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Books by Jan Capps

  • Bird’s Eye View: A Tapestry of Maya Mythology, Motherhood, and Making Life Anew

    When Jan Moves to Guatemala with her young daughter to run a medical clinic on the heels of her divorce, she knows the experience will be difficult and life-changing. But she doesn’t anticipate all the ways she will change.


    To make sense of her professional, personal, and parenting turmoil in a country with plenty of its own turmoil, Jan finds herself adopting a Maya worldview that weaves together concepts of duality (there can be no light without dark, no joy without pain), harmony with nature, and the importance of connecting to the past to understand one’s present self.


    Awash with elements of Maya mythology, history, and culture and innumerable revelations of the compassion, intelligence, and resilience of the Guatemalan people, Bird’s-Eye View is a coming-of-middle-age story that shows how viewing life through the prism of a different set of myths can help an individual understand the familiar tales they have unwittingly followed.

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Jan Capps has been a public health advocate for immigrants, farmworkers, domestic violence victims, and people of color in the US, Guatemala, and Mexico for over thirty years, focusing on building local capacity and health equity. During her two stints living in Guatemala, she organized and trained community health workers and midwives, managed a medical clinic, and studied the Maya Tz’utujil language. She has presented, trained, and written for national audiences. Her greatest joy and most humbling experiences have been being a mother and watching her glorious daughter grow and launch into the world. Jan splits her time between Seattle, Washington, and North Carolina.

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