THE MAYA: it is not the end of the world but of natural resources

MayaDanilo Valladares -

(IPS) - The Mayan calendar does not provide any global catastrophe, let alone the end of the world.
But the natural resources of the planet, so those are in grave danger because of 'human activity, they warn the elderly and indigenous activists interviewed in Guatemala.

According to the Mayan calendar, December 21, 2012 will mark the end of the cycle of 13 Batkun (a baktun is equal to 144 thousand days): this has sparked the 'mass hysteria among those who argue that the end of the cycle symbolizes the great disaster and the end of the world , but is no match in the thought natives of Guatemala.
"There are leaders who are influenced by some rumors, or maybe the number 13 is associated with a lot of energy, so concerned about the potential disasters, but there 'is no truth," he told IPS the' activist Antonio Mendoza , NGO Oxlajuj Ajpop, a name that in Maya Quiché language refers to the 13 energies of the Mayan calendar. On the contrary, he explains, "this new stage is extremely important for reflection and analysis on human society and nature."


According to historians, the 13 Baktun began the 'August 11, 3114 BC and will end on December 21, 2012, the day that begins a new cycle of 144 thousand other days. "What worries us is how to unite their efforts to change our behavior towards nature, global warming and the neoliberal policies that deal only extract oil and minerals and to build large factories, seriously endangering the 'humanity' explains Mendoza. In this sense, several organizations Maya of Guatemala have planned a series of activities for the 'current year, including seminars, forums and meetings to discuss and find opportunities for development for the indigenous population. "This is the point of redemption 'invaluable indigenous knowledge of nature and Mother Earth in an environment of unity and solidarity," says Mendoza.

The first evidence of the Mayan civilization dating back 3 thousand years ago, when they created the first settlement in Mesoamerica, an 'area that today includes five states of south-eastern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and western Honduras. In the classical period, between 250 and 900 BC The Mayan civilization was one of the most developed in the world, for the 'architecture and city planning, the hieroglyphic writing system, the accurate mathematical calculations and the' astronomy. The Maya have made an important contribution to the 'art, science and literature. Their descendants still retain their languages, traditions and customs, and the majestic archaeological sites in the areas where they live are popular with tourists and researchers.

In Guatemala, according to official statistics, indigenous peoples account for nearly 40 percent of the 14 million inhabitants of the country, divided into the Maya, Garifuna and Xinca, although indigenous organizations indicate a rate of 60 percent. Mario Molina of the national network of Maya youth organizations (Renoj), told IPS that on 21 December "does not mean the end of the Maya or the world, but it will be the 'opportunity to assess the progress made in the development of the nature and 'humanity. " The 'activist has expressed concern over environmental degradation and global warming caused by' s business man, "is one of the fundamental elements to be discussed."

This period will be rather "a good time to build a multicultural country, and united with a shared vision," a longstanding desire for the Mayan people, always marginalized in Guatemala. Extreme poverty, lack of education and health services are urgent problems in this country, where more than half of the population, 54 percent live in poverty and 13 per cent in 'poverty, according to the' Enquiry National Living Conditions 2011. Molina has denounced the various forms of racism suffered by the Maya, which is reflected in the lack of political participation, poverty and other issues. To take advantage of this end of the calendar cycle to promote actions "aimed to respect the dignity of life and human rights."

Some see this phase of the Mayan calendar as the 'opening of a window of opportunity. For example, the 'Guatemalan Institute of Tourism has launched the campaign "The' Dawn of the Maya", to celebrate the 13 Baktun and attract a greater number of visitors are interested in this culture and its archaeological sites. Cirilo Pérez, spiritual adviser of 'former president of Guatemala, Álvaro Colom, whose mandate ended in mid-January, told IPS that "this is not the end of the world. What happens is that phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados and disease have worsened due to the heavy pollution caused by 'man. " L 'idea that the world will end in 2012 has inspired books, blogs, TV shows and movies from the apocalyptic implications worldwide, and even extravagant projects such as underground bunkers anti cataclysm.

Ma la guida spirituale ribadisce che “non si tratta della fine del mondo. Il calendario maya può essere compreso solo dagli stessi maya, anche se diversi ricercatori, archeologi, antropologi e storici hanno scritto molti libri sul tema, ma senza coglierne il significato”. Secondo Pérez, i veri scritti maya furono bruciati da Diego de Lanza, arcivescovo spagnolo dell’ arcidiocesi messicana dello Yucatán (1572-1579), che ritenne quei documenti “superstizioni e falsità del demonio”. De Landa fu uno dei primi frati francescani ad arrivare nella penisola dello Yucatán, dove per anni si dedicò all’ opera di evangelizzazione dei maya, nonostante la loro reticenza ad accettare il cattolicesimo.

Pérez, nominato da Colom ambasciatore dei popoli indigeni, a differenza di altri storici e anziani maya, ha rivelato che “mancano ancora 60 o 70 anni alla fine del ciclo di 13 Baktun” anche se la certezza “ce l’ ha solo Dio”.

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