The Mayan Jungle is regarded as one of the greatest national treasures on the planet. However, with the gradual extinction of ancient practices to co-exist in the sanctuary and more people moving to cities for a livelihood, this 500-year-old community may just vanish.
The Maya jungle has a long history shared between tropical forests and people. Almost 500 years ago, the ancient Maya was built amid dense vegetation based on cities of monoliths and perfect monuments. At the peak of their civilization, millions of people once resided in the land and introduced everlasting ways to coexist without the environment.
The vestiges transmitted the great wisdom of these people and their intimate relationship with their environment. As a result, a lot of sustainable technologies of today are based on their practices of home gardens, self-sustainable housing, and particularly carrying out a successful relationship with agriculture and its cycles.
Maya communities were also known for their cosmogony and sophisticated knowledge of mathematics and astronomy (to mention just a few fields). But as time passed by and the world focused more on urban development, the lack of infrastructure and unavailability of resources that are necessary to live in the world of today has badly affected the communities still living in the Mayan Jungle.
Adriana Alvarez, the founder of La Ventana, has taken the responsibility to bring back the rich culture and save this sanctuary with a sustainable, educational, and ceremonial center in the heart of the Mexican Mayan Jungle.
La Ventana has been working for the betterment of the Maya communities without interruption for 12 years now. The project is overviewed full-time by Adriana’s son, Benji, his wife, and their 3 kids who live with various Mayan locals in the region.
Over this period of time, La Ventana has gained the trust, confidence, support and involvement of 3 Mayan communities with the development of onsite buildings that are now facilitating a diversity of educational courses in multiple languages. The courses taught at these institutions range from perma-cultural to bioconstruction to sustainability and economic micro projects which were once the fort of Maya communities.
For a similar purpose, the members of the institution have also worked towards categorizing documenting, and protecting the native flora and fauna as many of them are becoming extinct.
The team has also set up a reserve of the remaining old-growth forest on the 50 hectares and did efforts to make the local Mayan population understand the importance of returning to their sustainable agricultural systems instead of relying on chemical usage, cash crops, livestock, and encroachment.
Thousands of visitors have already contributed to La Ventana with the creation of an ongoing Honeybee production in conjunction with the local Mayan villages. They even helped in giving birth to the Bamboo project which has already been planted, harvested, and used in the construction, while being the perfect alternative to cutting down old-growth forests.
All of these projects had a positive impact on the lives of Local Mayans living in the nearby villages like Babalonia, Division del Norte & San Manuel as youngsters are getting the opportunity to earn a respectable livelihood instead of being exploited to harsh labor conditions elsewhere.
La Ventana’s most recent initiatives are focused on developing and implementing a conscious-tourism model that could result in a reliable source of income for the local Mayans. The list also includes the promotion of using, growing, and protecting traditional Indigenous natural plant medicines.
The list also includes the promotion of using, growing, and protecting traditional Indigenous natural plant medicines. Furthermore, La Ventana also plans to host international cultural gatherings and ceremonies by collaborating with the Historic Pyramid authorities.
For now, Adriana has personally invested over $250,000 USD to bring the project into its current state. She is now aiming to gather more funds to continue this important cultural work and take the project to the next level so more people within the Mayan communities could benefit from it.
Indiegogo Campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/la-ventana-palenque-a-mayan-impact-project/x/18230976#/