This past Saturday IMAP participated in San Lucas’s celebration of the Oxlajuj B’ak’tun. This celebration of the beginning of a new cycle was composed of a Mayan ball tournament, discourses on environmental themes and the meaning of the Oxlajuj B’ak’tun, musical performances ranging from classic marimba to Tzutujil Hip-Hop, and a theatrical performance by the group Sotz’il. During this day long event IMAP hosted a table to kick off our new Seed Guardian Campaign.
IMAP’s leader, Ronaldo Lec, gave a speech on the importance of native and criolla seed varieties and the need to protect farmers’ rights to save seeds. Native and criolla seeds represent years of observation, calculation, and labor. They are a precious inheritance from our ancestors and the cornerstone for agricultural biodiversity and food sovereignty. Volunteers and team members gave out 12 varieties of seeds to 167 participants from 9 different communities, in San Lucas’s main square. Women and children showed special interest in planting seeds of their own and becoming “seed guardians”. Peanuts and strawberries were popular as well as two local varieties of herbs, chipilín and hierbamora.
Our Seed Guardian Campaign will be supported by three entities: seed producers, seed guardians, and their sponsors. Seed producers are local farmers dedicated to the production, maintenance, improvement, and diffusion of native and criolla seeds. Seed guardians are individuals who may not be able to produce seeds on a widespread scale, but who take an active role in the conservation of these valued seed varieties. Sponsors are the individuals who will make it financially possible for our guardians and producers to start their seed production. More information on our campaign is soon to come. Keep checking back on our page to see how you can become a seed guardian by sponsoring a local producer.