Friday, April 9, 2010

San Lucas Toliman: Modern and Progressive

This is one of the largest, modern, and progressive municipalities of the Solola Department, whose indigenous name, Toliman, is a derivative of the word Tule, for the tule reeds that grow abundantly in the area and constitutes one important component of the town's economy.
From the total population of around 25,000 inhabitants, the gender distribution is quite equitable: 51% are women and 49% men; however, the average age is quite unexplainable: almost 60% are younger than 25 years old, while only 3% are older than 60 years old. Speaking about statistics, I think it is good to mention that the schooling rate in San Lucas Toliman appears to be 83%, slightly above the 82%, which is the national average.
Somehow, I think this high schooling rate is related with the Educational Program Utzilal Tijonikel (which translated from the Kaqchikel language means Educating for Good), a program that is part of the Fundacion Rigoberta Menchu, as well as the San Lucas Mission, which is involved in development and educational programs.
As for the predominant ethnic group, most of the population are  Kaqchikeles descendants; however, the Tz'utuhiles influence  is notorious because their language is a combination of both: Kaqchikel and Tz'utuhil.
The main economic activities in San Lucas Toliman are agriculture-related, being the coffee production and processing one of the strongest.
In addition, they are good manufacturers of utilitarian products, such as quarry metates with manos (the two volcanic stone-pieces that Mayas have used from ancient times to grind and mash) and molcajetes (a mortar-like utensil made with volcanic stone that Mayas have used to grind and crush), tule basketry and mats, candles, and wooden artifacts.
 
Due to San Lucas Toliman geographical location, the surroundings, including the nature reserve in the Iq'itiw Hill, are a great place for hiking and nature exploration.
This area is home to several endangered and protected species such as jaguars, pumas, white-tail deers, armadillos, green toucans, among others.

2 comments:

  1. I'd say the civil war probably had a lot to do with the age distribution in the area. Fortunately things are better now!

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  2. Probably you are right. To tell you the truth, I am happy to see that so many things in the whole area are improving relatively fast and in a safer environment, that I didn't think about all the armed conflict years.

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