Maria Sanchez Yatriki is the co-producer of Sacbe, a Burning Man theme camp and network of international artists and change-makers. Maria is a community steward and experiential producer with a passion for using her skills and experiences to bring people together and ignite positive change. With roots in rural Mexico and a background in TV and film production, Maria has founded several successful companies and has worked with a variety of brands and organizations. She is the founder of Inner Refuge, an experiential production company that specializes in bringing people together through ancestral knowledge, energy work, and practices that guide human consciousness towards realignment with the planet. In this episode, we'll hear about Maria's journey to becoming a leader in her community and her vision for creating permanent communities, curating sustainable networks, and collaborating on projects that are generative, creative, inclusive, and empathic.
(0:33) Discover the Meaning and Purpose of Sacbe
(3:18) Experience the Mashika Culture with Sacbe
(6:43) Find Out What Inspired the Creation of Sacbe
(11:43) Learn Why Building with Community is Key for Sacbe
(14:51) Discover the Tools Used to Build Community with Sacbe
(16:10) Learn about the Governance of Sacbe
(28:34) Find Out What Has Worked and What Hasn't in the Burning Man Container with Sacbe
(33:09)(50:01) Strike the Perfect Balance between Providing a Soft Landing and Being a Plug-and-Play
(34:40) Learn How Feminine Leadership Shapes the Culture of Sacbe
(39:06) Discover Effective Rituals for Bringing People Together in Burning Man
(42:03) Find the Right Balance Between Having Enough and Too Many Rituals
(55:12) Explore the Vision of Sacbe
(62:28) Hear Advice from Maria on Fundraising for Sacbe
(66:04) Learn How NFTs Can Help Theme Camps Raise Funds
(69:14) Discover How Sacbe Makes a Difference
(73:44) Find Out How Sacbe Responds to Critics of Burning Man's Carbon Practices
(76:29) Learn Effective Practices for Helping People Change Behaviors Beyond Burning Man
(78:51) Get Expert Advice on Starting or Joining Communities from Maria
(82:20) Find out About Planet BuyBack, a Crowdfunding Platform for Making a Positive Impact
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[00:00:00] CK: My next guest, she the co-founder of Sac Bay. She's an experiential producer. She's the founder of Inner Refuge, a production company that's specialize in uniting people and igniting change through ancestral knowledge, energy, work, and practices that guide human consciousness towards realignment with the planet.
Please welcome maria Sanchez. Thank you so much for being here, Maria. ,
[00:00:27] Maria: thank you CK for the invitation. I'm very happy to participate.
[00:00:31] CK: So first question, what is Sacbe and what does this stand for?
[00:00:37] Maria: Sacbe means the white path in Mayan. Mm-hmm. . Um, it was the, the roads that they build that connected the sacred sites.
Um, and it represents the sacredness of our culture for
[00:00:56] CK: me. Hmm. [00:01:00] And, um, and what does this stand for?
[00:01:03] Maria: Uh, it stands for tradition. It stands for, um, ancestral Wisdom. It stands for cultural
[00:01:14] CK: heritage. Mm-hmm. . And so cultural heritage specifically for the Mexican culture or,
[00:01:22] Maria: yeah. Yes. Specifically for the Mexican culture, for the, um, we work mostly with the Mashika tradition.
Mm-hmm. , and also we weave in some elements of the Mayan tradition. Mm-hmm. , mainly Mashika.
[00:01:42] CK: Okay. So since I'm a newbie to that specific culture, is there anything, um, if you were to teach CK what is a tradition or what is a specific value that, that particular culture that you, uh, value so much that would [00:02:00] be really great.
[00:02:00] Maria: Yeah, of course. Um, so I think the, the, the most representative and valuable thing, eh, of the meshika tradition is the, the work we do within the medicine. , and, eh, it's a tradition that teaches us how to balance the elements within ourselves, working with the different directions and with the different elements.
Hmm. Um, it involves a lot of, eh, singing with the Wewe, the drum. Mm-hmm. , it involves, eh, also the, a very important part of this tradition is a dance, the Mashika dance. And, and this is, um, uh, a tradition that has been, um, been, been taught for hundreds of [00:03:00] years. And it is, um, a way of us to communicate with the, with the spiritual world, with the elements, with everything, with the earth, with everything that surrounds
[00:03:12] CK: us.
Hmm. I love it. , that's a beautiful, uh, articulation of that. So how do you incorporate that into the Sac Bay Think camp?
[00:03:23] Maria: Um, first of all, we incorporate it by asking for permission. Mm-hmm. , um, every, every gathering that we do, every retreat that we host or event, um, we use the, the, the, the tools and the, the spiritual techniques that the, our, our teachers, our elders have been transmitting to us to ask for permission, um, to the, to the elements, to the place, to the spirits of each place to open, uh, and to [00:04:00] give us guidance, to give us permission to do the work that we're doing.
That that would be the, the first, um, element of it. Um, also, we, we use the, the, the, the, the, the singing the Drum. Eh, we, we teach people how to open their voices, um, through coming together in one Heart. The way in our tradition represents the, the heart. Mm-hmm. . And the moment that we, uh, get together around this heart, around this drum connecting us in one beat with the drum, we're connecting our hearts.
And it is a reminder that we are all, all together, uh, synchronized, working together, and [00:05:00] we can harmonize our hearts by, with this drum, with this singing and this, um, chance. These songs that we are sharing are also part of our tradition for hundreds of years, and we believe that they carry a lot of, a lot of medicine in them.
So this would be another, another teaching or practice that we share mm-hmm. in, in our gatherings, in our events. Um, also the, the, the work we do with the elements, uh, with the salor, with the, the salor is the, how we were the, the instance holder team, eh, burn different medicines like copal and, and sage and tobacco and also the work we [00:06:00] do around the fire.
So, eh, we. work a lot with, um, connecting with the fire, which we believe it is. Um, an energy, like a very old energy that transmits a lot of wisdom, and we see different representations of the fire with, uh, when we are, when we are working together. So I think those would be the most essential
[00:06:28] CK: parts. All right.
So I want to double click on, uh, rituals in a moment, but let's zoom out for, for a moment about sacbe the, the theme camp for a bit. Mm-hmm. , um, um, how long has it been around and how, what got you started sacbe in the first place?
[00:06:46] Maria: So, uh, the community of Sabe started coming together, uh, in, around 13 years ago.
Mm-hmm. to, um, [00:07:00] Nonprofit, uh, gathering that do, we did every year in a self-sustainable community in the middle of the jungle of, of Quinan aro. And we, um, convoked, uh, every year, um, our community to participate in this gathering to raise funds for different nonprofit organizations. Um, and this is an event that from the beginning, um, had a ver um, a spiritual aspect to it.
Uh, where we, we weave in, uh, this, um, traditions, eh, combined with music and wellness mm-hmm. from the beginning it was, um, we were proposing, um, a, a new way of celebrating, uh, conscious celebration. Hmm. , and this was the, the beginning, the very beginning of like our comu uh, us together as a [00:08:00] community. Uh, in 2018, uh, Maxa Camp invited us to, to create a village with them.
Um, and this was the first year we did the camp, uh, at Burning Man, and also was the end of that, uh, chapter of the, the Jungle Gatherings. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. . So when we, when we started the camp, we also finished the, the, the, the chapters of the, that chapter of the Jungle Gathering.
[00:08:35] CK: Okay. So, so pause one second.
So, so the community has been around for 13 years and Burning Man thinking is since 2018. Mm-hmm. . So the community is really the engine that powers. , uh, whatever manifestation, whatever expression that looks like. So you closed up the jungle mm-hmm. . And you started the theme camp. Why, why did you close down the jungle?
[00:08:59] Maria: I feel [00:09:00] like, uh, it was like the natural, organic, uh, end of it, you know, like I, I feel like, uh, we, um, the, the Tulum and, and this area of Mexico changed a lot in those, uh, eight years that we, we did the event. Mm-hmm. . And I feel like, um, when we did the last event, we felt, we all felt that it was, uh, you know, the end of that, of that chapter.
