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The Mayan indigenous peoples are characterized by living in harmony with the environment. This is demonstrated by some of their ancestral agricultural techniques or their community ways of managing resources. These practices are not only environmentally sustainable, but also invite us to question the Western development model and rethink new ways of living. This framework of diversity and harmony with nature is known as Sumak Kawsay or Buen Vivir, and indigenous peoples consider it as an opportunity to maintain their traditions, building a future for their communities.
In tune with this paradigm, this research has the general objective of analyzing, systematizing and valuing the technologies used by rural Mayan communities in Guatemala. For the analysis, the framework of Buen Vivir is used, an approach that allows us to interpret and achieve the following specific objectives: 1) identify to what extent the technologies and processes developed by the Mayan rural communities studied incorporate the worldview of Buen Vivir; 2) understand how the so-called appropriate technologies can help the autonomy of people and the communities in which they live; 3) value the technologies, processes and knowledge generated from the rural Mayan communities of Guatemala; and 4) systematize, disseminate and share the experiences of the cases studied, so that they can be made known and inspired by other communities.
The type of study is qualitative, and the main methodological strategy is the comparative case study. Specifically, we work with two cases: 1) the indigenous communities of San Ildefonso Ixtahuacán (Huehuetenango) through the Training Association for Integral Development (AFOPADI) and its counterpart in Spain Arquitectura Sin Fronteras Levante (ASF); and 2) the Ixil communities of Nebaj (El Quiché) through the Kulbaalib Xe Chulub Center (CEKUXÉ) and its counterpart in Spain Associació de Solidaritat Perifèries del Món (Perifèries).