our high-need area, freely making references to Mesoamerican art and culture accessible to all, removing barriers to access, and where LEAD Projects serves as steward/caretaker.
- Building community
- Inspiring readers
- Expanding book access