By Alexa Piacenza | Program Associate for Development & Communications
Volcano Santa Maria. Photo by Julian Moll-Rocek
EcoLogic is proud to announce that our former intern, Julian Moll-Rocek, and his brother Thomas have released a documentary: 48 Cantones: The Mayan Forest. This enlightening filmexplores the Mayan Cosmovision and tells the story of EcoLogic’s partner, Los 48 Cantones. It serves as a reminder of humanity’s diverse cultural heritage, and offers hope that the world can find a balance with nature. Please take the time to behold this beautiful and revealing documentary here: “48 Cantones: The Mayan Forest,”
The community forest in Guatemala contains 21,000 hectares of old growth pine and has been carefully preserved by the indigenous Maya Q’uiché government known as the 48 Cantones. This organization relies on each community members serving one year of unpaid service including road maintenance, acting as local mayors, and regular patrols through the forest to prevent over-exploitation.
Water committees of community members are dedicated to building and maintaining water catchment systems that channel the precious resource directly to their homes. The 48 Cantones are in constant tension with the local municipal government, which contests their rights to the forest, pushing to privatize the water supply. Yet, in the eyes of the local population there is only one source of legitimate authority: the 48 Cantones, who ensure the continued supply of their sacred water.
The documentary offers a lesson of the fortune of the commons: a community united through their shared efforts to protect their common resources.
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