More Than Words - History of Totonicapan in Pictures
By Lee Shane | Communications Officer
A page from the new artbook: Sabiduria de los Roco
We are pleased to announce the release of "Sabiduría de los Rocosos," an artbook of stories and pictures created by the Quiché children of Totonicapán, Guatemala. Guided by ArtCorps Fellow Isabel Carrio, the children interviewed their grandparents for traditional stories about Mayan cosmology, history and culture and then created illustrations using a variety of media including drawing and painting, printmaking and collage incorporating natural objects like leaves, flowers, sticks and sheep’s wool into many of the pictures.
EcoLogic has collaborated with local partner, the 48 Cantons of Totonicapán, a traditional Maya-Quiché governing body, since 2003 helping to restore and protect the old-growth forest and other natural resources. One way to do this is help the Quiché record and preserve the history of their traditional practices and teach those to the next generation. "Sabiduría de los Rocosos," which loosely translates as "Wisdom of the Rocky Hillsides," provided a way to connect families to that history in a personal way. The stories highlight the importance of traditional forest resource management and the interconnection between the Maya-Quiché's livelihood and the environment.
This book is the result of our partnership with ArtCorps. Since 2009, ArtCorps fellows have served at select EcoLogic project sites, using art and personal expression activities to engage people of all ages in environmental and social justice initiatives. Moving forward, EcoLogic and ArtCorps hope to raise funds to publish hard copies of Los Rocosos and also create an English version. In the new year we will post a full version of the book on our website—stay tuned!
Planting the seeds of change in the next generation
By Rebecca Oliver | Program Officer
Reforesting with students in Totonicapan
EcoLogic's reforestation project in Totonicapán Forest, Guatemala takes into account the land, the community and, in particular, the next generation that will eventually be the stewards on the ancient land. EcoLogic's partner, ArtCorps is a nonprofit that focuses on the arts as a way to educate and foster environmental conservation. Together we have been able to engage the youth in the area and promote the protection of the forest that has been called home by their families for generations.
Narrated by children, the video below, “Story of Youth Leaders in Conservation” follows the creative learning process as they are introduced to technology and art and develop leadership. Through this cross-generational project, traditional conservation stories and practices from community elders are documented and retold by middle school students.
Forest collage created by 48 Cantones Youth Leader
EcoLogic is working with community members to not only reforest the centuries-old Totonicapán forest, but to prevent deforestation in the future. As part of the project, EcoLogic, along with local partners, recently launched “Green Week” in coordination with non-profit, ArtCorps that uses art to strengthen understanding of culture and environmental conservation.
Traditional Mayan ceremonies, recycling contests, music, poetry, and puppet plays were all part of the week-long drive to promote ecological traditional memory through the arts and the preservation of the forest. Also, local artists and community organizations sponsored drawing and poetry contests aimed to show children the importance of conservation. All these activities were communicated to the communities through television and radio programs.
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