guatemala indigenous

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In a country where about 40 percent of people self identify as indigenous, the National Indigenous Queen of Guatemala contest carries great prestige. In contrast to mainstream beauty pageants, the contestants for the Rabin Ajaw title, aged 14 to 26, have to demonstrate proficiency in their native language, Mayan traditions and worldview; awareness about mining and other threats to Mayan livelihood and resources; a nuanced view of gender roles; and leadership in their community.

The 19th century style Afghani wooden box camera used by the photographer meant that the women had to sit still for several minutes gazing into the camera, enabling a depth of engagement rarely achieved with today’s hectic technology.

Photographer: Rodrigo Abd

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Minoritized languages moodboard: Kaqchikel

The Kaqchikel or Kaqchiquel language is a Mayan language spoken by the indigenous Kaqchikel people in central Guatemala.
This language is now taught in public schools through Guatemala’s intercultural bilingual education programmes.

For @gatosymochilos

Watch on messoamerica.tumblr.com

AJ+: The bones of tens of thousands of indigenous Maya murdered by Guatemala’s military in the ‘80s are being exhumed.

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500 Years Trailer - A story of resistance by the Maya people in Guatemala

A Very Long Line, Postcommodity’s video installation on view in the 2017 Biennial, focuses on the border between the United States and Mexico, an emotionally and politically charged site that has become even more contentious through the 2016 election and the beginning of the current presidential administration. Filmed from the window of a car, the installation is designed to disorient, with spinning video projections and out-of-sync audio evoking “genesis amnesia,” or the condition of forgetting one’s own origins. In this case, what has been forgotten—primarily by citizens of the U.S.—is the Indigenous status of peoples from the Western Hemisphere, including immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala, and the Indigenous trade and migration routes that have crisscrossed what is now the border since before European colonization.

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Midwifery Program Trains the Next Generation of Guatemalan Providers

Corazón del Agua and Galileo University, both Planned Parenthood Global partners in Guatemala, are training the next generation of local midwives! They have just launched the second phase of their “Professional Midwifery Program,” a program focusing on delivering health care to indigenous women in culturally appropriate ways.

Our friends at Every Mother Counts have produced a series of pictures of the staff and students of the program. Click here to check them out and learn more!


“Would you like to study midwifery? This is your opportunity! The Corazón del Agua Association and the Galileo University are running their second ‘Professional Midwifery Program with an Intercultural Focus.’”


Dr. Linda Valencia is a program officer with Planned Parenthood Global in Guatemala and one of the trainers of the Professional Midwifery Program.