Proyecto Ecologico Quetzal (Guatemala)
This photo features Zoila, a young woman from Central Guatemala, and part of the Q’eqchi and Pokomichi peoples who are native Mayans from Guatemala. Over the course of succeeding centuries, a series of land displacements, resettlements, persecutions and migrations resulted in a wider dispersal of Q’eqchi’ communities into other regions of Guatemala, Petén, El Quiché, southern Belize, and smaller numbers in El Salvador, Honduras, and southern Mexico.
The Arrayan seed candles are sacred to the Mayan people, and are used to ask the Tzull Taq’a (God of the Mountain) for health, money, work, and abundance of crops as well as protection for their family and domestic animals. The scent and light of these candles is said to be capable of bringing together the Oxlaju Tzull Taq’a (the 13 Sacred Mountains).
Sales from these candles provides families with additional income to help support their subsistence farming practices. It is also good for the cloud forest as income generated from the forest discourages the need to cut the forest to make room to grow more crops