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Totonac

Totonac

Eastern Mexico

 
 
 

Voladores Organization - Representatives of the Organization of Voladores and the University of Veracruz' research team.
Voladores Organization – Representatives of the Organization of Voladores and the University of Veracruz’ research team.

Evodia Silva, a CICADA academic partner who conducts research on sustainability and sustainable development, works with the Totonac Voladores of Veracruz, Mexico. The Ritual de los Voladores is a Totonac ceremony, during which the Voladores climb a tree pole and swing around it until they reach the ground. UNESCO recognized the Ritual de los Voladores as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009. This ceremony, however, is being compromised by development projects, such as urban growth and logging, given that the Voladores rely on having trees to create their ritual poles.

Participatory Action Research - In northern Veracruz, Mexico, the Centre for Tropical Research from the University of Veracruz aims to apply agroecological restoration research closely collaborating with local indigenous organizations and communities during all stages.
Participatory Action Research – In northern Veracruz, Mexico, the Centre for Tropical Research from the University of Veracruz aims to apply agroecological restoration research closely collaborating with local indigenous organizations and communities during all stages.

Silva has been working with the Totonac on agroforestry and action research in an attempt to restore the northern Veracruz landscape. Silva’s research relies on techniques of knowledge revitalization about species and systems of ecological, economic, and cultural importance for future landscape planning. Silva proposes a Diversified Agroforestry Model, which has many aims:

Agroforestry Reserve - The Voladores' Totonac organization guided University of Veracruz researchers into an area that was donated in 2013 by the municipal authorities for forest restoration and community research.
Agroforestry Reserve – The Voladores’ Totonac organization guided University of Veracruz researchers into an area that was donated in 2013 by the municipal authorities for forest restoration and community research.

1- Re-dignify the traditions and the ritual dance of the Voladores
2- Re-evaluate the biocultural elements of Voladores’ environment
3- Improve the quality of life for local communities

This model revolves around a strategy of short and long term planning which emphasises the local context and local people’s needs. This model proposes municipal and state support schemes for developing the proposed strategy.

READ: Forest restoration from the grassroots in Veracruz, Mexico (2014) – Evodia Silva and Noé Velázquez Rosas

 

Associated Projects

Documenting the work of the Consejo para la Protección y Preservación de la Ceremonia Ritual de Voladores

Impacts of Violence in the Latin American Democratic Context: the Case of Chile and Mexico

 

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Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives