Welcome to the El Pilar Forest Garden Network Homepage!
|Two Places. Hundreds of Miles. One Plant.
The perennial bush, chaya, cooked as a green vegetable, propagate only by cuttings and are essentially clones with the same DNA from Palenque in the State of Chiapas, Mexico, to El Pilar in Western Belize.
This website provides educational information about traditional Maya agriculture and conservation in the Maya forest.
Conservation is increasingly imperative for the world. It has never been more important to learn from indigenous groups, such as the Maya, that have centuries of cumulative knowledge of conservation and coexistence with their environment.
The El Pilar Forest Garden Network is a group of Maya farmers who are keeping alive Maya cultural traditions, promoting sustainable agriculture, conserving biodiversity in the Maya Forest, and educating the public on the value of their time-honored strategies.
The increased practice of modern, industrial farming in this region is threatening the Maya forest. Traditional Maya agriculture, however, demonstrates a rich relationship with the tropical forest environment of Mesoamerica. Maya farmers are known as forest gardeners because their traditional multi-crop farming methods actually encourage the biodiversity and growth of the forest. These are exemplary agriculturalists, the ultimate conservationists, among the original permaculturalists, and the unsung heroes of the Maya forest!
Ramon fruit of the Maya forest. Photo by Macduff Everton.
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