View to the hills in San Antonio, Cayo
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Wednesday December 16, 2020

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Roni Martinez
Director of Field Operations at Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team
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View to the hills in San Antonio, Cayo

Village life. That little old man who every day goes to his farm to harvest something, because he always has. That neighbor's dog who protects your house as well because you also feed it. The misty hills at the back, where the stream starts and provides for everyone and also where you go birding on weekends. The place where anywhere you stop, someone might just give you a plate of food or a cold glass of watermelon juice. That cool little place where life just goes slower because it never needed to speed up because there was never a need for. That peaceful place where I live, that soothing place where I learn, that tranquil place where I can hide or simply be. That calm place I call...home.

Migration and Settlement of San Antonio, Cayo

San Antonio, Cayo is a Yucatec-Maya dominated community located on the entrance of the pristine Maya mountains of Belize. The founding fathers, the Howes, Meshs, Mais, Tzibs, and Tzuls, migrated from northern and south-western Yucatan through northern Belize and Guatemala into San Jose Soccotz, Bullet Tree, Cristo Rey, Yalbac, San Antonio and other areas in the Cayo District. Their refugee-like migration was also conditioned by notions of survival through agriculture. Our fathers first migrated into the Pine Ridge area; but due to the conditions of the soil and limited agricultural production, they decided to migrate once more. They moved to the outskirts of the Maya mountains in an area that had several water wells, and small mounds. Specifically, oral history indicates that the territory, that is now San Antonio, maintained three main mounds. Our fathers decided to settle in this particular location because it provided fertile soil and access to drinking water. Their rationalization for settlement innately created our home in a valley surrounded by virgin mountains. Although the community is now transitioning from an agricultural background it is important to remember our origins and remember Osh Multun Kakab!

Photograph by Roni Martinez

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