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Indigenous Community Leaders Belize-Guatemala Meet Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 18 June 2015 00:00

Following a reunion held in Punta Gorda among Indigenous Community leaders from Belize and Guatemala on the 20th of March, a three day trip was made to Peten by Maya Q’eqchi leaders of Belize. The leaders of indigenous communities from Southern Peten and Southern Belize shared their ideas, and vision on how to unite efforts and promote local participation that addresses the environmental, social and economic problems of their communities situated along the Belize-Guatemala border.  

The event started on the 5th of June in Poptun, Peten with a Maya ceremony which ended on the 6th of June (Kahib Noj) asking the Creator to illuminate the minds of the indigenous leaders. The representatives of the indigenous communities developed a draft Declaration with requests and recommendations so that more attention is paid to the communities located near the border by their Governments, which can help reduce the level of incursions that is affecting the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains and prevent incidents that can cause much pain and suffering. Once reviewed and finalized, the Declaration, whose contents is based on matters related to Territory, Natural Resources and Ancestral Knowledge, it will be presented to the Governments of Belize and Guatemala.

Along Belize’s western border there are several indigenous communities on the southern part of Belize and likewise across Belize’s border in Guatemala there are several communities that are composed of Maya Q’eqchi and Maya Mopan. On both sides of the border, indigenous communities are located inside or near the protected area block known as the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains. The reunion, therefore, was directed at issues that affect them, and how they can live in harmony with each other and with their natural environment. 

Participating institutions were COACAP, Aj Ral Chooch, Casa de la Esperanza, Comunidad Lingüística Maya Q’eqchi, Comunidad Lingüística Maya Mopan, Toledo Alcalde Association, Commonwealth of Communities of South Peten, National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP), Asociacion Balam and FCD. Press coverage was provided by Pinovision, Notisurp, Blog Al Ral Chooch, Radio Utan Kaj, Prensa Libre, Radio Nacional Tikal and Radio Felicidad.