27 YAmanik Pablo y Abelino Chub, tinaja de reconocimiento a Bernardo Caal Guardián del agua

Stay in the territory

Maiz de Vida

Water is a living being that gives life and its life depends on its relationship with; hills, mountains, forests, trees, soil, rocks, fungi and all the organisms that make up the biodiversity of the planet. Without all these other beings there would be no water springs, rivers or lakes; nor would the oceans and all the life that inhabits them be possible.

The proposed economic model and its extractive dynamics are destroying the life of water. This resource of the planet is at risk, water pollution is accelerated when it coincides in the territories with the presence of mining, planting of monocultures (oil palm, sugar cane, coffee and banana) including the garbage produced by industries.

Many communities have been blocked access to water for energy production, even privatized for industrial purposes.  Thousands of people in the territories and urban areas suffer for not having access to the vital liquid, this has caused migration; they have had to leave, but the cities continue to grow. Deforestation is increasing and at the same time there is a greater need for access to water, which is no longer sufficient and daily access has been reduced to just a few people.

As peoples we want to remain in the territory to live with dignity, to reclaim our identity and the relationship of our bodies with the water and the territory, that is, to be aware that in our living memory, we are a mirror of mother earth and we can only live in fullness when our well-being is reflected in it. We want to inhabit it in harmony, and live in connection with it!

For all of this, we call once again to the four peoples; the Mayan, Xinca, Garifuna and Mestizo people, to their ancestral and conscience authorities, so that together we can continue braiding our paths, and thus, improve our collective capacity to confront those who are accelerating the destruction of our territories. We must not be complicit in what is happening. We must strengthen our organization to resist in defense of our territories and our right to have a living relationship with water.

Maíz de Vida is an association that seeks to contribute to the regeneration of the web of life, with particular emphasis on water, land, cultural wealth and the knowledge of the people.

In 2021, the Maíz de Vida Association in articulation with several organizations and communities, held for the first time the Community Water Freedom Festival, with the aim of contributing to change the narrative about water, breaking with the ideas that have led us to see it as a resource and retaking our ability to see it as a living being, which deserves to be protected.

In 2022 the ancestral authorities of several peoples and nations, representatives of different collectives and organizations, defenders from different territories of Guatemala, will meet in the capital city to unite struggles, voices and experiences in the great Plurinational Summit for Water Freedom.

This March 22 and 23, 2023 we organize the II Plurinational Meeting for Water Freedom, to gather from all cardinal points, from the hills, mountains, forests and springs to commemorate water, to vindicate its condition as a living being and to discuss strategies for its conservation, care and defense. Staying in the territory to live with dignity.

“We did not put our ideas together, but our purposes. And we agreed, then we decided.” Popol Vuh.

Valeria Leiva, ecologist, photographer and communicator of maize of life.