Q’eqchi’ best practices and livelihoods in the wetlands of El Estor, Izabal, Guatemala


Courtesy of Wetlands International

The Q’eqchi’ communities of El Estor, Izabal, Guatemala, are vulnerable to climate variability and different hydro-climatic threats. As part of the Partners for Resilience country programme, the Guatemalan Red Cross and Wetlands International prepared a study on wetland-related best practices and livelihoods of the Maya Q’eqchi’ people. The study systematizes their traditional and local knowledge. This knowledge allows their communities to take actions for climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and ecosystem restoration and management, taking these wetland-related livelihoods as starting point.

The Worldview (or Cosmovision) plays an important role in the lives of the Q’eqchi’ communities in El Estor, Izabal. The forest represents the oldest production system and is their ancestor’s legacy; their agriculture reflects an integrated vision that seeks to meet basic needs and provide general welfare.

However, nowadays this traditional knowledge that is important for adapting to a changing climate is not being passed on by many people, or taken up by the youth.

The Q’eqchi’ wetland communities of El Estor
Nine communities were selected for this study, based on the following criteria: belonging to the Maya Q’eqchi’, their connection with the wetland areas, institutional presence, organizational level and accessibility (by river and road) enabling the work.

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