Title

The Incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge within a Sustainable Development Context: Maya-Kacquikel Perspectives from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Sylvia Seger

Abstract

The World Bank reports, “indigenous peoples in Guatemala are the poorest of the poor” (O’Kane, 1999). Approximately 50% of the population of Guatemala is indigenous. Indigenous peoples have passed down their knowledge through the generations. This knowledge is beginning to be recognized by the development community as a valuable resource. Development programs and projects have thus far lacked community participation towards sustainable development. With a high proportion of indigenous peoples, Guatemala provides the ideal research location to gain insight into the perspectives of indigenous peoples on the appropriate methodology and use of their indigenous knowledge (IK) in development. Through in-depth interviews, participants provided recommendations that could improve development within an indigenous context. A voice from the indigenous community will aid in a more equitable and culturally appropriate alternative model for the incorporation of IK in development.

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