Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

2012: Mayan end-times prophecies, courtesy of PeaceJam

It's been quite a year for PeaceJam, the homegrown organization that uses Nobel Peace Prize winners to empower kids to fight for peace around the globe. But the challenges of the past year -- including a major restructuring and a new PeaceJam office -- are nothing compared to what 2012 might have in store. Enter "2012 Revealed with Rigoberta Menchu Tum."

Rigoberta, the Guatemelan activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, was last in Denver in November for PeaceJam's annual fundraising luncheon, and while she was here, she fielded a number of questions about the Mayan prophecies that predict 2012 will mark the end of the world as we know it, and the start of a new era. She said she'd like to return to talk more about this -- and now she is, bringing along a group of Mayan elders, the people who can really talk about the meaning of the prophecies that have been handed down orally for centuries.

Rigoberta will participate in several of the Biennial roundtables, then head up to Boulder on July 8 for "2012 Revealed." Here's the PeaceJam description:

Join us for a powerful day of blessing and initiation from leading Mayan Spiritual Elders and Rigoberta Menchú Tum. This truly unique and powerful event will explore the true meaning of 2012 from the Mayan perspective and offer participants the opportunity to learn how to be a "Light Bearer" in these trying times, as well as the opportunity to attend workshops led by Mayan Spiritual Teachers from Guatemala.

The PeaceJammers organizing this event are working out of a new office: the Allen House, a converted 1897 farmhouse owned by Arvada, where PeaceJam put its headquarters a decade ago. "We started as a mom and pop," says Dawn Engel, sitting in her new office in the Allen House, which overlooks a nearby high school's athletic fields (police welcomed PeaceJam's appearance in the previously empty building). "Now we're grandma and grandpop."

She and co-founder Ivan Suvanjieff sold the Arvada building where PeaceJam had been located (and they'd lived) a few months ago, and PeaceJam made the move to the Allen House at the end of May. At the same time, they restructured the PeaceJam staff, giving all members of the senior staff an equal vote. "We solved our founder's syndrome," says Engle. "PeaceJam's going to survive no matter what."

No matter what 2012 may bring. For more information on the program, go to

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun