Another important aspect of the life of the Embera is their comprehensive knowledge of botanical medicine. Strolling through the village area called “Traditional Path”, one of the herbalists in the community explained to participants their reliance on plants for medical use. “Yerba pasmo” taken in the form of tea is used for colds and rheumatic pains. “Coral” will alleviate headaches and “Uña de Gato” is processed as a vitamin. Captivated by this tradition, one of the participants concluded that “nature is a vital part of our lives and we have the obligation to protect and sustain our rich environment.”
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Guatemala is the heart of the Maya world, located south of Mexico and has been long known for its ancient Mayan ruins, dramatic volcanoes, and plethora of delicious tropical fruits. Underneath its beautiful surface, however, a civil war raged for 36 years between the government and guerrilla groups over securing the rights for the indigenous people (Mayan people) who make up more than half of population. The amount of violence and abuse directed towards women of Guatemala during the last few decades is immeasurable.
The group was hosted by women’s group Asociacion Mujer Vamos Adelante (AMVA – Association of Women Moving Forward). AMVA is a growing collective of indigenous local women, together working to elevate their place within Guatemalan society.
This process often begins teaching women what their actual rights are, and the importance of education – eventually also aiming to encourage more women to become involved in politics.
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