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Decline of culture

The traditional relationship between humanity and nature, is hard to maintain after the entrance of mining exploitations and accompanying environmental impacts. Many traditional communities live in harmony with nature and what they’ve taken? from their ecosystems. Indigenous identity is often bound to the territory it is living on. The land of its ancestors. When expropriated, the exploitation of this place causes a huge impact on it’s worldview.

Autonomous communities which are dependent on own agricultural yields and who have a spiritual connection with the earth, have problems to survive according their traditional ways of living. Because of water scarcity and pollution, it is impossible to keep relying on self-sustainable modes of life. In the worldview of the Mayas –cosmovision- life is a cycle, starting by people origining from the earth and returning to the earth after their death. Children are a gift of the earth, which therefore earns great respect. The ‘robbing’  of traditional territories contradicts their way of view. Mining multinationals deply (is geen word bij mijn weten, wat wordt hiermee bedoeld?) Madre Tierra and leave an infertile crater behind. The communities living near a minesite suffer under ecological, social and health problems. Next to this, they are being confronted on a daily basis, with the impressive visual presence of an open pit mine. Expropriation, environmental pollution and water scarcity are all side effects of gold exploitations. Self-sustainable communities -relying on agriculture as central economic activity- see how their way of surviving slowly ceases to sustain. Farmer families are forced to look for another way of living, in this reversed migration rural people are moving to more urban areas. Resulting in dependency positions where traditional communities face oppositions in dominant urban culture. This results in the diminishing of traditional culture, a self-sustainable way of life and a growing feeling of impotence and inferiority. Through incoming migration, youngsters are more exposed to cultures other than their own. Social and cultural relations in indigenous communities are more than ever subject to influence. Local traditions and customs diminish under pressure from rising racism, alcoholism and just simply, globalization.