We are delighted to be able to say Pure Events Solutions are going to become a regular patron of Project Ixcanaan.
What is Project Ixcanaan?
Guatemala’s mid to recent history has seen the country torn apart during decades of civil war, ending only one generation ago, and large-scale devastation wrought by natural disasters. Parents and grandparents grew up during times of civil crisis and martial law; families were destroyed through violence, illness and starvation. A great many families – sometimes entire villages – were forced to abandon their homes, fleeing to take up desperately hard nomadic lives in the rainforests or even cross borders for the relative safety of another country. With such difficult lives, children growing up during this time often had no access to education and families no access to healthcare. Since the civil war ended in 1996, the country has become more peaceful and increasingly more stable, giving the beginnings of opportunity for basic education and healthcare to become re-established, but even 20 years on there is still much progress to be made.
The people of Guatemala, recently divided by war, are still divided by culture. Mayan communities, where traditional culture is still strong, are generally rural and often lacking in basic needs. In El Remate, as with elsewhere in Guatemala, the lives of the older generations have been very negatively affected by instability in former years; illiteracy rates are high and knowledge of health, nutrition and human rights is low.
As has been traditional, families in the region are able to make incomes from the rainforests surrounding them. Beyond this, their lives are so intertwined in the rainforests that life would not be possible without them; family businesses, state-funded community farms, communal-living villages, the Mayan temple national parks and wildlife reserves (which provide huge employment opportunities for local people) are all utterly dependant on the jungles. Threats to the rainforests are abundant, from foreign criminal gangs buying up vast swathes of land to cut down the trees and build farms for money-laundering purposes to illegal logging by international companies.
Project Ix-canaan exists to enable and empower the local Mayan community to protect and save their own rainforests. Arriving on the scene in 1995, one year before the end of the civil war, Project Founder Anne Lossing dedicated years to establishing meaningful relationships with everyone in the local community, working in collaboration with regional organizations and with funding from kind and dedicated donors both local and international.
Year by year, Project Ix-canaan develops in new ways, working with everyone in the local community, from young children and doting grandparents to the town mayor and business leaders. The medical clinic is a staple to the village, as are the dental clinic, women’s center and brand new child development center. The women’s center gives local women the chance to work together in their own space, away from the home, socializing and learning new crafts and business skills. The child development center is an integral addition to the project, giving the region’s girls and boys, who often work in the family business from a young age, the much-needed space to just be children; to learn, to study, and to relax and have fun together in a safe and nurturing space. The medical and dental clinics have been providing safe and effective healing for illnesses and minor injuries for over two decades.
We’ll be updating you on our involvement and adding more information in the very near future.