Author Archive for Maya LaMunyon

Lights, Christmas, Pies!

The Frito Pie fundraiser was full of fun, learning, and team work.

Gigi, Anika, and I were doing this fundraiser to make more money for going to Haiti in June. It was on December 2nd, during the Parade of Lights. We were selling the Frito pies outside of Love on a Hanger.

We had help from a lot of great people. I would like to give a shout out to Victoria for helping Gigi, Annika, and I learn how to cook the chili for the pies, it was a really big help, and we couldn’t have done it with out her. It was really fun to learn. We learned how to open big cans of tomatoes, how to use the sanitize, and most of all, how to make the chili. She spent all of that Saturday afternoon teaching us how to use a comercial kitchen in Grace’s Kitchen.

One of mine and Annika’s class mate stopped by to help out, which was a huge help. Thank you Emery. The owner of Love on A Hanger was a really big help for letting us set up outside of her store. We couldn’t have been able to set up with out the help of Lisa Baxstrom, Tegan Lewis, Mariam Howarth, and Casie LaMunyon. With these amazing and strong women helping out, we were able to set up even before the streets got crowded.

While we were selling our Frito pies, we played Christmas music, which we sang along to. It was really fun. It was really fun to watch the floats go by, and watch what everyone did. Everything was really lit up. Annika left for a while to go join the Dance Team’s float with her little sister.

Now, we are a few steps closer to reaching our goals, going to Haiti in the summer of 2018 and making a difference in the world.

Bake Trip to Mission Trip

Hello world of 321gcm! I am back! Sorry I haven’t been updating as much as I should have. As you all know, Gigi, Annika, and I had a bake sale at City Market. It was a huge success, and we made over six-hundred dollars. I am so happy and proud that the bake sale attracted so many people. We also got so many people from the community, from our schools, and from the church bake for this event. I would like to thank everyone from the church, community, and from the SWOS school who baked and brought the goods.

This morning, my mom and I went to the post office, and finally renewed my passport, so I am all ready to go to Haiti! Haha, not really. There are so many other things that I need to do in order to actually be ready to go to Haiti that I can’t even count!

I’m actually kind of scared to go to Haiti. I don’t know the language, there’s cholera, and other diseases that I need to be prepared for. I want to go to Haiti. When I was first doing the application for the program, I never actually thought about all the things that are going on in the world, like the political conflict in Spain.

I absolutely love that I was chosen for this program. I know that Gigi and Annika might be feeling nervous as I am. I even though I have butterflies in my stomach, I am committed to this program.

When I was little, my dream was to make a difference in the world, and now I can finally do that.  I won’t be doing it alone. I will have so many friends and the support of my family. We as a group in this program will be helping kids who live in extreme poverty, have no electricity, have no clean water, and little shelter. I hope that I can be of service to the kids at St. Paul’s School, and in doing so, earn their respect and trust. Thank you for supporting our cause and getting us closer to our goals.

Running Strong, Having Fun







As some of you who read my bio know, I run Cross Country. Cross Country is a running sport. Even if you have never run before, Cross Country is a sport that will make you think, help you trough pain, and get you in shape in no time. When I first started in sixth grade, I immediately wanted to quit because of how hard the practices were, and because of not getting free time when I got home each evening, but did I quit? NOPE! I still kept at it, and I’m glad I did.

I transferred from my old school to Montezuma Cortez High-School. There, I was in my freshman year, and was the only new kid. It was a struggle for me because the practices were harder than when I was in middle-school. Now, I’m in my sophomore year, and I’m still going. The sport has helped me through the pain that I felt in my legs, and calfs, and has also helped me boost my mental confidence just a bit. I’m still struggling with the mental part, as well as the physical part, but I hope to get stronger in my junior and senior years.

Today, at 6:00 a.m, I got up and went to school to catch the bus to a cross country meet in Mancos to run at Chicken Creek. The varsity girls ran at 11:15, so we had a lot of time to kill. Although we were having fun, our coach wanted us to keep our goals in the back of our minds so that we didn’t forget them, or if we hadn’t made any goals yet, to be thinking about what goals we had.

Soon, the time came for the varsity girls to run. It had rained very heavily when we were leaving for the meet, so the course was very muddy, and puddles littered around the course.

When the course gets muddy, our coaches don’t care about our times, just being safe, and our placements. Today, the coaches didn’t care about the times, just the placing, and being safe.

We were all waiting at the starting line. I tried to keep my breathing steady, and calm. The gun went off and that’s when all hell broke loose. The starting line wasn’t very big for about forty girls, but we all managed to squeeze in. By the time we got to the first half of the race, I had ended up at the end of the pack. This usually always happens to me, but I continued to push forward. I glanced at the girl behind me, and wished her good luck, and she did the same. I responded with a simple, ‘Thank you’, then continued up the hill. I tried to keep my shoulders down, and my arms to my side, but my mind seemed to be wandering a lot more than it usually does, and my mind went to the pain.

