BENEFITING: Nourish International
Nourish International wrote -
Chapter: University of Pittsburgh
Partner Organization: Maya Traditions Foundation
The University of Pittsburgh chapter is returning to Guatemala for a second year of partnership with Maya Traditions to build medicinal herbal gardens in three new communities in the Lake Atitlán region to promote a sustainable way of preserving Mayan medicine.
We believe that affordable health care is every person’s right. The herb garden and the Mayan healers that work with Maya Traditions help to bring greater access to traditional health services to the Lake Atitlán region while supporting economic growth and empowering women artisans.
We will be continuing our two-year partnership with the non-profit organization Maya Traditions, which is dedicated to improving the lives of Mayan communities through educational, health, and entrepreneurial initiatives. This year’s project will focus on expanding the main Mayan medicinal herb garden in Panajachel into other communities in the Lake Atitlán region. Student interns will work directly with the members of the non-profit and their association of traditional Mayan healers to expand access to healthcare among impoverished communities in Guatemala.
Our interns will also work with a women's cooperative in the community, which uses traditional weaving techniques to make handicrafts and accessories. Last year, the student intern team developed small satchels and headbands with the women, which sold very well at our university. All the profits that were generated from the sale of these items will be re-invested in the projects for this summer, when the team will work to scale their initiative, create more products, and set up an online marketplace.
Other projects the team will be working on include developing a better recycling system for the garden, assisting with grant research, working on the organization’s social media and communication, and other administrative work in the Maya Traditions office.
Maya Traditions’ Community Health Program works with fourteen healers of various specialties and five young adults in ten communities in the region to promote medicinal knowledge. They have implemented several workshops teaching local students and other healers about plants and their role in medicine. Our project aims to provide the resources to allow Maya Traditions to educate a wider population and have an even greater impact in the Lake Atitlán region.
Link to blog: http://nourish.org/blog/chapter/chapter/pitt/
75% of Guatemalan indigenous families live below the poverty line, so when illness strikes, paying for medicine can be a burden. Maya Traditions’ Medicinal Herb Garden in Panajachel, Guatemala provides low-cost salves and syrups derived from ecologically friendly, traditional Maya methods.