Fermin Gomez, Guatemala
Mr. Gomez was born in 1942 in San Francisco El Alto in Guatemala. Mr. Gomez is a Mayan Priest and spiritual and cultural leader in many Mayan communities in Guatemala. He has contributed over the past 30 years to rescuing cultural and spiritual ancestral Mayan knowledge and wisdom that includes tradicional and alternative medicine. From 1984-1985, he was part of the commission that drafted the new Constitution for Guatemala. He was key in incorporating an Article in the Constitution that protects Indigenous Cultural and Spirituality that was passed in 1989. From 1985 to 1991, he was Deputy to the Guatemalan Congress and has been an active member of the Guatelama Indigenous Rights Commission. He founded the organization: “Movimiento, Accion y Resistencia” Movement, Action and Resistance. He is the coordinator of the Mayan Priests of the Western and Southern Region of Guatemala. He has served ad honorem as director or member of the Reforestation Committee of the Mountains of San Francisco and of the Potable Water Committee of the Maya de la Cienaga Community. Mr. Gomez is an active spiritual counselor in Guatemala and also serves as spiritual and cultural guide to many international fora. From 1987 to 2004, he has been invited numerous times at the United Nations to discuss issues of indigenous rights both in Geneva and in New York. In 1990, he was the guest of honor in an international ceremony carried out in Machupichu, Peru. In 1993, he was invited to participate in the Instituto of Europe-Latin America Relations to discuss Human Rights issues in Central America. In 2003, he was elected member of the Elders Council for the American Continent at an international event organized by the University of Guadalajara in Chalapa, Jalisco, Mexico.
Mayan Spirituality and its relation with the Environment
For the Mayan Culture, the Environment is everything that surrounds us ? the material and the invisible worlds. It is the place where we live. The Mayan Spirituality has a profound respect towards all the things that surround them, the universe, mother Nature, the air, the sun, the water and mother Earth.
In our Mayan customs, we integrate what is physical or material with those things that we cannot see or that are non-material, and in this way, for us, our co-existence with the Environment can be described as an assembly of concepts, values, perceptions and practices that we share with all the people from our communities. The sharing of these values, allows us to have a specific vision of our own reality; in this sense, Mayan Spirituality can be seen as a source of wisdom that gives us many answers to questions about the universe, and the connection between nature and all the beings that live within her.
Mayan Spirituality promotes respect towards
the Environment, since the people from this tradition take responsibility
to build a peaceful
For the Mayan people, the Environment is the manifestacion of the AJAW, the creator of the universe. When the Mayan People perform ceremonies, they align and harmonize themselves with their ancestors, the environment and the universe itself.
The Mayan Ancestors, without any doubts
lived in harmony with the
In the Mayan Spirituality, we consider that
all the beings that inhabit the Earth depend on each other for their
survival. We also believe that everything has life including the stones,
the plants, the water, the air, etc. Mayan people have a different way of
thinking, of analyzing, acting and of understanding the relation that
there is between man and the universe. In other words, for Mayan
Spirituality, the concept of the Universe consists of the maintenance of
total equilibrium, which implies a permanent preoccupation for the
environment and the circumstance surrounding them whether they are animal,
mineral, material or non-material. So the environment is alive in its own
and is indivisible into different parts and it needs to be treated in a
special way without making a judgment that some
These and many other concepts of Mayan Spirituality and the value that they give to the Environment as part of their Cosmo Vision will be presented during this talk.