Strengthening the Solidarity Association for Proposals and Action in Petén (Guatemala)

Strengthening the Solidarity Association for Proposals and Action in Petén (Guatemala)

Strengthening ASAPP (Association Solidaire d’Action et Proposition de Petén) in terms of food security, nutrition and health, environmental conservation, organisation and economic solidarity.

The conquest and permanent submission of the Itza people since 1967, and the loss of their institutions and traditional forms of organisation, have violated all their natural resource rights and have directly led to a loss of control over their land, their forests and their biodiversity. This has resulted in the degradation and disappearance of much of these assets. The modernisation that comes with conquest, and all its subsequent forms, have meant that the Itza have lost their values of solidarity, and respect for and love of nature, and these things have been replaced by purely monetary values.

However, some of them have retained their will to regain these values and knowledge in order to contribute to building a better future for the children and young people of their community. The objective is not to reproduce the old ways of life, this is impossible. It is more about rediscovering them so that they can be used as tools to construct an economy, a society and a way of life based on solidarity. This initiative would join with thousands of similar efforts which are developing all around the world.

The principal intended result, is to contribute to recovering and fortifying the knowledge and cultural traditions of the Itza by strengthening the processes of economic solidarity. This will be backed by the impetus of the ASAPP, and will have the following results:

  1. a demonstration area to show Itza agricultural methods in San José, and ten family gardens established at the houses of ASAPP associates,
  2. six workshops facilitated by ASAPP associates:
    1. Agro-ecology as an instrument of economic solidarity,
    2. Creole seed collections and reproduction,
    3. The nutritional value of Itza food in a child’s diet,
    4. The importance of medicinal plants,
    5. Responsible consumption,
    6. The importance of Community Conserved Areas in the food and health of members of the community,
  3. mapping of the Community Conserved Areas in the north of Petén as the ASAPP’s contribution to the work of ICCAs in Mesoamerica. This will highlight the importance of these areas for communities and will support the Itza community in controlling the Bio-Itza in a more communal manner, and in contributing more and more to the processes of the ICCA Consortium.
  4. two spaces for ecological and social exchange (EISE) in San José and San Andrés, and limited support, to the extent that members deem necessary, for the communal credit and savings bank.

This project is considered to be a pilot project that will result not only in the strengthening of solidarity among ASAPP members, but also in the strengthening of relations between members of the Itza community and other farmers in Petén. The project will be administered and run by the members of the community themselves, with an integral vision of socio-economic and cultural change for a better world.