Tags: guatemala


Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú to Give UNESCO Human Rights Lecture

From http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2012/09/nobel-peace-laureate-rigoberta-menchu-to-give-unesco-human-rights-lecture/

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, the first Indigenous woman and the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, will deliver the UNESCO Chair & Institute of Comparative Human Rights Lecture at UConn on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Menchú Tum, who will discuss “Human Rights and Social Justice” in her address.

Maya Murals Found in Family Kitchen


If these walls could talk, they'd solve a Maya mystery.

Five years ago Lucas Asicona Ramírez (far right, pictured with family) began scraping his walls while renovating his home in the Guatemalan village of Chajul. As the plaster fell away, a multi-wall Maya mural saw light for the first time in centuries, according to archaeologist Jarosław Źrałka, who recently revealed the finds to National Geographic News.

The Story of Chocolate: Winner Robin Blotnick in the Huffington Post


Robin Blotnick has worked as a freelance editor, and as a developer at Walden Media. His current project, "Gods and Kings," is a feature documentary about media, magic and popular culture in the Mayan highlands of Guatemala. If it is anything like his award-winning entry for our ViewChange Online Film Contest — Chocolate Country — then we want to see it! Chocolate Country is a catchy story about a group of guitar-plucking cacao farmers in the Dominican Republic. In the Huffington Post, Blotnick describes the idea behind his work:

“The story I set out to tell was the story of chocolate itself. I wanted to show city people what a mazorca of cacao looks like when it's cut open to reveal its syrupy white seeds. And I wanted to reveal the faces of the men and women who grow and harvest the ingredients for our chocolate bars.”

King's tomb yields Mayan secrets


Archeologists in Guatemala have discovered a Mayan king's tomb packed with a well-preserved hoard of carvings, ceramics and children's bones that cast fresh light on the vanished civilization.

Researchers uncovered the burial chamber dating from 300 - 600 AD beneath the El Diablo pyramid in the city of El Zotz in the jungle-covered Peten region in May, but the discovery was only made public Thursday.

The well-sealed tomb -- measuring 10 feet l, by nearly 4 feet wide wide and 5 feet deep -- helped preserve textiles, wood carvings and red and yellow ceramics decorated with fish and wild boar motifs, researchers said.

"It's like their Fort Knox, their depositary of wealth with textiles and ... trade items and that's what's overwhelming about it," said Stephen Houston, the dig's director at El Zotz, who is based at Brown University in the United States.

The Central American nation is dotted with pyramids and ruins from the ancient Mayan civilization, which reached a high point between 250 and 900 AD and covered territory from modern day Honduras to central Mexico.

Archeologists said the dig at El Zotz, which means "bat" in several Mayan languages, has provided fresh insights into the civilization's funeral rites.

Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Nobel Prize winner, inspires Denver one community at a time


Rigoberta Menchú Tum, winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, visited two at-risk Denver communities yesterday, not to preach peace but to preach "harmony."

For Menchú Tum and Mayan spiritual teachers Don Pedro Yac Noj and Doña Faviana Cochoy Alva, who are traveling with her, the distinction between the two is as glaring as night and day. "Peace is a reaction in the face of war," Yac Noj explains, "but harmony is different. Harmony is living the good life. We don't need war for peace."

Jade sheds light on Guatemala's geologic history


A new analysis of jade found along the Motagua fault that bisects Guatemala is underscoring the fact that this region has a more complex geologic history than previously thought. Because jade and other associated metamorphic rocks are found on both sides of the fault, and because the jade to the north is younger by about 60 million years, a team of geologists posits in a new research paper that the North American and Caribbean plates have done more than simply slide past each other: they have collided. Twice.

"Now we understand what has happened in Guatemala, geologically," says one of the authors, Hannes Brueckner, Professor of Geology at Queens College, City University of New York. "Our new research is filling in information about plate tectonics for an area of the world that needed sorting."

Jade is a cultural term for two rare metamorphic rocks known as jadeitite (as discussed in the current research) and nephrite that are both extremely tough and have been used as tools and talismans throughout the world. The jadeitite (or jadeite jade) is a sort of scar tissue from some collisions between Earth's plates. As ocean crust is pushed under another block, or subducted, pressure increases with only modest rise in temperature, squeezing and drying the rocks without melting them. Jade precipitates from fluids flowing up the subduction channel and into the chilled, overlying mantle that becomes serpentinite. The serpentinite assemblage, which includes jade and has a relatively low density, can be uplifted during subsequent continental collisions and extruded along the band of the collision boundary, such as those found in the Alps, California, Iran, Russia, and other parts of the world.

The Motagua fault is one of three subparallel left-lateral strike-slip faults (with horizontal motion) in Guatemala and forms the boundary between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates. In an earlier paper, the team of authors found evidence of two different collisions by dating mica found in collisional rocks (including jade) from the North American side of the fault to about 70 million years ago and from the southern side (or the Caribbean plate) to between 120 and 130 million years ago. But mica dates can be "reset" by subsequent heating. Now, the authors have turned to eclogite, a metamorphic rock that forms from ocean floor basalt in the subduction channel. Eclogite dates are rarely reset, and the authors found that eclogite from both sides of the Motagua dates to roughly 130 million years old.

Ancient Maya Practiced Forest Conservation — 3,000 Years Ago


As published in the July issue of the “Journal of Archaeological Science,” paleoethnobotanist David Lentz of the University of Cincinnati has concluded that not only did the Maya people practice forest management, but when they abandoned their forest conservation practices it was to the detriment of the entire Maya culture.

“From our research we have learned that the Maya were deliberately conserving forest resources,” says David Lentz, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cincinnati and executive director of the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies. “Their deliberate conservation practices can be observed in the wood they used for construction and this observation is reinforced by the pollen record.”

The UC team is the first North American team allowed to work at the Tikal site core in northern Guatemala in more than 40 years.

Taiwan wants to help preserve Guatemalan relics: president


Guatemala City, May 30 (CNA) Republic of China President Ma Ying-jeou told his host, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom Caballeros, Saturday that Taiwan would like to help Guatemala conserve its historic relics.

"Conserving historic relics or sites is a mammoth engineering task that takes a long time to complete, " Ma said during a dinner party held in Guatemala City, adding that the ROC government would like to extend a helping hand if necessary.

Ma and his wife Chow Mei-ching hosted the dinner party to thank Colom for his nation's hospitality during their three-day visit to Guatemala -- one of Taiwan's 23 diplomatic allies.

Earlier in the day, the Taiwan first couple visited the Tikal area, where they viewed the country's most prominent Mayan ruins, which are a living testimony to a culture that flourished there between 700 BC and 900 AD.