“You can’t keep taking from the Earth this way. You cannot exploit her and take more than you need. We know this,” she said with a tone of disbelief in her voice that I knew only too well.
“Picture this,” she said,”let’s say that I have 40 chickens. I am not going to kill all the 40 chickens the next day to sell and eat, because that money will run out and we will have no food. No, I would kill one or two chickens for my family to eat and let the chickens reproduce and grow. This way we will always have what we need and there will always be more.”
The Indigenous Guatemalan people that we had met with are story tellers. There is a small story or parable attached to many of their concerns surrounding the unconsented to mining within their territories. In some cases, mining right at the edge of their town, or where their community used to be. My other favourite was the use of the comparison of the
cat who fights to protect its young with fierceness and the Guatemalan women, whose work as primarily within the household, rising to speak out against mining, and defending the mother earth. They do this for their children. They do it because they know what is right and what is wrong.
Perhaps it was summed up perfectly in San Marcos by a farmer involved in the movement when he said that “the land is a part of us, a part of our daily lives, a part of our spirituality, it is so much a part of them that as I speak, it is the Earth speaking”.
I will write more on my Guatemalan experiences and of the voices that I heard and promised to carry, keep a look out.