Maya Choc, Executive Director, SATIIM: “The mapping is one component but there’s also negotiations, discussions surrounding boundaries because these are legally binding agreements that communities are entering in and in many communities it’s only the leaders. It’s only elders who are a part of that discussion. Now, with Conejo, we hope to see even more women participate in the communities that we have to assist yet. They’ve actually been a part of the discussions in negotiations. How are they going to go about ensuring that the boundary line is cleared, that it does not get overgrown which will eventually lead to them losing and not be able to identify where the boundaries are?”
The women of the villages were also part of the demarcation efforts as they were taught how to work the Global Positioning System (GPS). One of the women who participated, Rosa Teul of Conejo Village, who explained how this will be beneficial for her and the other women in the community.
Rosa Teul, Resident, Conejo Village: “Today is a historic day for me, first time seeing how they do the boundary signing. I was a part of the team that went to do the verification along with the Alcalde and Chairman of Conejo. We went there to help them to navigate the area where they want the boundary line. It was a challenge but we accomplished. We went safely and we came back safely so this is a historic day for me and I hope it is also for the villagers of Sunday Wood. Well for me I think it is important to know our boundary and to pass it onto our future generations. Like in my case, I have a little daughter but I know that if one day she goes in that village I will share what I have learned to her then she would in the process like that.”
Conejo Creek is the only community in the area that has mapped boundaries with all villages that borders it.