Today, we celebrate Earth Day! I know, it is too bad that most of us remember an important thing like taking good care of our mother earth only on specific dates. Personally, I am convinced that taking care of our environment is rewarding enough to make some changes in our daily habits, starting with simple things like avoiding waste of water and energy. Let's not take for granted the 3 Rs: reuse, reduce, and recycle.
According to the Popol Vuh, the ancient name Cho Tz'ak translates as "altars in front of the hills"; the current name Momostenango is a derivative of two Nahuatl voices, Momoztli (altars) and Tenango (fortified place).
The most important attraction in Momostenango are los riscos, which are millenarian rocky formations due to erosion.
Other attractions in the area are several hot springs surrounded by lush vegetation and threatened forests.
For the inhabitants of Momostenango, the respect to Mother Earth remains as one vital aspect in their culture as we can appreciate in the several altars located throughout the area where Mayan ceremonies are still in practice following the Maya Calendar; however and unfortunately, their natural resources have become threatened due to several issues, among others, the extraction of timber and firewood.
As I mentioned yesterday, an increase in tourism activities in the area may contribute to improve not just the life conditions for the people, but also, the preservation of the natural resources.
Last, but definitely not least, Momostenango is also the hometown to Humberto Ak'Abal, a noted Maya K'iche poet acknowledged in 2004 in Guatemala with the National Prize of Literature (which he declined for personal reasons) and recipient of the 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship.
His poems speak for the people still close to the earth, whose language allows us to enter a world that still recognizes the divine aliveness of nature. Ak'Abal says, "My poems have the moistness of rain... because they have been brought down from the mountain."