Scene of a Maya woman about to give birth
The museum of traditional Maya healing is on the outskirts of San Cristóbal, past the sprawling local market. I was the only visitor and I was first led to a bench to watch an interview with a Maya midwife which included scenes from her helping a woman give birth. She was in charge of prenatal and postnatal care as well, performing protective spells and advising the new mother on nuturition and care of the baby. One of the very moving aspects of birthing in the Maya way is that the woman's husband sits in front of her and embraces her during labor.
The Women of Ramón
Member of Nutrinaturales cooperative, sorting ramón
While waiting for the minibus to Ixlu, I began talking with a man from another town around Lake Petén-Itza. When I asked him if he was familiar with ramón, the highly nutritious seed from the ramón tree, he told me that his grandparents had talked about ramón. They told him that there had been a bad drought in Guatemala which lasted nearly 20 years and that the corn had all
died. “So the people ate ramón,” he told me. "And because of the ramón, they did not die.”
Louise "Luisa" Wisechild, PhD
I first visited Guatemala in 1995 as a member of the Vashon Island sister city delgation to Santiago de Atitlan, Guatemala.