STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Agricultural plan revives mayan medicine

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Added On October 3, 2017

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture is developing a project named "Family Agriculture and Inclusion". 
 
Researchers are working with farmers in Mayan communities to rescue ancestral technologies to treat poultry using native grasses.
 
The Kakchi'keles Indians in the region of Chimaltenango are descendants of the Mayans. 
 
Many have held on to pre-Columbian traditions and customs, including medical practices that have been passed down from generation to generation.
 
SOUNDBITE(Spanish):MARIA BONIFASIA TAY, Mayan ancestral healer
"This plant is like a vaccine for hens, because the vaccine is used to prevent diseases. The plant is called curarina, or donkey's ear." 
 
The natural environment provides locals with the means to keep birds healthy, and even cure them of disease. 
 
These are common herbs, meaning healers simply need to know how to prepare them before they can use them to ward off common diseases, such as respiratory infections in chickens. 
 
SOUNDBITE(Spanish):MARIA BONIFASIA TAY,Mayan ancestral healer
"Because in May, the rain is already falling, I will not use curarina but verbena, which prevents a kind of respiratory disease. When it is raining, chickens like to dig themselves in under the water, even though they have a shelter. They do not take cover, they like the drizzle but then, they get the disease. "