[00:09:32] CK: Mm-hmm. . And you, you, it's, it's actually interesting that you went to, from the jungle to the desert . So , so, so what gave birth to the desert? , um, as in as, as in energetically symbolism wise, like mm-hmm. , why is the desert more compelling, more attractive than ? Yeah.
[00:09:55] Maria: Um, maybe, um, not more attractive is different.
[00:10:00] It's a different energy. Mm-hmm. . Um, I think the, the, the what brought us in into the desert was, uh, brotherhood and sisterhood and collaboration. Mm-hmm. That was, I feel like what the, the initial fire, the initial, you know, the, the initiator. Um, because it was, uh, our brother, uh, community, um, Maxa and also Mag Warrior who, who, who, you know, invited us to collaborate on this project.
So, you know, feeling supported, feeling, uh, you know, that, that it was, we were part of something bigger. , you know, that maybe we could also, uh, have impact in, in more people and, um, and, you know, bring our, our print and our, our seat [00:11:00] into, into this, uh, larger city and community that is Burning Man.
[00:11:05] CK: Mm-hmm. I love it.
So, one thing that I, from my research, I saw a lot of collaboration. Yeah. Uh, whether it's, and then you also give a lot of attribution, a lot of credit to, Hey, so-and-so did the video, so-and-so did the music, and then it was, it is very obvious. Uh, that's, you know, just from the footprint that you have out on the internet, there's a lot of collaboration happening.
So I'm curious, how did, um, community and collaboration becomes so important. From your perspective as the, the co-founder, the the architect of these experiences, why is community and and collaboration so important?
[00:11:48] Maria: Um, I, I think, I feel that, uh, without community we cannot get very far . Mm-hmm. , I feel like, uh, we can achieve, um, [00:12:00] more.
uh, when, when we're working in a Sanga or mm-hmm. in a community, you know, when, when you have people that, that support, uh, that support each other in their spiritual path, in their spiritual growth, that, that everyone keeps accountable, um, from each other, you know? And, and I feel like this is, this is why, why the community is so important because we are, um, uh, a project that is based on that in, in, in community, in spiritual growth, in, in celebrating.
And it is focused on, on participation and collaboration.
[00:12:46] CK: So for the people who, uh, let's say are very, very cap. It's very easy for them to say, nah, you know, it's community takes too much work, too much time, too much, you know, bickering back and forth to do [00:13:00] community type oriented projects. Mm-hmm. , it's faster if they just do it themselves.
Right. So that's, uh, the curve of the capable people. So were you always very community oriented or there was something a, a, a event that happened that, that, have you changed your mind?
[00:13:18] Maria: Um, I, I, I feel like I was always community oriented from, from, uh, also from the family where I was brought in. Um, and you know, the, the example of my parents, what they do, I feel like it's always been, my life has been, uh, marked, uh, uh, if it's the, I don't know if it's the right word, but by, by the work, uh, in community and, and, and with our culture, um, and.
At the same time, I feel like, uh, the, the same, the work and the path and working within community has been [00:14:00] giving me, um, those insights and, and those, uh, under, on that understanding of how to empower, um, our, our community to, to take leadership. Cause in the beginning, I, I don't think I have the tools and it's been a, a learning process and a journey of how to, to, to keep understanding, you know, maybe my nature in the beginning was more, uh, eh, solo mission.
Mm-hmm. and slowly it's been growing more into community and
[00:14:38] CK: collaboration. Oh, beautiful. So, uh, what are some of those tools? , you know, to foster community collaborations and con contribution and allowing, yeah. So what are some of those tools? Yeah,
[00:14:54] Maria: I would say, um, listening, you know, like having a lot of [00:15:00] conversations, um, with, with, uh, the people that surround you.
The core, the core team, the, the core, um, community, uh, receiving a lot of feedback. Um, also being clear, being clear with the communication and the expectations, um, and, and, and, and vision. Uh, having a clear vision of, of why is, uh, why, what, why is that, that we are doing what we're doing and, and what is the, the vision for the community and where we went, where are we going?
[00:15:44] CK: Okay. So on that note, I want to focus on the Think camp, but obviously there are lessons in, you know, from the, from running Think camps to business, family, community, society as a, as a whole. So, um, but, but I do want to focus on, on the theme [00:16:00] camp. Mm-hmm. . So when sac sacbe was conceived, uh, you said since 2018, right?
Mm-hmm. , um, how is it governed? Like how was the vision. formulated from the beginning. Was it, you know, benevolent dictatorship, right? where, where it's coming from one person and goes on down? Or was it more consensus basis, like, here's a community, let's, you know, talk for hundreds of hours and formulate what is the vision of what, uh, value we stand for and so forth.
How did you formulate, uh, and form the, the vision mm-hmm. ,
[00:16:42] Maria: um, in the very beginnings of sacbe, um, I sacbe, we, the, uh, the, the, the event, uh, that took place in the, in the jungle was start, we started together with, um, my [00:17:00] ex-life partner. Mm-hmm. and two other friends, and what people. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So, and, and at this time it was, um, each of us had a different, eh, background and we were a good, eh, compliment to each other.
Um, I had more of a production logistics background mm-hmm. , um, and also, uh, creative in the sense of like experiential creation mm-hmm. and, and, um, and the other one had more experience with management and the other one had more experience with music. So it was like a good compliment. And at the time we were, it was a very small, uh, um, project.
We were just, uh, you know, the first, the first events, [00:18:00] we were just making events for 100, 150 people. Mm-hmm. , so, , it was very balanced in terms of like, uh, what each, the, the contribution that each of us had and the ideas that each of us had. The other one was the, the founder of this self-sustainable community, um mm-hmm.
in the Jungle, that was the other partner. So he was more, uh, involved with all of the governance of that home community and the communications with that community. Um, and yeah, so it was, it was very balanced at the moment. Mm-hmm. . And then, um, I, I feel like, and it stayed like this, eh, until we finished the last, eh, the, the last Jungle gathering mm-hmm.
And when we started the camp, um, it, uh, we're a baby camp still. Mm-hmm. , you know mm-hmm. . We still, uh, there's [00:19:00] so much that we are learning every year. Um, and in the beginning I feel like I was, uh, taking more, the more weight and more decisions, and slowly it's been, um, it's been changing in that sense. You know, more campers are getting involved more, um, more support, more our team is, is taking lead of more areas.
So, so yeah. It's still, um, you know, in a, in a, in, um, it's still changing and evolving in that sense.
[00:19:38] CK: Well, I mean, Jennifer Russell, uh, of Mystic recommended you and to me, and obviously, uh, sacbe has made an impression on her. So the camp may be young, but you know, you know, the impressions are being made by, you know, people are taking recognition to it, right.
[00:19:58] Maria: thank you. Yeah, it's, it's [00:20:00] only our third year on the playa and I feel like we have so much to, to learn from, from leaders, eh, from other camps.
[00:20:09] CK: Mm-hmm. . So how do you govern, you know, in terms of g the reason why I'm asking that specific question is this, cuz especially young camps mm-hmm. , they're very ambitious and, and, and they may want to do large things and some of 'em are able to pull it off.
Some of 'em aren't, not able to. So there's a lot of heartaches in that. So I think governance. Mm-hmm. is an important topic for aspirational camp organizers who think about from the very beginning. So I'm curious to know, knowing why, you know today, how, what has worked for Sacbe in terms of governance
[00:20:48] Maria: so, um, ma'am, I, I feel like, uh, the way I govern is, uh, I believe in, uh, baby steps and organic growth [00:21:00] and, um, and keeping things as simple as possible, um, and, and functional.
Um, and what it has, um, really what we started doing last year, um, in terms of like community, on the community aspect, we created, uh, three different committees. Um, and one, one of them is finance, the other one is inner growth, and the other one is community. Mm-hmm. . And, um, there's different leads and experts on each, uh, committee.