“Hey, take a break. This is your only chance to walk before coach, mom, dad, and Evan all see you.” My brain said to me. I shook my head to clear my thoughts, but that one thought kept coming back. I soon broke, and I had to walk. I walked up the hill, then when it got to a flat section, I started running again. I was angry at myself that I had walked when I knew that I had to keep running. The girl who was behind me, was now a long way a head of me, so I picked up my pace, ran through some mud and puddles, and kept going.

I had only had a half mile to go, so I kept at it. I imagined that my dog was running next to me, then I imagined my coach running next to me, then I started talking out loud to myself, imagining that he was talking.

“Don’t allow those demons to get into you head, Maya. Show them that you CAN run this, and you WILL run this. You’re almost there,” I could hear the shouts, cheering, and whistling of the finish line, telling other runners to sprint. “You hear that? They’re all cheering for you. Now lets go and show those demons that we CAN!” I whispered over my breath to myself, and I was soon sprinting at the every end, giving it all I had.

When everyone on my team finished, I was very disappointed in myself. Everyone on the team who had finished were gathering up to take pictures, so I joined them. Taking a picture or two made me forget about my disappointment. Instead of thinking about how I failed my team, family, and coaches, I thought about how much fun I have after every race, every practice, and I thought about how I am so happy to know that I haven’t quit yet. Every time someone says that cross country is track, I get mad, because I just don’t like track at all, and that reminds me that I like the sport, and have respect for it.

Treats for Peeps

Come one, come all!

Saturday October 7th, 9:00 a.m, Gigi Baxstrom, Annika Lewis, and Maya LaMunyon will be selling baked goods at the North Entrance of City Market starting at 9:00. The treats for all the peeps will include, Maya’s Great-Grandma’s peanut-butter cookie recipe, her dad’s favorite gingersnap cookie recipe, and some cranberry-orange biscotti, so bring your tea, or coffee, and the sugar and cream. Lots of people from the St. Barnabas Congregation will be hard at work baking this week. The girls can’t wait to see what treats they bring. If you missed the craft sale at St. Barnabas, then you’re in luck because there will be more crafts on Saturday, too.

Maya would like to thank everyone in the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church congregation who signed up to bake and offered to support their cause, it means a lot to the three girls. If you decide to skip breakfast on Saturday October 7th, stop by the North Entrance of City Market at 9:00 a.m for some tasty treats made by the St. Barnabas Congregation as well as the three girls.

Fundraising Craft Sale

Friday, September 15th was our first fundraising event for COYLI (Colorado Youth Leadership Initiative). The church was putting on a craft sale to raise money for for Grace’s Kitchen. Grace’s Kitchen serves meals three days a week to anyone in the community who needs a meal. We decided join them with our own table and sell the crafts we all worked so hard on. Gigi Baxstrom, and Annika Lewis, two very good friends of mine, sat up and ran our table for the night. I was very excited and nervous for the event, but I was mostly sad because I had a cross country meet in Durango that night, so I wasn’t able to be at the crafts sale.

I was excited to talk to them about how the event went. Gigi told me that a lot of people had bought most of the crafts, I was shocked, but I was also so happy and proud of us. We all put in so much effort. Gigi and Annika made time, even though they both had busy schedules, to sell our crafts. Gigi said that she was both excited and nervous, just like I was. I asked her how many people stopped by their table, both to look, and to buy. She said she estimated about twenty five to thirty people stopped by their table. That might not seem like a lot, but to us, that’s a great start, and hopefully that gets us closer to Haiti.

I asked her what she was most proud of during the craft sale. She said that she was very proud that they sold almost everything, and she was really happy that a lot of people liked the cards that she made, and were really sad when they sold out. I asked her if she would like to give a thank you, or a little shout out to the congregation. Gigi said, ‘I would like to say thank you for all your donations and support and thank you for just being there. I am really happy and proud to be part of such an amazing body of Christ.’ I would like to say thank you as well. I am so happy, and feel so blessed to be part of the St. Barnabas congregation. I am also happy to be a part of the community of Cortez, Colorado. 

Eclipse Experience

man watching eclipse

My family and I had driven ten hours to get to our scheduled spot for watching the eclipse. It took about an hour to get to partial, then another hour for totality. The moon was a black circle in the sky covering the sun, and the corona, the light around the moon. You would expect that it would be orange, but it wasn’t. It was crystal white.

Around the campground where we were watching the it happen, along with other people from Wyoming or around the world. On the horizon, all the way around, it seemed like a sun set. It was a brilliant light orange and red. The sky was jet black, like it would be at night, or close to night. Next to the moon and sun, you could see the planet Venus. It seemed like it lasted a lifetime, but in reality, it lasted only 2 minutes.

The mosquitoes, frogs, and crickets came out. The fire ants, which had been out while the moon was making its way across the sun, had disappeared into their hills, thinking it was night. Someone told my family and I that the ducks had gone to sleep, like the ants, thinking it was night time. When the moon went away, everything seemed to return to normal. The mosquitoes and other creatures that normally came out at night, left. The ants came out again, they didn’t seem the least bit confused about what was happening, but then again, we were all focused on cheering, whistling, and laughing, happy that we and others had gotten to witness a full eclipse.

