We Are The Land, The Land Is Us
The Maya Q’anjob’al people possess profound wisdom and agricultural knowledge and have forged meaningful connections with other indigenous groups in Nebraska; however, we are also a displaced indigenous people, and many of us live in economic poverty. We propose combining this indigenous wisdom and knowledge with recent advancements in regenerative agriculture to create a food production system that will provide healthy, local food, lift Maya people out of poverty in Nebraska in our traditional homeland, and contribute to broad economic development.
The Maya Regeneration Project
The mission of this project is to anchor the Maya Q’anjob’al community’s ancient relationship with the land, create employment, build collective wealth, ensure access to healthy food, restore traditions and culture, support holistic physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, and heal our water and soil through Indigenous-based agricultural practices.
The MRP currently has the following active sub-projects:
Heartland Regional Food Business Center
CMPI is proud to be a lead organization for the Heartland Regional Food Business Center. Working across Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and NW Arkansas, we work to build a more resilient, responsive, and competitive food system by providing localized and proactive assistance to small, mid-sized, and diverse food and farm businesses, as well as local and regional food sector initiatives. It is one of 12 Regional Food Business Centers established in 2023 and funded initially by the United States Department of Agriculture. CMPI represents the Maya community across the Heartland through this initiative and we will work to connect Maya entrepreneurs to resources and opportunities and provide language access and cultural support to ensure our community benefits from this important opportunity.
Maya Community Center Garden
The Maya community came together to create a community garden at our Maya Community Center in South Omaha. After a blessing ceremony led by Maya spiritual leaders, we planted the garden with seeds from Sacred Seed. With this garden we are teaching ourselves and our community about Indigenous and regenerative agriculture techniques and helping ourselves to access healthy, local culturally-appropriate food.
Maya Regeneration Farm
The Maya Community is also working to establish a profitable regenerative poultry, agroforestry, and value-added farm operation with agrotourism attractions that can also serve as a spiritual land base for our displaced Indigenous Maya community on land within 60 miles of Omaha, Nebraska. We were tentatively approved for the USDA Land Access Capital grant in Summer 2023 with our collaborators, Agrarian Land Trust.
Our dream of land to call our own is within reach.
CMPI x Omaha Permaculture
In Summer 2023, CMPI began to collaborate with Omaha Permaculture to provide greater urban land access to the Maya community in Omaha. We started with one garden plot located in North Omaha and are eager to provide more individuals and families with food sovereignty and access to their agricultural and spiritual traditions in accordance with Maya cosmovision. We also collaborated with Omaha Permaculture and helped translate their field guide to local year round growing–soon to be available as a download!
Rural Maya Entrepreneurs
Providing Maya Q'anjob'al and other Indigenous Maya immigrants with the language access, training, tools, and resources they need to start or grow their small businesses LLCs or cooperative models.