Martín Prechtel


Martín Prechtel

A master of eloquence and innovative language, Martín Prechtel is a leading thinker, writer and teacher whose work, both written and oral, hopes to promote the subtlety, irony and pre-modern vitality hidden in any living language. As a half blood Native American with a Pueblo Indian upbringing, his life took him from New Mexico to the village of Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. There becoming a full village member of the Tzutujil Mayan population, he eventually served as a principal in that body of village leaders responsible for instructing the young people in the meanings of their ancient stories through the rituals of adult rights of passage.

In his native New Mexico once more, Martín teaches at his international school Bolad’s Kitchen: a hands on historical and spiritual immersion into language, music, ritual, farming, cooking, smithing, natural colors, architecture, animal raising, clothing, tools, story, grief and humor to help people from many lands, cultures and backgrounds to remember and retain the majesty of their diverse origins while cultivating the flowering of integral culture in the present to grow a time of hope beyond our own. For more information visit: or

Martín Prechtel is the author of:
Stealing Benefacio’s Roses; The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun: Ecstasy and Time; Long Life, Honey in the Heart; and Secrets of the Talking Jaguar.

"Martín Prechtel is one of the most profound teachers I have ever encountered. He is an unusually gifted artist, musician, storyteller who guides and initiates with passion, kindness, eloquence, wisdom, fierceness and humor, awakening us to the sacred realities present everywhere at all times. To be with Martín is to remember the forgotten divinity that is the very essence of who we are." —Rabbi Aryeh Hirschfield

Robert Bly describes Martín as "A short kind of pony that gallops through the fields of human possibility with flowers dropping out of his mouth..."

photo credit: Eric Swanson


The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise

The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic

Stealing Benefacio’s Roses

The Disobedience of the
Daughter of the Sun: Ecstasy and Time

Long Life, Honey in the Heart

Secrets of the Talking Jaguar

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Interview with Martin Prechtel:
by Derrick Jensen in
The Sun magazine, April, 2001

Praise for Martín Prechtel’s Books:

"A Superbly written work" Perhaps most remarkable is the luminous eloquence of Prechtel’s language–the book is written in a style worthy of the reverence accorded by most oral peoples to the beauty of living language?It’s a landmark text, a kind of talisman filled with clues for those working on behalf of the wild, more-than-human earth. Don’t miss it. —David Abram author of The Spell of the Sensuous

"In Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, Prechtel . . . shows how to infuse language with spirit and a sense of the sacred without sacrificing its sensuousness. He demonstrates for us how a trained bard of a traditional society might attack a writing project–with all 20 layers transparent and tingling!""
—Steven Larson, for Common Boundary

"This eloquent and expressive work. . .is highly recommended."—Library Journal

"Told with great honesty, insight, and generosity, Prechtel’s chronicle offers modern readers a privileged and rare glimpse into the complex and spiritually rich life of a contemporary Mayan village."
—Rocky Mountain News

"A lyrical, haunting memoir of one man’s spiritual rebirth in a Mayan village before it is ravaged by guerrilla warfare and modern times. Long Life, Honey in the Heart is a cry from the heart–a lonely yearning for an ancient beautiful culture now gone forever." —Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking

"The Mayan Gods, who hold eloquence above all else, must surely be pleased with this soul, who in this lifetime is named Martín Prechtel." —Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., author of Women Who Run With Wolves

"It's a precious thing, this book. I've never known another like it. It's a great encyclopedia of beauty... Like some poems of Neruda's, it is a treasure house of language, in service to life." —Robert Bly


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