And what we're doing is like dive deep into this. I think there are like the main, uh, subjects for us, the pillars of the camp, you know, like and sustainability. Sorry. And sustainability. So, um, for example, in sustainability is like, how [00:22:00] can we, uh, slowly take, uh, steps into becoming, uh, eh, to reducing our, our footprint, um, and what are the technologies that we can bring in and what are the practices and the, and the habits that we can change and we can incentivize our campus to do so we can.
more sustainable and aware of this, uh, aspect. Um, and there's a lot of different calls throughout the year with the committees and also the campers are invited to participate in this, in these calls to take decisions to, but it's all organic slow. For example, this year, in terms of sustainability, what we, what we, our goal was to recycle compost, um, [00:23:00] and, uh, reduce our petrol consumption and our water consumption.
And the next year it is to, uh, solar power and one area of the camp, for example. And so this is, this is the way, I don't know if with this I'm answering your, your question or, or would you like me to address another aspect? .
[00:23:28] CK: No, I mean, this is good. So you have community, uh, committees. Mm-hmm. , who is responsible with specific pillars in your camp, and then you're empowering them mm-hmm.
throughout the year to be able to lead and, and guide the direction of that, those specific pillars, right? Mm-hmm. . So that's what I'm gathering so far. Yes. Mm-hmm. .
[00:23:46] Maria: Mm-hmm. . Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And in terms of community, for example, within the, this, the, the committee of com of community, it is, um, [00:24:00] what are the, within the community, we also circling that inner growth mm-hmm.
and what are the, the subjects and the, and the teachers that we want to share. Um, and also organizing a separate committee, committee for this, so people that are part of the camp can keep, um, engaging throughout the year. And also, To, there's so many healers and, and facilitators in our community, in our camp that they all would like to share, uh, their, their teachings and their practices.
So creating all of that, uh, content and, and, and that, uh, activity in their activity too, um, keep engaging in a deeper way with our community. So downloading all of these ideas is what the community, the community of community does. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, and then [00:25:00] finance, you know, uh, we're starting to explore, um, the blockchain world, but baby steps, no, it's not, uh, completely go the way, uh, to dao or something like this.
But slowly, how can we start maybe using NFTs to, to fundraise or, uh, things like this. So, yeah, these, these are the different dilemmas that, uh, I, I think, that are key to our governance at the moment.
[00:25:31] CK: Okay. So before I go into, uh, the specifics of what have you learned, I'm curious cuz Burning Man is a collection of social experiments, right.
In sacbe. It's in a way a social experiment inside of this big container of social experiments. So I'm curious, what ideas is sacbe experimenting? Hmm. In terms of the, the, the greater, [00:26:00] um, yeah, what, what big ideas is sacbe experimenting
[00:26:04] Maria: in terms of projects or, or
[00:26:08] CK: the theme? The, the philosophy, the vision.
Uhhuh , like, .
[00:26:14] Maria: So I, I would say that our main, um, purpose with the camp mm-hmm. is, uh, to use it as a vessel for growth. Mm-hmm. , um, and for evolution of our community. Mm-hmm. , um, and, and to do it, eh, while, uh, celebrating, while celebrating. Hmm. Um, and to our vision is to, you know, to create, um,
a happy, um, you know, content, eh, uplifting community, and also within Burning Man to create a soft landing, [00:27:00] you know? Mm-hmm. , I feel like the, the weather, um, , the weather can, environment can be harsh. Mm-hmm. . So, uh, sometimes, so providing that nest and, and keep it as rooted as possible, uh, that's our, our vision, you know?
Mm. Like, keep it, uh, to remind us, you know, of like, what are the, the ancestral, what is ancestral, uh, wisdom telling us mm-hmm. , how can we apply these tools? Um, I feel like sometimes in Burning Man, everything is kind of like technological and, and, um, and masculine sometimes. Mm-hmm. . Uh, so our mission and our vision is, uh, to keep it simple.
To keep it as simple as possible, organic growth, uh, and, and share these, these seeds of wisdom.
[00:27:57] CK: Just looking at the content, [00:28:00] uh, the limited content that I see mm-hmm. , you know, it feels very warm.
Mm-hmm. , it feels very community driven. Mm-hmm. , I love the music. Mm-hmm. and I wish that I had known about Sac Bay when I was, uh, at Biman this year. I would've visited you. I would've ha hung out a lot over there. It's a very, I would've loved to have you. Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yeah. So, okay, so inside of growth in celebration, that's what I gather from your answers so far.
Mm-hmm. , if, if that's the overarching theme or overarching direction. Mm-hmm. , what have you learned that worked and what have you learned that didn't work inside of the Burning Man container? Yeah. ,
[00:28:46] Maria: um, what works very well is the content. The what? The, the content. The content, the, the, I feel like what, it doesn't have so much of a [00:29:00] tangible value, you know, like mm-hmm.
what the, the, what people experience that is like the most nourishing part of our offering. Mm-hmm. , um, what it's being transmitted, you know, the energy that, that the, all of the, our core campers carry and, and share with us the teachings. Mm-hmm. Um, the music, the, the medicine, you know, all of this. Uh, and by the medicine, I mean the songs, the, not the mm-hmm.
Yeah. I understand , uh, and what it hasn't worked. . Um, I think we have a lot of growth, a lot of space to grow still in the, uh, how can we better, uh, how can we embody [00:30:00] mm-hmm. in burning my principles better. Hmm. This is our, I think our main challenge, you know, um, and burning my principles. I would say, uh, the most important for us is, um, radical self reliance.
I mean, I would say that that is like a very important principle. Um, and it's not that it hasn't worked, it's just that there's room for, for improve. Hmm. And that is something that in our culture with the, with the community and everyone, we're always trying to explore new ideas, uh, of how to, you know, uh, acc ize, uh, people, our campers and new campers, um, in a fun way, in a way where they're going to feel engaged and they're going to embrace the principles.
[00:30:59] CK: [00:31:00] Yeah. Is there anything specific that you'd like to say? Like, Hey, we tried this thing. It doesn't really work, it doesn't, uh, embody the radical self-reliance. Anything specific that you can point to? Uh, .
[00:31:13] Maria: Um, I would say maybe that, um, sometimes we, uh, try to, our offering, our nature is to offer a lot mm-hmm.
you know, in the sense of like, you know, we see them all as family and want them to be like, have the softest landing as possible, and that's our culture. Mm-hmm. . Um, and sometimes, uh, what I think what, eh, that maybe doesn't work in our favor. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , you know, like sometimes we have to be maybe, uh, more strict and tougher with, with the, you know, the responsibilities.
[00:31:55] CK: Oh, okay. So like, like, uh, like shifts and things like that? Is that what you [00:32:00] mean?
[00:32:00] Maria: Yes. Uh, shifts. Uh, we, we saw a major improvement this year. Mm-hmm. , um, in, in the, in how people in the attendance to shifts. Mm-hmm. , um, And I am very proud in our, of our campus in general. Mm-hmm. . Um, but, uh, yeah, you know, shifts, it's, uh, at the end of the week we saw everything, you know, started, you know, not sure.
So how do we incentivize our campus? Yeah. There's something maybe that is not working there. Yeah. You know, something that we're doing wrong that at the end of the week people start to disappear. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know if this is something that all, all camps suffer.
[00:32:44] CK: Oh, they do. Yes. , , I talked to seven different camp organizers.
Uh, it's, it's a thing. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Um, and, and it's cool to talk to different chem organizers because then we can, you know, [00:33:00] brainstorm and share ideas of what worked and what hasn't worked. Yeah. Um, yeah, I mean it's, it's a, it is an interesting tension, right? Cuz you had said you want to provide a soft landing.
To make their life easier, to make it accessible for people who wouldn't. Mm-hmm. wouldn't otherwise participate in Burning Man, but there's also value in the transformation of the sheer hardship. Right. So, so it's like an ayahuasca ceremony because, uh, you know, you want it to be intense but not so intense that nobody goes to it.
Exactly. Right. Not everyone's, David Goggins can run a hundred mile desert race type things. So, you know, how do we make it accessible enough, but also not too comfortable? We lose the, uh, the value of going through hardship together.
[00:33:49] Maria: Exactly. Exactly. It is, um, a very fine balance, you know, like that, that, uh, needs to be kept between those two.
[00:34:00] Um, and, and for us it's like, it's important to, to have that, uh, you know, feminine nurturing element. . Mm-hmm. , and at the same time, um, embracing the, the principles.
[00:34:15] CK: Okay. So to that point, um, sort of the masculine feminine energy energetics, right? Mm-hmm. wisdom. The masculine is more structural, more discipline, more like, here's your shift, right?
Mm-hmm. , it's your responsibility. Like, do this otherwise, um, there are some consequences. X, Y, Z. Right? You, you know, you've been mm-hmm. mm-hmm. told, right? Like that. So I'm curious, in terms of the feminine leadership style, how would you foster the adherence to shifts as, let's actually make it, you know, specific to that.
[00:34:52] Maria: Yeah. I mean, I would say, um, for me, leading by example, it is the most [00:35:00] important thing. You know? Like, eh, I feel like if people, eh, See what we are doing with the, the amount of work that it takes. Um, and they know, uh, they're a little bit close from us. They, them are empowered and incentivized to do it because they have, um, an idea of how much it is.
Mm-hmm. . Um, and I feel, for me, it feels right to, to, uh, communicate a lot, you know, to share, um, to share what's happening, to, to share like, uh, our experience and to share from the heart, you know, to try to be open-hearted with, uh, an open com and have an open communication with our campers. Um, that. .
[00:35:55] CK: Okay.
Actually on that note real quick mm-hmm. , because I think that's a key, uh, nugget [00:36:00] that you just share mm-hmm. with fellow, um, camp leaders. So curious, do you share that? Uh, do you make a point to, uh, share that? Let's see, how do I ask this question? Uh, okay. You know how when you run standup meetings, there's a specific meeting format, right?
Mm-hmm. . So if you make that into a, a, a skill to share where you're coming from, from your heart every step of the way, then that could be in my mind, effective, right? So if you can scale that so all of camp leaders, all of your committee leaders can come from that place, that could be really cool. So how do you, uh, how do I say this?
How do you train your committee members to come from that place?
[00:36:50] Maria: So what we do is, um, a monthly call, uh mm-hmm. , that is that the commu, the [00:37:00] committee of community organizes. And what we do is a sharing circle, you know, and we, we bring a different topic. Uh, sometimes, you know, there's different, uh, people that lead it within our camp, uh, that leave that, uh, specific day and circle.
Um, and maybe we do, um, small meditation, uh, uh, a meditation to ground, and then we, we share a practice, and then we start with sharing ourselves no. Where we're at. Uh, if we're going to talk about, uh, I don't know, uh, bringing up a wound or something, or a fear, you know, maybe related to Burning Man, you know, and we, we, we talk about this, you know, we talk about what's bringing, coming up for us.
Um, In, in, in the journey to coming there. If there is anything from, you know, the [00:38:00] past that comes up, you know, what is making us uncomfortable or what is making us resistant mm-hmm. and also opening the conversation with people towards, you know, how do they feel about this shifts, how do they feel about like this part of like the, the, the community and burning and principles, so mm-hmm.
Mm-hmm. . This, I feel like we do it through calls. Through calls and, and sharing circles.
[00:38:28] CK: I love that idea. Mm-hmm. actually. So, so you ritualize the sharing part into a monthly thing. Mm-hmm. and then you ritualize meditation to ground sharing practice sharing ourselves. Mm-hmm. . I'm assuming at some point you get to business, right?
[00:38:43] Maria: We.
[00:38:45] CK: Oh, okay. So, so there's sharing circle and then business calls, like, so you separated two. Yeah. I see. Got it. Mm-hmm. . I like it. I like it. Yeah. . Uh, okay. Hmm. So can you [00:39:00] tell us a little bit about the importance of rituals, why some rituals may another others, and what some rituals are effective and what some rituals are not effective in terms of bringing people together?
[00:39:15] Maria: Um, I, I, I can only talk from exp from, um, personal experience. I don't know what the rituals that we use, I understand that may not resonate with everyone, and they maybe, uh, some people see it as, you know, as a different world and maybe people even don't feel like, you know, they really identify with them.
I feel like, you know, here. Respect is a, a, a huge, uh, value. Mm-hmm. , you know, because in the end we are, uh, sharing rituals of, from an indigenous culture mm-hmm. . So, uh, and it's not a religion and we try to, [00:40:00] uh, to, to communicate it properly, you know, and to make people, uh, safe and the rituals that we share are effective because they been, um, weaved and created by, um, a lot of a lineage of, um, a lot of, uh, with a lot of wisdom.
You know, it's something that it has been transmitted from, from family to family to family and being experimented with. If you believe in that, of course, you know, like, uh, which herbs to use, which, uh, words. To use. Um, it's, it's based on numerology, it's based on astrology, it's based on, um, scent. Um, it's, it's brings all of the elements on, on how to [00:41:00] communicate with them.
So for me, this is why, uh, um, the, the mashika rituals are effective. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And I wouldn't know any other rituals because this is what I am studying. Um, sure. Of course. I don't know if, um, I don't know. I'm sure that the African, eh, culture has so many other rituals and, and the Chinese, you know. Yeah.
But what I am, I'm studying and we're, what we're, uh, sharing is the mashika. .
[00:41:33] CK: I guess what I'm asking is not so much the specific ritual, which, what's effective and what's not. I'm more asking from the experiential design point of view. Mm-hmm. , because we can't ritualize everything and everything feels heavy cuz it's like very rigid.
Right. Very rigid. And then, but, and then we cannot have any ritual at all and just seems not, uh, shall we say, respectful enough of what could be. Mm-hmm. . [00:42:00] Right. So there's a sweet spot somewhere of mm-hmm. , you know, just having enough ritual where people feel reverence towards mm-hmm. , you know, a value, but not so.
many rituals where like, oh my god's another ritual, right? Yeah, yeah. . So, so how do you strike that line? How do you find that
[00:42:19] Maria: line? Yeah, I guess, um, for example, in the camp we, within many different rituals, different elements, the, the spiritual and also then there is the music part of it, you know, that that is not only it's live music is, um, in instrumentalist is, um, DJs is, and, and I feel like the curation of that, um, that is not so much of one thing and the talks and no, the, the different elements on the steam path that each of it, of its own, it's a ritual, you know, and, [00:43:00] and maybe just, uh, you know, sharing it from, from an authentic place.
uh, and, and not to, you know, to, to show off or to, you know, like share it because it's something you believe in because it's something that you like. And the people that, that share it also do it from an authentic place. I feel that's, uh, what makes a difference.
[00:43:24] CK: Hmm. Okay, so quick question there. So something you believe, okay, so a couple of things.
I hear you, uh, offer rituals in, um, well, live music, steam bath talks, content. And probably, I'm assuming, correct me if I'm wrong, how you start the day, how you finish the day, some kind of a thing like that, I'm assuming, right? Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So, so, so, and you also said you, uh, the, the speakers or the person in charge, the facilitator, they can bring in something they like, something they believe in.
Mm-hmm. . This is what I had gathered so far. Yeah. [00:44:00] Mm-hmm. . So now the question then is how do you then, for you. because you're looking at the whole programming. Mm-hmm. , how do you then, um, manage it so that it doesn't become. , uh, a mishmash of all kinds of different rituals, right? Mm-hmm. from Chinese, from Japan, from Mexico, from then it's like, oh, what is this?
You know? How do you, how do you as, as the macro thinking point of view, curate the kind of ritual that, like, that's, that's, you know, alignment?
[00:44:32] Maria: Yeah. Uh, um, I think it is ver in, um, kind of like a personal way of our own lifestyle. Mm-hmm. like, uh, for example, the programming. Uh, usually we weave it between myself, Magdalene, and Ra Kelly, um, to other, um, of a part, um, collaborators and team and campus.
Um, and the way we did it is like, [00:45:00] okay, uh, what, what worked last year? How do we want to wake up? You know, maybe like usually an embodiment practice, uh, when we wake up feels right, you know, to move the body. . Um, and then usually like, okay, at, at noon, around noon is when the heat is the, you know, the, the strongest mm-hmm.
So at this time, you know, there's, uh, a need for, you know, for chill, you know, for being sitting down. And so at this time, it's good to maybe to offer a, a, a panel, you know mm-hmm. or a, a moment where people are going to be, you know, needing for this, eh, type of energy. Um, and then, um, usually we have like, so in the mornings we have, uh, the embodiment practice, then we have the, the panel.
