In this presentation Nathan will explore the context and potential of Indigenous development in the Maya-Achí territory of Guatemala. Similar to other groups throughout the country, the Achí were particularly targeted during the state-sponsored violence of the 1980s, with approximately twenty percent of the population either assassinated or disappeared by the military in their so-called fight against communism. Since the signing of the Peace Accords, in 1996, a number of local organizations have taken root with the objective to bring forth development that reflects local needs and worldviews, while attempting to mend the broken social fabric. Here he illustrates his findings from over a decade of ethnographic research among organizations in their struggle for community recovery, with an emphasis on the recuperation of ancestral farming practices, crop varieties, and traditional livelihoods. In bringing to light specific projects and achievements, Nathan aims to demonstrate the potential of this critical work with respect to sustainability and economic opportunity, as well as the possibilities for new and alternative ways of thinking about progress and wellbeing.
About the speaker
Nathan Einbinder is a PhD candidate at the Colegio de la Frontera Sur, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, in the Department of Agroecology and Society. With a background in human geography, his work focuses on the intersections between Indigenous agriculture, community development, and wellbeing. He is presently carrying out a residency at the Oxford Department of International Development.