New Medicinal Plant Garden

Did you know that you can use mugwort to help with menstrual pains, or the ‘cola de caballo’ plan to cleanse the blood of toxins? These are just some of the techniques that have been passed down in highland Maya communities for generations. Valuable knowledge is quickly fading away faster then it can be documented leaving Indigenous communities with no alternative to Western medicine.

Hilda Chanchavac, the coordinator of AMA’s Holistic Health Program, has recently assisted 17 midwives and 15 health promoters to plan a garden of medicinal plants in the community of Chicutama. AMA provided the women with the plants and seeds and coordinated medical classes every week. During the classes, they learn about Maya health techniques, such as the use of medicinal herbs in disease and sickness prevention. They are also educated about Western techniques in managing risk during pregnancy.

AMA’s future goal with the garden is for the midwives of Chuicutama to eventually give seeds to other communities, help them start their own garden, and teach them about the uses of the medicinal plants. By spreading the Mayan health techniques and knowledge in the communities, AMA is giving the Maya people the tools they need to rescue and preserve their culture.

Ben Blevins