[00:46:00] Then usually we have, um, Uh, well, food, obviously breakfast, uh, lunch. Mm-hmm. . And then usually we have a, a ceremony or an activation, uh, throughout sunset or a little bit before sunset. Um, the steam bath was, uh, running. It is open all day, most of the day. And then at night we host an open mic, we call it open mic session during, we have one open mic session during lunchtime.
Mm-hmm. , and then a, a concert at night. So open mic sessions are more like, uh, a lot of musicians coming together, um, jamming together and, and the night concerts are more like, um, formal concerts where also like musicians performance come and, and. And share their, their offerings. And, uh, at this time, maybe at [00:47:00] night, it's, uh, for some people it's, it's really good.
Some people sleep at night, you know? Mm-hmm. , some people do go to, uh, so, you know, having an energy where either they came back from the pleasure and so it's very intuitive, I feel, you know, it's very intuitive, very like also based on, on having a good flow, what works with our community and experience of seeing, uh, you know, what worked in the beginning and, and what didn't work.
And also living space to breathe.
[00:47:31] CK: Do you, um, do. Are you an expert in ceremonies and, and rituals? Do you just kind of bring it out whenever you feel the community needs this and you just bring a ritual in? Like,
[00:47:45] Maria: I wouldn't say I'm an expert myself. Um, I, I do feel that many of our campers are, uh, very good at doing that.
Mm. They, maybe I am, what I do is, [00:48:00] uh, yeah. Feeling into the energy and maybe, uh, telling one of them, you know, how do you feel? Many things happen organically also.
[00:48:08] CK: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. That's a beautiful thing about having lots of domain experts, right? Yeah. You just like, Hey, you do it. Like, okay, sure. I'll do a song, I'll do a dance.
I'll uhhuh cook something. I would do a piano.
[00:48:21] Maria: Yeah. A lot of campers, you know, sometimes ask, is it, uh, you know, eh, see, is this a good We live also some, eh, the everyday space for. camp is offering something. Mm-hmm. . Um, and sometimes it's just a, they, they ask and if it's the right moment and there's nothing and you know, they share.
So if a lot of happened a lot this
[00:48:46] CK: year. Mm-hmm. , so for those two are wondering like, is that part of the requirement? You gotta have some special power to join sacbe?
[00:48:57] Maria: No, not really. I mean just, [00:49:00] just uh, being hap um, happy to contribute to towards like taking the shifts and adhering to burning my principles.
Those are the two main, like if you don't agree with that, then you can't be part of SBE .
[00:49:18] CK: Yeah. Actually, on that note, I wanted bring back the question of. And this is a topic I ask all thank him. Mm-hmm. , uh, so this is not just you, I ask all thank him or organizers. There's a, there's um, there's a tension between this idea of con making as, as you call it, a soft landing for people.
Some people call it convenience camp, a camp of convenience, right. Some people in the, in the harshest term would be plug and play camps. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. . So that's, and then, and each camp there's a line somewhere between convenience and plug and play. So for you, for sacbe what is the line [00:50:00] between, okay, we're just offering convenience, soft landing for people and then like, we are not gonna cross the line of plug and play or whatever.
Like for you, what's the line between that? Mm-hmm. .
[00:50:12] Maria: So I feel like we have, um, both. , you know, some convenience and, and some all the way, it depends on the person. Mm-hmm. , you know, on the camper. It depends on their situation. Uh, financially speaking, sometimes, you know, um, you know, emotionally speaking. Um, and, uh, we offer different, um, options mm-hmm.
For this, for depending of the, these people, you know, and also what is their offering towards the, the community and the camp.
[00:50:52] CK: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. , do you mind going to details? Like I don't, I can, I think I theoretically understand. Yeah. But I don't really know.
[00:50:59] Maria: [00:51:00] We have, we have, um, a pitch your own tent option. Ah, got it.
Like, you can either come and, and, and set your tent. and, um, and sometimes is, uh, you don't contribute financially towards this, uh, if you are going to be, you know, depending of, of the situation of each person. No. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, and sometimes the fees are lower in this situation, and then there is, um, there is a scale.
Mm-hmm. , there's a scale and it starts there. And then, uh, the, the, what we don't do is bringing driving RVs. Mm-hmm. or bringing, you know, bringing RVs for people. Mm-hmm. . Um, what we don't do is, uh, you know, bike service and, uh, personal [00:52:00] concierge service. I don't know, buying personal items. Mm-hmm. , things like this.
Mm-hmm. , um, We do, uh, what we do offer to the people are, uh, in RVs, is servicing their RVs in terms of like, uh, gray water. Mm-hmm. and electricity. Mm-hmm. , for example. Mm-hmm. . Um, so yeah, it is, it is a scale and I guess the, the, the, the, the, what we are not willing to do is to do a full concierge . You know, we don't do a concierge service in, in that sense.
[00:52:35] CK: Yeah. Got it. So, so the line for you, uh, for sacbe is alright. We don't, you know, no concierge. Yeah. As, as in they don't need to do anything. Everything is ready. They just show up and everything's already there. Yeah.
[00:52:47] Maria: And also, no, there's no exceptions with the shifts also. No. Everyone in the camp must do their shift.
[00:52:56] CK: So, so question. So enforcement [00:53:00] is, uh, let's see, maybe a softer word for enforcement. I don't know how to, what's another word for enforcement? But enforcement is, is challenging, especially for a volunteer or, you know, situations, especially for Burning Man, cuz Burning Man's all about the flow and you know, all that.
So how do you, what happens when they say, I'm in your camp and I'm like, yeah, I'm gonna do two shifts, but I don't show up. And then what
[00:53:27] Maria: happens? So this year we were writing the names on the, on the shame board. on the main lounge,
[00:53:37] CK: on the main lounge for everyone to see. You didn't
[00:53:39] Maria: show up. Lounge we were writing and then when people saw their names, uh, sometimes they were like, I'm so sorry.
And then they made it up. I, you know, I see. They were like, I'll do another one. Ah. Um, that was what we were doing this year, but next year we, you think that it works? It worked. Uhhuh, until Friday.
[00:53:59] CK: until [00:54:00] Friday. Oh. Because there's no consequence. No one is gonna see
[00:54:02] Maria: the, but then on Friday people starting to show up less Uhhuh, Friday, Saturday, Sunday because like, you know, less.
And if that didn't work anymore, I see . So we need to do something different next year. .
[00:54:20] CK: I see. That's funny. That, that's actually really funny. Um,
[00:54:24] Maria: and also not in, in by, and they don't get, if people don't show up for their shifts, if people, if someone missed one shift and then not tell us and then replaced it, Uhhuh, , uh, it's fine.
But if there is someone that completely didn't incur, they don't get invited back next year.
[00:54:39] CK: I see. Okay. Great. So, so that's another, mm, shall we say incentive, right? Yeah. Okay, great. That's, that's good to know. Um, what do you, let's see, how do I ask this question? , what's the dream? So say everything, you continue to do this.
Mm-hmm. , what would [00:55:00] you like to see in terms of the camp, the missions of the camp? How people, you know, take what they learn from camp and then propagate, like what's the dream for sacbe?
[00:55:13] Maria: Yeah. Yeah. I would like the first, um, in terms, if I see, first in terms of sustainability, we would like to be, um, a zero carbon, have a zero carbon footprint as a camp, you know, that would be a one huge mission for us.
Mm-hmm. , um, it would be, in terms of the community would be, um, that it works so that there's so many campers that are empowered mm-hmm. , that the, the, the, the core team feels, um, , you know, that it's not carrying so much more load than the rest, you know, that is balanced, [00:56:00] that we function as a, as a network, you know, that it is.
Mm-hmm. , , uh, decentralized, completely decentralized. Um, and
yeah, and also that we keep it, you know, growing, you know, spiritually speaking, that we, that our, our, you know, community solidifies that our community, um, gets to know each other and, you know, we bonds grow it deep. So this, this is, this is for me what it, it is I see as, you know, the, the, the mission of the
[00:56:45] CK: camp.
