“Señores, you don’t seem to understand. I am a farmer. My father was a farmer and his father was a farmer as far back as we know. You don’t seem to understand that we don’t want your welfare handouts, your political positions are meaningless to us, and your factory jobs are what we oppose – we want our sons and daughters, their sons and daughters to continue to be farmers on our own lands with our own languages and our own cultures and our own traditions. This is what we are fighting for -this is what we are willing to die for.” (Zapatista farmer)
In Zapatista communities of Chiapas, Mexico, the traditional Mayan corn plot or milpa is a place of heritage and learning. Generations of indigenous farmers have preserved and cultivated a deep knowledge of traditional agricultural in a sustainable, organic and conscientious manner.
The very existence of today’s autonomous Mayan communities, including their culture and language, depends on the cultivation of natural, traditional, and GMO-free corn in the milpa.
Long ago, the ancestors of these indigenous farmers developed modern corn through a process of selective, natural breeding of a wild grass. Today’s Mayans continue the tradition, educating their sons and daughters in sustainable farming methods. Homegrown, organic corn and beans are the daily diet of these families.
Schools for Chiapas is honored to be living and learning alongside these proud and dignified indigenous communities as they seek a sustainable, agricultural future for their daughters and sons.
Click here to send a Gift of Change to support Zapatista efforts to keep their native corn GMO-free or click the items that follow to learn more about Schools for Chiapas efforts to support sustainable Zapatista agriculture.