Organización para la Conservación de la Naturaleza y Desarrollo Comunitario5ª avenida “B” 8-15 zona 7, Colonia Nueva Monserrat
Centro América, 01007, Ciudad de Guatemala
|Contact person:||Marleny Rosales Meda (President), María Susana Hermes Calderón (Vicepresident)|
- Volunteers are welcome.
- Environmental organization
- Educational policy/project
- Social policy/disabled persons
ORCONDECO (Organization for Nature Conservation and Communitarian Development) is nonprofit civil association formed by young Guatemalan professionals and technicians specialized in the fields of biology, conservation and wildlife management, law applied to disadvantaged and marginalized groups, agriculture in production systems, medicine, psychology, foreign relations, graphic design and publicity, among others; that have joined efforts to promote communitarian development in our country in a compatible manner with the conservation and responsible use of nature.
Our mission is to “Contribute to the conservation, management and sustainable use of biodiversity; the recognition and promotion of environmental, cultural, social and economic values; and the improvement of the quality of life of Guatemalan ethnic groups, through applied research, the construction of participative and consensus building processes, and the implementation of all-round conservation and social development projects under a democratic framework of equity, justice, solidarity, transparency and respect of human rights."
Under the coordination of Marleny Rosales-Meda and María Susana Hermes, two Guatemalan biologists, ORCONDECO works since 2008 up to date carrying out environmental-cultural education and participative natural resource management programs with indigenous Maya-Q´eqchi´communities from Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Through their work, they promote the conservation of the biological richness as well as the rescue and revaluation of the local and traditional ancestral knowledge at a school, community and regional levels.
Current main programs in Alta Verapaz
1. Popular Environmental-Cultural Education:
At communitarian and regional levels, the main goal of this program is to educate and create awareness among local people and authorities about the value and importance of natural resources to generate positive changes in their attitudes and socio-environmental values and increase their skill for conservation and sustainable management of wildlife; integrating and linking ancestral Maya-Q´eqchi´ wisdom related to the responsible and respectful use of nature as a cross-cutting theme and guide of our work. At school level, the Environmental-Cultural Education School Program (PEACE) aims to educate students and raise their awareness regarding the responsible and respectful use of nature; valuing natural resources in a comprehensive way (ecological, economic, cultural and existence dimensions); increasing their scientific knowledge about nature; and contributing to rescue and strengthen traditional knowledge environmental Maya-Q'eqchi' among local children and teenagers.
2. Traditional Ecological Knowledge Revalorization:
This program is a pioneer educational experience that is respectful, praising and uplifting of Maya-Q´eqchi´ culture, which we also promote the strengthening and practice of social values for community living in harmony with nature as well as feelings of belonging and pride towards the Mayan and Guatemalan culture. We work with 175 Maya-Q´eqchi´ elders (men and women) that voluntarily participate and share their ancestral wisdom for it to be systematized and returned to the children, teenagers, adults and authorities from 64 communities in our study area. Their traditional knowledge and practices are widely shared and revalorized among local people through a diversity of experience-based methods and written & audiovisual education media.
3. Communitarian Management of Wildlife:
Based on the results of regional diagnosis, we facilitate participative processes for the proposal, analysis and establishment of consensuated communitarian and regional strategies and agreements for the sustainable use of wildlife and its habitat and improving local people´s quality of life. For this purpose, we engage and work directly with the authorities of the Communitarian Development Councils of the First and Second Level, the Councils of Elders and governance boards of the regions of Santa Lucia, Salacuim and Nimlaha'kok. We jointly construct the mechanisms and tools needed to create and promote linkages between scientific knowledge, Maya-Q´eqchi´ wisdom and traditional practices and current local needs that favor community involvement, stewardship, effective implementation and enforcement of the agreements that are proposed with social, cultural and economic pertinence for the protection, regulation and responsible use of nature.
4. Ecological monitoring of Endangered Mammals and Birds:
We have achieved the implementation of a system to monitor species richness, abundance and spatial distribution of medium & large-sized mammals and large birds and their fluctuations over time in the Ecoregion Lachua (Laguna Lachua National Park –LLNP- and its influence area), under a participative and adaptative management framework. A total of 12 park rangers from LLNP and five local people have been involved and trained as field researchers to monitor 42 species of interest. The information gathered allows us to monitor the assemblage and population of these species over time, continuously evaluate conservation status of the park and its influence area, provide updated scientific data to guide decision making processes in the region and and formulate/strengthen viable conservation and management strategies for wildlife.
For other net participants we can offer an expert guidance through trained staff, give an expert opinion, procure expert information and establish new contacts in the field of our work.