Okay. So each one of 'em, it's. A podcast by itself. So , uh, which, which one would you like to start? Uh, so let me ask you this question though. Mm-hmm. , um, [00:57:00] I know one of the, so the theme from my understanding of you is you're really committed to building community. Mm-hmm. . And, and you had mentioned in your bio, um, that you wanted to make it a permanent community, right?
Mm-hmm. . So how are you sustaining the bond from Burning Man throughout the year to building ultimately a permanent community? Like, tell me of what are you thinking about? What do you envision?
[00:57:32] Maria: I mean, the, the, the vision of that other project that is, um, you know, separate from, from Burning Man, you know? Oh, okay.
I didn't know that. Uh, because, because we, we cannot, we need to always keep in mind decommodification. Mm-hmm. . Um, so, uh, definitely there is, um, the com the, the people, the campers and the community that is around us is [00:58:00] the same, but it's always needs to be, you know, um, de commodified .
[00:58:06] CK: So, so, okay. So great.
I'm so glad you mentioned that. Mm-hmm. , how do you separate Yeah. Because you have a community throughout the year, and then Yeah. You need to de you know, compartmentalize burning Man to be de commodified and everywhere else you can be commodified. So how do you, how do you carve out?
[00:58:26] Maria: That's what we have a different inner refuge.
Uhhuh is the name of, of the brand. And that we use outside Burning Man. Mm-hmm. . And, um, our, the retreats that we do, the retreats are on the inner refuge name and the community that we are, uh, envisioning for Baja California. Um, it's it's name in Inner Refuge, and the vision is to create, um, [00:59:00] uh, a community, uh, a self-sustainable community.
Um, a real state development. I know how you would call it a, uh, mm-hmm. , uh, residential home community. Mm-hmm. , um, and a retreat center that is the, the vision for inner refuge. Mm-hmm. , um, I don't know if I answered your question, .
[00:59:25] CK: No, I mean, this is great. So, . So if what I'm hearing is to basically delineate to separate the, the decommodification effort mm-hmm.
that's , that's mm-hmm. , you know, not com commod. The other one is in a refuge that's com commodify. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Okay, great. Yeah.
[00:59:46] Maria: And yeah. Um, and also, um, we do the fundraisers, uh, for the camp, you know, that go as camp fundraisers. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, so we, we [01:00:00] separate the, what's happening, the, the, the, the programming.
It's completely independent. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. one from the other. Also, the, the programming, it's different. The, the way it's weaved is different. The way it's what weaved and designed.
[01:00:19] CK: Designed. Got it. Mm-hmm. . All right. . Okay. It, it, now, the overall purpose, the direction is the same, just how it's being designed is different.
[01:00:32] Maria: correct? Yeah. I feel like Burning Man gives us an opportunity to, you know, to experiment a lot. Mm-hmm. , you know, the experiment to, to play, you know mm-hmm. to, there's, there's also so many people that, that are into Burning Man, you know, it's mm-hmm. , it's a, it's a very, very good way to, to, you know, to start experimenting these things, you [01:01:00] know, like, uh, the n f Nft side of it, you know, I feel much easier than starting it in the bus in a business, you know?
Mm-hmm. . So I feel like there's a lot of learning that we take from Burning Man in that space as a
[01:01:17] CK: community. . Okay. So since you talked about experimentation and mm-hmm. , uh, N F T, uh, is that a creative way to fundraise for sacbe
[01:01:30] Maria: we're just starting to think about it now. We haven't done it yet. Um, but I, hopefully this, uh, coming year, uh, 2023.
Mm-hmm. , we'll start do trying it out.
[01:01:44] CK: Okay. So quick question there. So I was speaking to the architect of the temple this year Yeah. And he shared with me in, in passing that it took $600,000 to build the temple. Yeah. It's like, whoa. You know, uh, [01:02:00] I don't think about it when I'm there, but you know, in my mind, okay, it kind of makes sense, right?
A few years of design, you know, labor and all those material, all those things come together, you know, it kind of makes, you know, it makes it, yeah, it makes sense. So in terms of running a theme camp, and most people don't think about the financial resources it requires to put together programming and all the material, all the, you know, the things come together.
Yeah. So knowing what you know today, what would you tell, uh, the younger Maria about like, Hey, you know, here's best practices when it comes to fundraising, operating, you know, within budget and all those things that young Maria May or may not know about?
[01:02:48] Maria: Um,
from my experience, um, fundraisers from, and at the scale where [01:03:00] we're at, because maybe mayan warrior is a completely different scale. You know, they're fundraisers, they're, they have a 4,000 attendees mm-hmm. . Um, so our, at the scale that we are at, um, Maybe fundraisers like gatherings and events and parties, uh, are usually more of a way to create, to build community mm-hmm.
rather than, than actually raising funds. Although it helps a little bit, uh, it's not major. Mm-hmm. , I feel like for, for us, in term of budgeting and financials, what works the best is having a plan, you know, having a plan and sticking to it. , you know, because sometimes it's tempting to be like, um, let's have this and let's have, you know.
Mm-hmm. , it's, it's a, I feel like we all want to bring so many offerings mm-hmm. . Um, and sometimes I see that there is camps and [01:04:00] pamphlets that eh, want to create a lot. And, uh, and this is why, uh, financially speaking, things get out of control. Mm-hmm. . Um, so for us it is like just, you know, uh, budgeting it properly, you know, having a, an, an accurate budget and sticking to it.
[01:04:19] CK: I see. And then most, most of your funds come from the fees, the, the camp fees. The, the ticketing. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Got it. Okay. So
[01:04:31] Maria: solely, solely from
[01:04:33] CK: CANDUs. Solely. I see. Got it. Okay. Good to know. And. , do you have someone who is like an expert in terms of finance, financial, uh, operation? I'm asking that question specifically because, because, uh, I don't wanna name camps, but , some camps are, uh, vision, you know, run by visionaries.
Right. And then they don't have a, [01:05:00] essentially a CFO f person to say, Hey, you know, calm down, you know, stick within budget. So they usually run over. Yeah. Uh, so, so their recommendation is good to have a counterbalance, like someone who's really good with numbers, somebody who's a visionary, then they can come together and run count, uh, okay.
You know, effectively.
[01:05:20] Maria: Yeah. So, um, so far I, we, we ha we don't have a, uh, a cfo. It's been, um, , uh, it is been us, the ma the core team running the, the financials and the budget. Okay. We do have advisors now, uh mm-hmm. from, from this year that we started doing the committees and the committee of finance that are, uh, you know, uh, helping us to make the transition to the NFTs and all of this.
And we are getting a lot of advice, um, okay on this [01:06:00] side, but not in terms of budgeting.
[01:06:03] CK: Okay. Mm-hmm. . Well in that, on that note, so what have you learned about NFTs as a possible way to help finance, uh, you know, camp going forward? Is it just one time? Is it, so every time, every year you make a new M N F T, or is it, you know, a membership?
type model where you just make one M N F T and then you can cruise for in the next 10 years.
[01:06:31] Maria: I think there's different ideas that have shared the, the, um, our advisors have shared, um, that, for example, we're thinking of building an na rcar this year. Mm-hmm. . Um, so maybe that the agar itself is an Nft mm-hmm.
um, and all of the community has a, a, a part and a and, and the ownership of [01:07:00] this. Mm-hmm. , um, and also eh, ma making pieces, you know, creating pieces, um, creating what pieces, uh, pieces like, uh, art pieces, you know, or Oh, put it on the cart. Uh, no. And for, for NF like to, to sell us NFTs. You know, that are, uh, maybe made by artists within the camp.
[01:07:28] CK: I see. Okay. Got it.
[01:07:30] Maria: Yeah. Um, or pieces of the camp, you know? Mm-hmm. , um, this is, this is another idea. Um, and also, you know, to start, um, Maybe selling, uh, also implementing other aspects of it. You know, like being able to take, uh, crypto, you know, currencies and to get paid through crypto. Okay. You know, [01:08:00] like there's another, there's many ideas that have come up and this is not my area of expertise.
