What is El Pilar?
El Pilar is a Living Museum and Laboratory drawing from Ancient Cultural Practices to create a Conservation Model for the Future of Civilization.
In a region where a civilization once flourished our recent expansion threatens environmental integrity. Local cultural traditions speak to an intimate knowledge of the forest while the ecology of the forest speaks to a systematic cultivation by humans. The last native Maya reveal keen awareness of ecological complexities involving animal, plants, and people, clearly favoring forest growth. The Maya sustainable practices that demonstrate the mutual benefits of culture and nature are unknown to the world. Collaborative research on the culture and nature of the Maya forest promises to open new paths to knowledge and understanding that will create a conservation model for the future of our civilization.
For many centuries, dense forest has been the guardian of the ancient Maya city at El Pilar, on what is now the border of Belize and Guatemala. Imagine. Being able to step back in time and experience life in the jungle as the ancient Maya did. Enter their homes. Stroll their gardens. Encounter the native wildlife. This is the promise of El Pilar – where archeologist Anabel Ford is restoring not just another stone monument, but an entire living environment. An environment that will create a new kind of eco-tourism –– based on the traditional and sustainable practice of forest gardening.
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