About Us

The Founding of Whitehawk/ Ixtatutli  

Our original teachers- Guillermo and Anai~i Aranda first learned danza while they lived in San Diego, CA.  At that time Guillermo and Anai~i were part of the Centro Cultural de la Raza and it was there that they learned danza from Florencio Yescas- a danzante from Tacuba Mexico.  Guillermo and Anai~i, along with their children moved from San Diego to Redwind- a community in San Luis Obispo County that was largely focused on practicing and preserving indigenous ceremony and traditions.  Along the way Guillermo and Anai~i met and learned from various indigenous elders and medicine people, while at the same time continuing to practice danza.  In 1977, Guillermo and Anai~i were part of caravana Teponaxtli which traveled to Mexico City where they were initiated into the danza by Florencio Yescas and the sacred fire was handed down to Anai~i. 

After Redwind, the Aranda family moved to Watsonville and soon after began teaching danza to local children at Hall school, the group Whitehawk had not yet been created.  It wasn’t until Guillermo and Anai~i felt the children were ready to form a group that they formed Whitehawk.  The name Whitehawk was suggested by the children themselves, and this was due to a white hawk constantly being around when the group would gather for practice.  Since then, Whitehawk has maintained a steady flow of participants and has touched the lives of many, so much that participants who were once children have brought in their own children to join the circle and continue the legacy that has been planted in this community.  As of now, Whitehawk remains the only danza group active in Santa Cruz County. 

 Ixtatutli  in nahuatl means Whitehawk.


Board Members

profile-blankGaby Hernandez President profile-blankMonica Mendez  Vice President  profile-blankAnnabelle Rodriguez Secretary  profile-blankJesus Velazquez Treasurer 
profile-blankAnai~i Aranda Accountant  profile-blankJuana Ventura General Member profile-blankStephanie Dieguez  General Member