Seeds of Maya Development: The “Fiestas y Ferias de Semillas” Movement in Yucatan

Seeds of Maya Development: The “Fiestas y Ferias de Semillas” Movement in Yucatan

By Genner Llanes-Ortiz

This article describes the fiestas y ferias de semillas movement that take place in the Yucatan region, in Mexico, and offers an interpretation that stresses its importance not just as a site of Indigenous resistance, but as a strategic opportunity for the construction of alternatives to development. Celebrated in different sub-regions of this culturally distinctive area, these events bring together Maya-speaking peasants, anti-GMO activists, and organic produce aficionados from the federal states of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. Here, Maya understandings of welfare and prosperity are historically and politically reconfigured within a Pan-Yucatec Maya cultural perspective, at the same time leaning on and leading to what I call Cosmayapolitan ways of locating communities and social actors in the global situation.

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Wellbeing in the Margins: Notes on a New Conceptual Cartography

Wellbeing in the Margins: Notes on a New Conceptual Cartography

By Juan Jaime Loera Gonzalez

Wellbeing is becoming an emerging concept representing a new paradigm that might help orient development policies.  I believe indigenous people and social movements in Latin America are providing the case to rethink this debate in new light. I will explore how the Rarámuri people, like other minority groups living in the margins of nation-states and global markets, are constrained to act strategically to face political and socio-economic exclusion fluctuating between the tension of having the right to live differently and the need to be part of the larger society. Specifically, I want to explore how these wellbeing notions can be better understood if we consider the idea of the margins, as a conceptual space and as a place where notions (such as wellbeing) are created, configured and reconfigured by the articulations of forces that interact in dynamic and complex ways.

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