Support Food Sovereignty and Survival Strategies for Ch'orti' Indigenous People in Guatemala

Apoya a la Soberania Alimenticia y Estrategies de Sobreviviencia para Comunidades Indigenas Ch'orti' en Guatemala

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Story

Hurricane ETA and IOTA Relief Update:

Many communities have been gravely impacted by the passing of hurricanes Eta and Eota and are currently leading mutual aid efforts by feeding their communities fish and attempting to recuperate from the floods and what was left of their crops. Communication has also been limited which has made efforts slower.

Watch video update from our friends at Comundich:

Ch'orti' Survival Strategies:

English:

In February of 2020, Elodia Castillo Vasquez , Maya Ch'orti' Indigenous authority, along with Indigenous Maya Kaqchikel photojournalist, Roderico Y. Diaz, visited Seminole occupied territory/ Central FL as part of the winter speakers tour organized by Witness for Peace Southeast representing their Maya communities located in Eastern Guatemala. People from the Black and Brown diasporas, Black former farmworkers, labor, food sovereignty, and queer organizations, as well as our white allies got together to receive them; We learned about the stories of genocide in Guatemala, their work as land, water, and culture defenders, they planted seeds of international solidarity through their testimonies and helped us see the connections between the situations of oppression that Indigenous and Black people share all over the world and the racist and harmful policies of the US which has brought about control of Indigenous territories, extraction of natural resources and human labor working hand in hand with unjust and corrupt governments in Latin America. 

Elodia who is the first woman to be elected as an Indigenous authority in her community inspired our local movement by her actions and leadership which includes recovery of ancestral territories while under the threats of local and US militarized zones while also being president of (COMUNDICH)--an Indigenous rights organization that is in support of 48 Indigenous communities. Soon we saw our mutuality and saw this visit as the beginning of long term relationships and policies that go beyond borders which are crucial for sovereignty and the preservation of Indigenous communities who are already facing the impacts and threats of injustices of oppressive governments, human rights violations, Covid-19, Climate Change, and poverty.

We understand our responsibility and take action to support the liberation of Indigenous and Black communities, including those in the Global South. We recognize we live in the belly of the beast, but we also know that a beast can be attacked from its belly. We believe that we must unite across borders for the liberation of peoples from all forms of colonialism, imperialism, cis-hetero patriarchy, and white supremacy, capitalism to create a new vision and systems of care.

As the Ch’orti’ community continues to build and strengthen strategies of survival that include chicken farms, bakeries, community gardens and sacred ways of sustaining life, we join their cause and unite to protect people and the plant.

Would you support Elodia and her community in ensuring Indigenous ways of resiliency?

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Español:

En febrero de 2020, Elodia Castillo Vasquez, autoridad indígena Maya Ch'orti ', junto con el fotoperiodista indígena Maya Kaqchikel, Roderico Y. Díaz, visitaron el territorio ocupado por Seminole / Central FL como parte de la gira de oradores de invierno organizada por Witness for Peace Southeast en representación de sus comunidades mayas ubicadas en el este de Guatemala. Personas de las diásporas negras y marrones, ex trabajadores agrícolas negros, trabajo, soberanía alimentaria y organizaciones queer, así como nuestros aliados blancos se unieron para recibirlos; Aprendimos sobre las historias de genocidio en Guatemala, su trabajo como defensores de la tierra, el agua y la cultura, ellos plantaron semillas de solidaridad internacional a través de sus testimonios y nos ayudaron a ver las conexiones entre las situaciones de opresión que los pueblos indígenas y negros comparten en todo el país. mundo y las políticas racistas y dañinas de Estados Unidos que ha traído consigo el control de territorios indígenas, la extracción de recursos naturales y el trabajo humano de la mano de gobiernos injustos y corruptos en América Latina.

