Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management – SATIIM

We are the Maya and Garifuna of southern Belize who discovered in 1997 that the government had turned our ancestral lands into a park – in 1994. We first created SATIIM to ‘co-manage’ our land with the government – until an oil company started to dynamite paths across the park. We directed SATIIM to fight for our land rights, which created a legal precedent using the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in domestic court. Twenty years later SATIIM is building Maya Land Registry and a legislative proposal for a Maya Lands Act. We are also working with Guatemalan communities toward a pan-Maya model of resource management for the entire region.