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Versión Español

Three Startups for the Vindication of Ancestral Knowledge

Using the economic value of culture as a motor, and the traditional vectors of maya culture for diffusion.

  1. Ceremonial Obervatory at the Hill of Gold, Atitlan.
  2. Inclusion of ancient design in the contemporary Maya textile.
  3. Mayan Astronomy, mathematics and iconography text book.


Biodiversity and cultural diversity are the biggest wealth in Guatemala. Considering a global vision of the economy we see that these are unique contributions that the country can offer in the global exchange, at the same time these are identifying traits for the country and they are equivalent to a "brand" or comertial identity, constituting an added value, essential in the actual markets, saturated by products and offers.

Many countries realize the economic value of culture and use it as a source of income, both directly and indirectly, adding value to other products from the same country.

However, Maya culture has been more studied abroad, many of the best archaeological pieces are in foreign museums, books or articles derived from these studies are not accesible to the Maya population, so that together with the extraction of natural resources by foreign companies, there is also an extraction of culture without a retribution or benefit to the Guatemalan population.

The proposed startups are examples of how to use this research confined to the academic sphere, to add value to artesanal products (textiles, sculpture, pottery, etc), converting them into means of diffusion for both ancient and contemporary Maya culture, using the traditional vectors of maya culture: languages, textiles, cosmovision and Maya spirituality.

Sustainable Development Goals considered in the projects:

(Observatory in Atitlán, Textiles, and Maya Astronomy text book)

  1. Quality Education: The study of ancient Maya culture trough traditional activities of contemporary Maya culture (languages, textiles, spirituality, etc) develops an holistic educational experience coupled to daily life.
  2. Gender Equality: To highlight the technical skills of Mayan weavers, and the role of textiles as means of transmission of culture manifest the role of Mayan woman in the preservation of culture, economy and identity.
  3. Water: All efforts to promote cultural tourism, astro tourism and ecological tourism in the Atilán region are important alternatives to other forms of more contaminant tourism.
  4. Work and economic growth: Increasing the value of traditional products, creating new products taking advantage of the economic value of culture helps the economy of weavers and craftsmen.
  5. Reduce inequalities: There is a marked discrimination in the acces to cience and technology between urban and indigenous population, with little participation of Mayan people in the technical careers. The study of Mayan mathematics and astronomy is very important to remind the people that this situation is the outcome of the economic, political and social burden imposed to the Maya population.
  6. Sustainable Comunities: Mayan comunities are important examples of sustainable comunities, because the ancient culture is entangled to the natural environment. The projects help to value this equilibrium among culture and the use of natural resources.
  7. Life and Nature: The portential of the "Hill of Gold" is to be a natural and cultural reserve, the ceremonial observatory helps to highlight these aspects.
  8. Strong Institutions: Santiago Atitlán is a good example of surviving pre hispanic institutions, and creating the observatory is a political action to promote relationships between several entities in Guatemala.
  9. Societies: Guatemalan society is a very divided population, the proposed projects promote collaborations between different groups in society focusing in comon goals and shared interests.