Mark Chatarpal, Indiana University, Bloomington
Mark Chatarpal is a researcher from Guyana, South America. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Caribbean studies and was the recipient of the Frederick Ivor Case Book Prize. He is currently pursuing a PhD in food studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.
The Maya Land Rights Struggle: A Framework for Operationalizing “Foodways with Identity”
This study of food insecurity and climate in three Maya communities in southern Belize suggests threats to food security as a result of increased challenges in the production of corn associated with climate change and a decline in the production and consumption of traditional foods associated with social, economic, and political structures. At the same time, important local actions at the individual and collective level have been central to “food security” and reveal the concept of food security fails to address broader social, economic, and political structures. They also reveal the limitations of conventional development as opposed to more appropriate concepts such as food sovereignty and development with identity. This paper reflects on two narratives associated with the Maya in Belize: marginalization and resurgence. On one hand, the Maya experience a high level of poverty. On the other, the Maya have been resurgent, with a recent court ruling recognizing indigenous land rights.
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