News & Updates

SATIIM Wins Support for Origin Stories of Q’eqchi Sacred Sites

Posted on

The Sacred Fire Foundation granted SATIIM support for a collection of origin stories of sacred sites illustrated by Q’eqchi children. The collection will be used to revive Maya traditional values of the land as sacred.

Sacred Fire Foundation Supports Traditional Knowledge of Sacred Sites in Belize and Guatemala
SATIIM has received support from the Sacred Fire Foundation, a charitable organization that supports initiatives to preserve and promote Ancient Wisdom traditions—and their perspectives—to ensure their continuance for future generations. SATIIM will coordinate a community participatory process in Belize and Guatemala to research, produce and distribute sacred site origin stories of the Q’eqchi Maya.
Through a series of workshops, Q’eqchi communities in lowland Guatemata and Belize will create a collection of sacred site origin stories illustrated by children. The stories will revive the Maya’s traditional value of the land as sacred and inform community discussions on the first cross-border models of Maya conservation. The community discussions will be based in research by renowned cultural anthropologist Liza Grandia with Q’eqchi elders about sacred sites in Belize.

Unlike other Maya peoples who often constructed sacred sites (such as temples) Q’eqchi sacred sites are found within the environment, including hills, caves, natural springs, reflective pools, cairns, and groves.

Following community workshops, Q’eqchi children will illustrate the story collection to be published in three languages: Q’eqchi, Spanish, and English. Q’eqchi villages in both Guatemala and Belize will then share the stories in schools, meetings, and radio shows how sacred sites ground Q’eqchi culture in the past and the future.

Q’eqchi sacred sites are rooted in unique origin stories that form a rich part of their culture. Many are no longer told, with only a few now passed to the next generation. These stories form a cultural heritage that combines history, beliefs and the present reality of these communities.

Preserving and reviving these traditional stories is vital the cultural survival of these communities who are under siege for their ancestral lands by both public and private interests, as well as from the incursion of the dominant consumer culture.


For more information:


b c IMG_1093 IMG_1098