Elodia, quien es la primera mujer en ser elegida como autoridad indígena en su comunidad, inspiró nuestro movimiento local por sus acciones y liderazgo, que incluye la recuperación de territorios ancestrales mientras se encuentra bajo las amenazas de zonas militarizadas locales y estadounidenses y, al mismo tiempo, es presidenta de (COMUNDICH) - -una organización de derechos indígenas que apoya a 48 comunidades indígenas. Pronto vimos nuestra reciprocidad y vimos esta visita como el comienzo de relaciones y políticas a largo plazo que van más allá de las fronteras que son cruciales para la soberanía y la preservación de las comunidades indígenas que ya enfrentan los impactos y amenazas de injusticias de gobiernos opresores, violaciones de derechos humanos. , Covid-19, Cambio climático y pobreza.

Entendemos nuestra responsabilidad y tomamos medidas para apoyar la liberación de las comunidades indígenas y negras, incluidas las del Sur Global. Reconocemos que vivimos en el vientre de la bestia, pero también sabemos que una bestia puede ser atacada desde su vientre. Creemos que debemos unirnos más allá de las fronteras para la liberación de los pueblos de todas las formas de colonialismo, imperialismo, patriarcado cis-hetero y supremacía blanca, capitalismo para crear una nueva visión y sistemas de cuidado.

A medida que la comunidad Ch’orti ’continúa construyendo y fortaleciendo estrategias de supervivencia que incluyen granjas de pollos, panaderías, huertos comunitarios y formas sagradas de sustentar la vida, nos unimos a su causa y nos unimos para proteger a las personas y la planta.

¿Apoyaría a Elodia y su comunidad para garantizar formas indígenas de resiliencia?


Here are their strategies of survival we are looking to support/

Estrategies de sobrevivencia las cuales queremos apoyar 

Broiler Chicken Farms: Broiler chicken farms are located in Indigenous territories, served by families who have been trained in Phytosanitary techniques. We seek to continue this strategy, we require support to strengthen production and commerce of our products, primarily we seek for families to be able to face food insecurity and the current pandemic crisis of COVID-19. The future is very uncertain. 

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Community Bakery in Times of Pandemic/ Ch’orti Indigenous Women-Led Economic Initiatives: Community bakeries are productive economic initiatives led by Ch’orti’ Indigenous women who have recovered ancestral knowledge in the making of artisan breads. Financial support is needed to be able to be able to carry out their activities and support the communities in times of food crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has furthered complicated life for Indigenous families, both health and financially, it has been women the most impacted. 

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Beans and Corn, Our Origin and Survival Alternatives: We are the daughters and sons of the same history, man and women of corn. This is an ancestral legacy and the roots of our grandmothers and grandfathers. We fight to survive and mother earth brings us sustenance. Today, in times of a food crisis and the pandemic, to sow and harvest is one major challenge, the prolonged droughts and climate change forces us into survival. The Guatemalan State and government do little to nothing to support the Ch’orti’ people and to stay home is to condemn our sons and daughters to suicide, we live on mother earth and she will provide. 

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Herbs and Medicinal Plants :The production of herbs allows us to diversify and optimize the use of land, with native products and others that are adaptable to the environment. Family gardens have been a strategy to cope with food shortages, it also allows us to diversify our diets to make it nutritional.  As Ch’orti’ Indigenous peoples in a territory with high levels of poverty and extreme poverty, to produce our own foods using our own ways and customs, is a way to survive the current crisis that Coronavirus-19 is having on us.

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Water in the Dry Corridor in Times of the Pandemic : As Indigenous communities we strive to optimize the collective and use of water and give it multiple purposes. Water reservoirs is a strategy to use water for domestic purposes such as production of herbs and basic grains. The call is to support our strategy for new reservoirs and strengthen the existing ones. We hope to be able to face the crisis exacerbated by the pandemic and recurring periods of food shortages and the impacts of climate change. 

COMUNDICH is an organization at the service of Ch'orti' Indigenous people whose political thinking is nourished by the principles sustained in the promotion and defense of human rights and the rights of Indigenous peoples who are and will always be our greatest inspirations.

Follow COMUNDICH on social media:

@comundichgt en Facebook

@Comundich en Instagram y Twitter

[email protected]

Website comundich.org

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