Mariana Rodriguez Valencia

Friday October 02, 2015


Mariana Rodriquez - 3

 

Mariana Rodriguez

GESA 2013  |  Mexico  |  Museographer

 

Through the understanding of the relationships between humans and environment, I aim to support a more equal and just approach to biocultural conservation in Mexico.

During my master studies I assessed the social and cultural elements that sustain and foster a group hunting Mayan practice (batida) in Los Petenes, an indigenous community of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Thanks to the several visits I made to the community and the trusting relationships I established with the hunters and their families, I understood that the batida (a livelihood practice) applies three types of interactions with the environment – rich worldview, deep knowledge and several restrictive resource norms. The results were discussed from a social and ecological perspective and were published in a M.Sc. Thesis and in the Journal of Ethnobiology. Through this research experience, I learnt the importance of working respectfully with holders of traditional knowledge and the role of their environmental knowledge in creating conservation strategies for biological and cultural heritage.

At the present time, I work as a museographer with the Environmental Science Museum Project of the University of Guadalajara. This project aims to facilitate an understanding of the city and inspire conservation of the ecosystems that sustain it by creating a world-class science and technology museum that explores the confluence of environmental, cultural, social, and economic influences on the ecosystems of Western Mexico. Alongside my regular employment, I have also been collaborating as an

During my master studies, I found that some women and children of a Mayan community of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) participate in collective hunting activities, locally known as “chan batidas” (small group hunting practices in Maya).

During my master studies, I found that some women and children of a Mayan community of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) participate in collective hunting activities, locally known as “chan batidas” (small group hunting practices in Maya).

external consultant by carrying out non formal educational programs related to environmental issues in two NGOs: Environmental Defense and Human Rights (DADH, AC) and Lectobus Conocimiento en Movimiento A.C. These experiences have reinforced upon me the necessity of analyzing the environmental problems from a multidisciplinary approach and to recognize the importance of the educational process in achieving a better quality of life for local communities.

My future short- and long- term career goals are to start this September my studies of PhD in Natural Resources and Environment Management at the University of Manitoba, where I have been accepted. I am particularly interested on the subjects of Natural Sacred Sites (NSS) and community-based conservation. Following the completion of the Ph.D., I plan to conduct a research program at a Mexican University in the area of Human Ecology, which in a Mexican context refers to the study of the inter-relationships between society and environment.

 

Charcoal production is one of the subsistence activities done in Mayan communities. In the picture, a married couple is working on the production of charcoal.

Charcoal production is one of the subsistence activities done in Mayan communities. In the picture, a married couple is working on the production of charcoal.

A group of Mayan peasant-hunters ready to do a “batida”. The batida is a traditional group hunting practice that in addition to meat, provides its participants with a reinforcement of their cultural identity and other social benefits.

A group of Mayan peasant-hunters ready to do a “batida”. The batida is a traditional group hunting practice that in addition to meat, provides its participants with a reinforcement of their cultural identity and other social benefits.

Participating in the elaboration of local food (tortillas) allowed me to develop and reinforce trust relationships with families of hunters.

Participating in the elaboration of local food (tortillas) allowed me to develop and reinforce trust relationships with families of hunters.

Little Gregorio, one of my best collaborators during my field work.

Little Gregorio, one of my best collaborators during my field work.

Once I finished my fieldwork, my classmates helped me to inform the results of my research to the community.

Once I finished my fieldwork, my classmates helped me to inform the results of my research to the community.

A hunter and I search for the trail of a white-tailed deer on the grasslands and agroforestry areas of the Yucatan Peninsula.

A hunter and I search for the trail of a white-tailed deer on the grasslands and agroforestry areas of the Yucatan Peninsula.

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