Fighting against cornleaf dolls and mining companies
In Copán Ruinas everybody comes to see the ancient Maya ruins. But are the Mayans in this area really something of the past? Being Maya Ch’ort’i certainly appears to be a complicated issue in this area. While most Ch’ort’i are marginalized and ashamed of their roots, their name and identity has been co-opted and their culture became an exhibition. But other Ch’ort’i do not sit back idly. Theirs is a struggle to recover their culture, and their land. In a battle against a planned mining project the assertion of Ch’ort’i identity suddenly became a tool. Maybe this new pride in a Ch’ort’i identity will solidify their claim to land. (read more)
Trouble in Paradise. Looking for treasures in the land of the Maya
In Copán Ruinas, a paradise for tourists and famous for its Maya ruins, locals were surprised by the approval of mining concessions to look gold. United they hope they can stop this project. (read more)
Divide and rule in the land of gold
In San Miguel Ixtahaucán, Guatemala, the Mina Marlin gold mine, operated by Goldcorp, has divided indigenous communities through gifts, benefits, and violence. The mine has caused a lot of damage. It has not only had a profound impact on the environment but also on the social cohesion of communities and families in the area, and on their cultural ties with the land. (read more)
Living on the edge of the abyss
Independent from the Occupy Movement in North-America and Europe, a movement of slum dwellers in Guatemala is occupying the street in front of Congress. They are protesting against the living conditions in the slums and a disfunctional housing policy. To change their situation they not only occupied Congress but made a bill and eventually started a hunger strike. (read article)
!! This land is ours !!
A tale of land theft through violence and law
“This land is ours! It does not belong to the State. It is ours, as indigenous people!” says 20 year old Guatemalan Lorena Sanchez when on the 3rd of May 2011 a state representative from Fondo de Tierras, an institution supposedly regulating access to land, arrived in Tzalbal to tell its people they are living on state property… (read article)
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