[01:08:05] CK: Sure, sure. Well, I guess you'll, oh, this is what I got . Yeah. Yeah. We'll follow up in, in a, in a, in a few years time. Yeah. See which one works the best. Yeah. You know, one of the main reason why I want to talk to transformational camp or conscious Camp organizes is this, cuz I'm a huge nerd when it comes to transformation.
Mm-hmm. , I personally believe that, um, everything we do, everything that we see in this world is an extension of our consciousness. Mm-hmm. . So if we want to, you know, make the world better, in my opinion, the star is. consciousness shift, right? Awareness, conscious transformation, all these things. So I'm curious for you as the thinking organizer, also for Inner Refuge, you must have seen transformation, you know, lot of it.
So what do you [01:09:00] track as the impact that you're making? Is it at the level of awareness? Is it at the level of behavior change? Is it at the level of, you know, uh, meaningful connections? How do you, how do you, how do you know that what you do, all the effort that you put in, all the life that you put in is making a difference, you know, in the world that's meaningful for you?
[01:09:22] Maria: Yeah. I, I think, uh, for me, if like, , for example, in terms of, eh, growth of a mm-hmm. , spiritual growth and evolution, or like con awareness. Mm-hmm. . Um, I would say that the things that are, I notice if people are, are growing in that sense of our, if our community is growing in that sense, is if our campus are showing up because they are getting a sense of community, you know, and, and, uh, and they, and [01:10:00] consciousness about each other, you know, and awareness of each other that if they don't show up, it's going to be, um, you know, uh, having repercussions in, in, within our community, within our team.
So people showing up, eh, to their shifts is a way for us to, to track this, uh, this growth. Uh, people, eh, Seeing people participate, you know, and getting involved and, and giving feedback and wanting to take on more responsibility. And also seeing people of our, in our community, eh, creating different bubbles around the world.
You know, people living in Miami, getting together, people in Mexico City getting together, uh, people in LA getting together and organizing their own, um, their own events and their own gatherings to meet with each other. Mm. [01:11:00] Um, and also, um, the, the, the level of participation that exists post Burning Man, you know, and the interest that the people start having with the, the practices that we are offering.
[01:11:17] CK: Um, Back up one sentence. Say that again.
[01:11:20] Maria: What the level of, of, uh, interest and participation that we get post burning Man in the offerings in our, in the spiritual offerings that we
[01:11:31] CK: have. I don't understand that. Can you say it in a different way?
[01:11:36] Maria: Yeah. For example, um, if we are teaching a meditation practice mm-hmm.
at the camp, um, and then, uh, campers start reaching out after to follow up with that meditation, uh, I see practice in a spec specifically. You know, they want to continue diving [01:12:00] deeper with that practice. I feel like that's also a way for us to, you know, to, um, track the growth mm-hmm. , you know, to see if the, if we see that there is engagement.
Okay. Um, and in terms of more logistical logistic things, aspects to it, like if we see a reduction in, uh, in the petrol consumption mm-hmm. , if we see a reduction on the water use mm-hmm. , uh, I feel like also this is, this is, um, a way to track the, the, the growth.
[01:12:33] CK: Mm-hmm. , do you, okay. So you mean tracking the camp consumption, right.
Not the individual consumption. Yeah. The camp. Got it. Got it, got it, got it. Okay, great. Actually, on that note real quick, cause I know that one big theme is environmental wellness, right? Mm-hmm. , mm-hmm. . There are many different words in the social media that you have around essentially, you know, plant planet alignment, environmental [01:13:00] wellness.
So the critics of Burning Man, when they say, Hey, burning Man itself is not carbon neutral. . Yeah. In my mind, I'm a fan of Burning Man, so I say, well, you know, it may not be carbon neutral. It may not be even carbon. It's not, may not it's carbon negative. Mm-hmm. . But it's worthwhile because it changes people's mindset.
You know, people's mind are blown and therefore they're gonna go out and be a better human. So, in my mind, worth it. Mm-hmm. for a camp who is about environmental wellness and planning alignment, how do you, let's say, reconcile how, when people say it's a long way, I'm asking the question. Mm-hmm. , how do you respond to the critics of people who say a burning man itself is carbon negative?
[01:13:53] Maria: Yeah. It is a paradox, you know, that I, as a camp, uh, lead, I have to live with [01:14:00] and, and work on, you know, like, um, because it is, it is a lot. It is. Um, The way, at least that we do it as a camp. It's not a full 10 and zero acs. We have acs, we have, um, yeah, mainly ACS are huge, you know, and RVs. Um, and I would say that meanwhile, I, I think what it is, uh, kind of like important for me is to know that we as a camp are doing whatever we can to change this, you know, because it is, um, there, it does bring a lot of, a lot of growth for many people.
And, uh, the level of the connections, the, the friendships that come out of it, um, it brings so much positive impact in people. I do [01:15:00] think, uh, you know, and, and, uh, when people start also getting. Deeper, diving deeper into the principles. I can only see from the impact that it has had in my life. You know, like, um, so it does make positive impact.
It's just that it is a paradox that's part of the environment because it is not the most environmentally friendly, um, gathering. You know, it could, we, there's a lot of room for improvement there. And for us, what we do is like, um, work with different organizations to even our carbon, uh, to, to become carbon neutral, you know, to compensate with our print every year, for every camper.
Um, uh, start, you know, this year we did the, all of the, the recycling, the, the, all of the habits, you know, reprogramming, putting a lot of energy in reprogramming and communicating, um, with our [01:16:00] campus and that our campus take these habits into the, into their lives, into their lifestyles. Um,
[01:16:07] CK: quick, quick, quick question there.
Mm-hmm. . because it sounds like it's not just awareness, it's not just, Hey, this is cool during Burning Man, but I'm gonna go back and mm-hmm. be a huge energy, uh, consumer and Yeah. You know, buying Amazon boxes and this and that, right. Yeah. I'm, by the way, I'm guilty of it, so I'm not Yeah. Saying I'm, I'm better
So, so what have you found to be effective in actually causing behavior shifts post Burning Man for your, for your people?
[01:16:40] Maria: Hmm. I would say, uh, like what is effective is the, the, the communication like constant, constant, constant communication. And also, you know, like that when you are there, you value it more because it's, , you know, the [01:17:00] scar, the scarcity.
I don't know how you like Yes, yes. Scar city, abundant. Mm-hmm. , it's not as abundant, so, eh, the fact that you have to shower quickly, you know? Mm-hmm. , that you need to be mindful. And we do talk about these things a lot at the camp. Mm-hmm. , uh, about like, turn off your acs and when you are at home, also turn off your races.
Mm-hmm. , you know, like it's not only here, um, um, you know, sometimes it's okay to feel the heat, you know, and mm-hmm. and, uh, and get our bodies to be, uh, to acclimatize mm-hmm. , you know, to, to go through these moments of like not all always instantly seek for, um, you know, comfort and that. So, um, how can it be measured?
How is it measured? There's nothing that we are, no, there's no way that we are measuring it, like scientific. Mm-hmm. . [01:18:00] Um, I just say, uh, the only way that I measure it so far is by getting the feedback, the feedback from our campers. Mm. You know, of how it has made an impact in their lives. How they, you know, made adjustments in their habits after going to earning man our camp.
[01:18:21] CK: Mm Mm mm I love it. Thank you so much. Um mm-hmm. . Okay. So I know that you, you have to go in a moment. So, so I wanted to segue to, uh, what would you say if you, if people are listening right now and you are giving them one idea that's gonna really empower them to start forming purpose-driven communities, what would you, knowing everything you know today, if you could just give them a couple of pointers, what would you say to.
to the, to the people who desire purpose-driven communities?
[01:18:57] Maria: I would say first, um, it [01:19:00] all starts for me with, uh, doing work on myself. Mm-hmm. Um, it, it starts with a, looking at myself on having a strong spiritual, you know, path. Um, also, um, using different therapies and techniques to look at myself mm-hmm.