After the eclipse had ended, my dad and I went to go and meet a man who was from Japan. He wore a shirt that said ‘I heart Eclipse’. I thought that was amazing, and cute. It was his fourth eclipse that he had seen, and he was traveling around the world tracking eclipses.

Although this may seem like it might not have anything to do with my COYLI experiences, it does. I have gotten to have two great experiences, seeing the eclipse, and meeting the man from Japan. I will have more amazing experiences in my life time, but for now, I am focusing on two more experiences that will hopefully change my life, as well as bring me closer to God. Going to Haiti, and going to Spain.

What is the Purpose of COYLI, and what are the obstacles?

The purpose of COYLI is to teach kids and young adults the meaning of leadership, as well as how to work as a team. The program is also about getting young adults closer to God, and overcoming your fears.

When we were at Cathedral Ridge, we had to do a high ropes course, also know as ‘The Tower’, as the people who worked there called it. I won’t put their names in unless I have their permission. We had yellow cords, that were attached to ‘Lobster Claws’, and they attached to the metal line that stretched all the way around The Tower. The first obstacle was three to four long, metal poles that were attached to two pieces of the metal line. One above, and one on the bottom. To get across, you had to move the, ‘Lobster Claws’, and grab onto the poles. My legs were shaking, and with the shaking, came the unsteadiness of the obstacle. The poles kept leaning from side to side, and I was scared that I would fall off. Everyone on the  ground kept telling me that the Lobster Claws would hold me, but that didn’t help my fear. I was about like, 50 ft off of the ground, maybe 100, for Pete’s sake! When I had gotten all the way across, I wanted to cry. I had almost cried when I was crossing the second obstacle which were three to four logs attached by the metal string, and only two had the metal string going through it, as things to hold onto. When I got to the platform where I would zip-line off, I wanted to cry. I was so happy to be okay, and to know that I could trust the people who built this structure.

Later on through the week, we had to do the leap of faith. The leap of faith was a telephone pole that was cut in the middle, giving a platform just big enough for your feet to stand on. Just about 3 or 4 feet away, was a large trapeze that you had to jump off of the telephone and catch. There were large staples that were put into the telephone pole, and a latter that that was attached by combat rope, tied by a firefighter. We had to put a harness on that wen across our chest, and a rope was attached to it. The rope was strong enough to hold at least 800 lb. Spotters were on the other side, waiting for you to jump. If you decided to jump, someone would lock the string, so you didn’t go straight down, and then they would unlock it, and gradually let you down slowly.

When I went up, I was already on the verge of crying, because I was scared. When I climbed up the latter, it moved, and I held on for dear life, but I kept on climbing. When I got to the top, tears were already falling, and, I let them fall. I wanted to get down, and so I called out,

“I think I want to get down.” I let go of the telephone pole, and when I got to to the ground, I cried my eyes out. I was very disappointed in myself for not jumping, but at least I had made it to the top. Still, to this day, I imagine myself jumping and trying to reach for the trapeze.

Sharing my Experiences

Cathedral RidgeAs I said in the ‘short’ bio, my name is Maya LaMunyon, and I am 16 years old. I wanted to share in more detail what my experience was at Cathedral Ridge. When I first got to Cathedral Ridge, my mom, and my best friend, also a participant, stayed up at the lodges that the counselors for the camp stayed at. My first thoughts were, oh this is going to be a benefit for me, I am going to be able to go to Haiti and Spain, haha, take that Evan! But, as the weeks progressed, I soon realized that this was not all just about me, it was about everyone. When the week came to an end, everyone was crying because they didn’t want to leave. I was crying as well. Being in this program, I feel like I have gotten stronger both physically, emotionally, and mentally. We had to overcome our different fears. Some were the same, others were different. And when someone was down, or sad, everyone in the group helped them to get through it, they never left anyone alone, or struggling by themselves. With the second year on the rise, I hope to spread my experiences with the world, and I hope to bring the leadership that I learned to Haiti, and to the Camino de Santiago trail. We will add a link to Facebook so that everyone will know when we post something new, and we will add a link to a website where you can give donations for our cause if you wish to.

Welcome to Our New Blog

Maya LaMunyonMy name is Maya LaMunyon and I am one of ten teens who were chosen for COYLI and one of the three girls from Cortez, Colorado that were chosen.

This blog is a site where readers can, well, read about our experiences during COYLI. There will be two more who will be writing on this blog, and their names are Annika Lewis and Gigi Baxstrom. They are the two others that got chosen for the program.

Soon, this blog will be connected to Facebook, where everyone will know when a new post is up, you all will not be kept waiting. I look forward to seeing how many people decide to help us fundraise.

I will try to post pictures, and Gigi and Annika will write some about their experiences when they get the time.

For now, please think about helping us in our fundraising for us to go to Haiti where we will help kids in a school. We will also go to Spain, where we will walk the Camino De Santiago.