Maya Cultural Center – GUATEMALA
The Maya Cultural Center is a cultural center and educational resource:
- To preserve, esteem and promote all expressions of Maya culture including Maya dress, music, dance, art, weaving, agriculture, cuisine, and community, spiritual, and family values.
- To reach out to the non-indigenous (ladino) population of Guatemala with special programs and events.
- To serve as a place where Mayas will have the opportunity to present their own interpretation of Maya culture to Guatemala’s international and national tourists.
- To provide a place for educational programs designed to improve racial understanding and help both the indigenous and ladino populations of Guatemala develop pride in the contribution of Mayas to Guatemala’s national identity.
Oral History Project
This is a time of very rapid cultural change in Mayan communities. For 4 years La Casa para La Cultura Maya participated in an oral history project implemented by university students and coordinated by San Carlos University. Each year a group of students had a year long project video taping interviews with older men and women to document the customs and values the elderly remember. The students used the Maya Cultural Center for their final presentations.
Mobile Educational Units
FUNDAMARCOS has been teaching sustainable practices of water management and soil restoration with amazing success. Farmers with small hillside farms regularly double harvests of corn and beans in the first year of implementing program recommendations, and triple their yields in three years while reducing their expenditures on agro-chemicals. The problem to be solved is to find ways to spread the knowledge of how this can be done. EPIC is building Mobile Educational Units that will help get the story out beyond where the agricultural program is currently working. These mobile units, when combined with explanations given by convinced local farmers, will show farming strategies and practices that increase harvests, manage water, restore soils, and mitigate the impact of the erratic weather that Guatemala is already experiencing due to climate change.
Maya Agriculture Exhibit Room and Patio
Present efforts focus on designing a large exhibit room and its accompanying patio. These are designated to show Maya contributions to a sustainable resilient agriculture that could help confront present problems of soil and water degradation, low yields, and erratic weather. The mobile educational carts will reside here as part of the displays in this room when they are not touring.