“The Mayan Train is a project that can generate wellbeing and development as long as the rural indigenous communities play an active role, otherwise it would be a colonialist project”, said Professor Ildefonso Palemón Hernández Silva, during his participation in the National Congress of the Mayan Train.
A member of the Higher and Intercultural Education Network in the South-Southeast Border of Mexico, Hernández Silva touched on the subject in his presentation “Between welfare and development: a personal, community and public dilemma”.
“There can be welfare, there can be what is known as good living with work, but generally it has not happened and that is why there are great doubts an oppositions that may exist as it has happened with other projects and megaprojects”, he explained.
The collaborator of the Rosario Castellanos Institute of Mexico City and the University of the People of Oaxaca said that in the case of the Mayan Train the communities should have an active and participatory role.
“They should propose their own actions, so that the activities they are doing strengthen them, so that they can also develop new projects and processes, and do what they have not done. That their language, their culture, their knowledge, their philosophy… not only get to know them better, but also make them known”.
Mr. Hernández Silva, who is an advisor to the National Institute of Indigenous Languages (Inali), shared that Inali is working with the language and culture and is in communication, but there is a lack of work with chroniclers, Mayan speakers, cultural promoters, artists to make cultural, artistic and language valuation projects “and that they go as if they were wagons accompanying the train”.
He added that if the community takes an active role there can be development and welfare in a megaproject, because there are favorable conditions to do so.