By Orlando Pulido
A Memorandum of Understanding MOU has recently been signed between Exploring Solutions Past, the Museum of Belize, and the National Institute of Culture and History NICH. Present for the signing was NICH’s President Sapna Budhrani.
The purpose of the signing was to advance the sharing of information and resources coming from Exploring Solutions El Pilar experience. One of the pillars at the El Pilar Archaeological site in Western Belize is its school garden being maintained perpetually in Santa Familia, Cayo.
As part of the MOU, the El Pilar exhibit will also be stored permanently at the Belize Museum so that locals and students alike can learn about the benefits of the Maya Forest Garden experience and milpa cycle.
“[We are] looking at using the experience of antiquity to address climate change, food sovereignty, and sustainable development issue,” says Cynthia Ellis Topsey, Researcher and National Coordinator of Exploring Solutions Past, a program being run by the University of Santa Barbara in California.
A component of the MOU seeks to integrate the knowledge of forest gardens into the school curriculum where agriculture and food production is tuned to “cooperation with the Earth…not just for Belize but for the Earth,” says Cynthia Topsey.
Topsey is currently in Los Angeles and heading to Ohio State University. She says she is thankful for the assistance she obtained from researchers in Santa Barbara.