We had the honor of hosting the Yucatec Mayan poet Pedro Uc Be last night at CCSF’s Mission campus. Mr. Uc Be held an illuminating conversation with us about the aggressive development in the Yucatan peninsula and its effects on the large Mayan population there. He also read three beautiful pieces of poetry in the Yucatec Mayan language and in Spanish. Dr. Steven Mayers translated the conversation and poems into English.
Mr. Uc Be cast light upon the poorly publicized struggle between the Mayan people of the Yucatan and the various forces at play looking to develop their ancestral land for economic gain. Specifically, large corporations and state actors are aggressively pursuing the development of a train that runs right through the jungle of the Yucatan, which would bring with it widespread damage to the ecosystem of these peoples’ homeland. Worse, Uc Be informed us that State actors are blatantly unwilling to investigate the ecological effects of these projects before proceeding. The Yucatec Mayans have a deep connection with the natural environment around them, relying on plants for medicinal, alimentary, and cultural purposes. Such rash development projects will surely be a crippling blow to this indigenous population’s way of life. Please take a look at Mr. Uc Be’s blog for more information and ways to help.
Pedro Uc Be’s blog.
Check him out on Facebook here.