Representatives of Indigenous People gather at the IXIMCHÉ Archaeological Site
An encounter based on the respect for Mother Earth, was held on July 7, 2016, at the Iximché - Tecpan Archaeological Site and Ceremonial Center at the Chimaltenango municipality department, in Guatemala, epresentatives of indigenous people from around the country gathered in response to the invitation made by the Global of Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP) to continue with the meetings framed within the International Program "Children of Mother Earth".
The encounter began with the participation of leaders of indigenous communities; including Mr. Mario Rosales, sheriff of the Communal Mayors of San Juan Comalapa, Chimaltenango; Mr. Justo Rufino Gutiérrez López, a member of the National Council of Indigenous People of the Pacific, northern center of Nicaragua; Mr. Jeremiah Alvarez, president of the 48 counties of the department of Totonicapan; and representatives of the Government of the department of Chimaltenango.
Dr. William Soto Santiago, executive director of the GEAP, welcomed the representatives of indigenous people and thanked them for accepting the invitation to the National Encounter "Children of Mother Earth."
"We will be listening to their proposals to write them and arrange them in documents that will be brought to governments and organizations that have the power to put them in public policies, especially in these times of environmental crisis, in which we must all be part of the protection of Mother Earth. Also, with your permission, this ancestral knowledge will be part of an educational project where children, youths and adults will learn about your valuable suggestions, and above all, they will begin to practice them."
The dynamic of the encounter was presented by Mrs. Gabriela Lara, general director of the GEAP, who indicated the themes to be developed in the seven workshops: 1-Proposals for the conservation and restoration of water sources. 2- Proposals for the conservation and restoration of the land. 3- Proposals to counter the effects of climate change. 4-Proposals for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. 5-Proposals for the rescue and dissemination of cultural and musical values of our ancestral people. 6-Proposals from women of our native people for the protection and restoration of Mother Earth. 7-Proposals from the native people to achieve integral peace and happiness of the Children of Mother Earth.
The workshops developed at each table was attended by activists of the International Program.
The atmosphere was inspiring a harmonious encounter between the Children of Mother Earth in a context of nature, culture and ancestral customs; indigenous communities shared the richness of their traditions in music and dance.
Participants in the workshops drafted and made contributions and presented these proposals to the GEAP.
Some of the topics mentioned were:
- Inform and educate future generations on the importance of plants and natural resources as a foundation for food and healing (...)
- Involve parents to teach their children about the importance of ancestral culture; to create educational programs that preserve the ancient culture of the native people in Guatemala.
- To achieve integral peace and happiness: respect, good harvests, and equal justice (...) are necessary.
To conclude, Mrs. Gabriela Lara emphasized on the willingness and responsibility to present these proposals to international organizations, and ensure that these are realized and made a reality, that are reflected in actions; thus, she called for continued support, cooperation and commitment of indigenous communities.