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Midway Woman Certified in GPS Mapping

The second Maya Women’s GPS mapping team was certified in Midway village in Toledo District. Fifteen Maya women received Certificates of Participation after completing five days of training in the use of the hand-held GPS and compass. The training was organized by SATIIM with funding from the European Union in a project to protect and promote the economic, social and cultural rights of Maya women in Belize. The peer training ensured culturally appropriate training in the women’s native language. Maya buffer villages of the Sarstoon Temash National Park are preparing maps as part of the process to implement the 2015 Caribbean Court of Justice Consent Order to legalize Maya customary lands. Both GIS data and hand-drawn maps will fully inform each village’s land usage and future planning. The Maya Women’s GPS Teams represent the first effort to include Maya women as trained technicians and data collectors. Given the demand for their technical expertise, the Conejo women’s mapping team has also expanded into data collection for tree inventories.