Um, so then, uh, can have a good relationship with the people that surround me and they, and with environment, you know, to learn how to live more, uh, closer to the earth. You know, more aware of like un and grateful of what, uh, what we have. Um, . And, and then from there, I feel that everything flows. [01:20:00] Mm-hmm. , you know, like once you are like doing all this work on yourself and you are, uh, you know, aware of your surroundings and grateful for everything that you have and maintaining and nourishing the relationships that you have, then community happens.
You know, everything or everything that you want to create your projects, your visions. If you, what you do is want to create a, a, a, a community and a camp and a gathering, um, that is sustainable or that is the Rio. Mm-hmm. sense of like, it has a, is the soul, you know, and the soul is you. The soul. Mm-hmm. the soul.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. and the soul is you. And, and the, and that soul is the, your soul and the soul of the community that is around you. Mm. So it is like, it has the energy of each, each community, of each leader. [01:21:00] So I would say it's starting with inner work.
[01:21:05] CK: So I'm gonna push back just a little bit. Yeah. Just a little bit.
So say, oh, I'll make it personal. Right. The younger CK is very much in his head, you know, he did the personal work. Yes, of course. And, and, but he's, he's scared. He's like, yeah, you know, I really want it, but I don't know what to start. What would you say to the younger ck
[01:21:30] Maria: Hmm. How maybe joining a community, uh, someone, a community that he's like that, that he is inspired by. Mm-hmm. , you know, and learning from it. Mm-hmm. and surrounding himself, uh, by people that he admires. . Mm-hmm. , you know, and that he feels they are, um, coherent. Mm-hmm. , , you know, that, that I think that is, [01:22:00] uh, that, that could be a good beginning.
[01:22:02] CK: Beautiful. Any last thoughts, parting thoughts for people? The younger cks, the younger Marias, who dreams about having community, who dreams about forming their own theme camps? Any or any last thoughts at all for anyone who's listening?
[01:22:20] Maria: I mean, I, I would really like to speak a little bit about, um, planet buyback, if that's Yes.
Yeah. So planet, eh, I think one of the biggest, eh, Gifts and takeaways and, and, and results of creating community for, for me has been, um, the creation of a nonprofit organization called Planet Buyback. Mm-hmm. , uh, that is, um, formed by Max Warrior on Linda, uh, and the communities. Um, and it's dedicated to, to [01:23:00] select different, um, very different organizations, but different organizations that are dedicated to land and ocean preservation.
Um, and I feel that for me, this is the magic of it. The magic and, and, and, and the most, um, important work that we can do if we're like, uh, building communities is one, uh, collaboration. , um, and for being networks and using this, uh, power that we have, and this say access to community, that we have to make positive impact.
Mm-hmm. . Uh, so yeah, this, this I think would be my, my last, uh, uh, my last words use the, once you do [01:24:00] it, and if you're doing it, use it to create positive impact.
[01:24:05] CK: So I actually looked into apply back. Back. I do, I do have a question there. I'm glad you brought it up. I liked the concept. Essentially it's a platform, a crowdfunding platform.
Mm-hmm. for preservation projects. Yes. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Is that, did I understand that correctly? Yes. Awesome. Very good. So, question is why not build, um, build in on top of existing platforms like Kickstarter? That's already having a huge user base. Mm-hmm. And you can just cr you know, make compelling creatives.
Mm-hmm. , which, you know, uh, your community is very good at. Tell compelling stories mm-hmm. , and then use that to drive traffic and, and, and the kind of impact that you want to make.
[01:24:49] Maria: Yeah, because, uh, we're using the platform to, to generate, uh, you know, more awareness about each, uh, organization. Mm-hmm. , [01:25:00] and it's, it's a project that we started throughout the pandemic and, uh, until now we haven't been able, like, we're gonna be launching next year properly.
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So the idea is to create, use events that we already host mm-hmm. , and also create new events to raise awareness for these platforms. So if, for these organizations, so mm-hmm. , eh, through our platform, we can, we can show more, you know, we can, uh, share the content that, that we create. We can, you know, design it in the way, uh, it serves the best.
[01:25:39] CK: So, not to belabor on this point, and again, I, what, where it doesn't compute for me is the user base is already on Kickstarter. . So you are, you, your group of, you know, people are very, very good at creating compelling story. Mm-hmm. , and then, and you also very good at curating [01:26:00] projects as worthy. You have relationship with the indigenous elders.
Mm-hmm. . So in my mind, way it doesn't compute is why not just make, um, basically raise funding on Kickstarter and then still, still do the, you know, the, the, the art, the, the documentaries, the, you know, fund the community projects. You know what I mean? So I'm right that,
[01:26:23] Maria: you know, because it is, it is. Um, I, we don't, um, for, for us kick Kickstarter, it's not, um, it's, it's a great platform, but it doesn't meet all of our needs.
Um, , uh, it's, we are doing something to also bring community together around it, you know, create this. Mm-hmm.
[01:26:45] CK: I see Gathering.
[01:26:47] Maria: Got it. You know, these gatherings, these trips to the, to the jungle to visit this, eh, organization. So it's through the coming together of the three and merging the [01:27:00] three ne, the the four communities and the four databases, and the four everything.
And it's through the platform that we communicate everything because everything is together.
[01:27:10] CK: Got it. So let me make sure I understand right. Uhhuh, . So I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm asking cuz I'm genuinely curious. Yeah. Um, is, you want to not just, Hey, here's some money. Go do this thing. Cuz that's e essentially what Kickstarter is accustomed to.
You want to, uh, um, really attract people who is invested in the Yeah. The cause and who wants to be educated, who wants to visit the land, who wants to, you know, put their resources into something that they believe in. So this, for you is a, is a rallying cry of a community beacon, a mixing analogies. But you understand that is a beacon of people who is interested in this.
Is that an accurate recap? What you said
[01:27:54] Maria: it's accurate? Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's accurate and, and, uh, and, and we feel like, you know, creating our [01:28:00] platform so we can share, you know, the, the content that is created through these events and this, you know, it, it fits better our needs. Than using an independent flat platform.
[01:28:11] CK: Beautiful. Well, with that said, Maria, uh, just really thank you for, for being here, telling your story, and it's very inspiring. Uh, you know, you've been doing this for 13 years and, and, and now you're using the power of community to, um, to curate funds and people, uh, who are interested in, in bringing more planet, uh, alignment, you know, environmental wellness into being.
So really, really appreciate being here and sharing your story on noble warrior.
[01:28:43] Maria: Oh, thank you. Thank you for having me. Ck.
[01:28:45] CK: Beautiful.
Hecho en México, Maria attributes her passion for community stewardship to her beginnings on her family’s 300-year-old ranch in rural Tlaxcala, Mexico, surrounded by towering maguey plants and indigenous farming communities. Raised by parents who are politicians and civil servants, she spent her childhood touring the region and gaining first-hand insight into the environmental, political, social and cultural implications of land development.
At 20, she moved to Barcelona to cinematography and worked in TV and film production for several years, producing Inside The Beat – a series of mini-documentaries for Pulse Radio which initiated her long love affair with the music industry. During this time, she also founded My Organic Spirits, an import and distribution company still in operation in Spain, and co-produced the first Sacbe gatherings with her partner and several friends. She worked as a project manager and collaborator for a variety of brands and organizations before moving back to Mexico to reconnect with her homeland and her mission. Her experiences across various fields of production illuminated the need for a more holistic and purpose-driven approach to event curation and community design. In 2018, this mission coalesced in the birth of Inner Refuge: an experiential production company that specializes in uniting people and igniting change through ancestral knowledge, energy work, and practices that guide human consciousness towards realignment with the planet.
Informed by the principles of Shakti leadership, Maria envisions her work as part of a greater energetic shift on earth – wherein feminine energy is being redirected as an agent of change and evolution, to meet the pressing social and ecological needs of this moment. Sacbe has grown from a small charitable party in the jungle to a robust Burning Man theme camp and a sprawling network of international artists and change-makers. Inner Refuge continues to host a growing number of intimate gatherings around the world, centered on ancestral teachings, spiritual growth and environmental wellness. Maria lives and works in Mexico, where she is focused on designing permanent communities, curating sustainable networks, and collaborating on projects that are generative, creative, inclusive, and empathic.