Mundo Maya Blog
About this blog
Travelers to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras in 2012 can expect a yearlong celebration of Maya culture, past and present—and Moon Maya 2012 author Joshua Berman is blogging about all of it.
- Maya 2012: A Round-up of Celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize & Honduras
- Reporting for National Geographic on Maya winter solstice in Belize
- Maya calendar cycle celebrated throughout Central America
- Feliz B'aktun! The New Dawn is Here: The First Sunrise in Caracol, Belize
- Maya Calendar 101: What Does “December 21, 2012” Really Mean?
- Gifts for Mayaphiles
- Books on the Maya: Suggested Reading for 2012
- Izapa Sunrise Story by Mary Jo McConahay
- Tranquilo Radio Tour 2012: Seven hours straight of talking about travel
- Tune in this Wednesday! Maya 2012 author Josh Berman on a radio show near you!
- End Maya-Aztec calendar confusion now!
- Q&A with Maya Experts on Satellite Imagery of Archaeological Sites
- Maya response to 'doomsday' 2012 stories
- Only a couple of rooms left for "The Great Return: Copan 2012" tour of a lifetime!
- 5 Questions about Traveling in the Mundo Maya for Rafael Garcia
Travel Opportunities in Yucatan, Mexico: Maya Research Program and Yaxunah
I'm always on the lookout for immersive volunteer and study opportunities south of the border and there are a plethora in southern Mexico.
"ASK ME ABOUT VOLUNTEERING IN A MAYA VILLAGE!"
That's what it says at the bottom of my first email from Grace Lloyd Bascopé, Ph.D., Director of the Mexico part of the
Maya Research Program, a fantastic multi-approach non-profit organization. So I do.
The Maya Research Program, she tells me, has an active volunteer program which works mostly in Yaxunah, a Yucatec Maya community about 20 minutes south of Piste and Chichén Itzá.
"Participate in one of our archaeological projects," invites their website, "help conserve a Maya city, or live in a Maya village with our researchers as we visit the spectacular and breathtaking world of the ancient and modern Maya." (Read their page thoroughly, application deadline is May 1 each year.)
No matter which activity you are signing up for, the Yaxunah Centro Cultural offers 15 simple, clean rooms (with bathroom, $30) to rent in the village. Dr. Bascopé admits: "They are not fancy at all, but my students and volunteers and other visitors to the community stay in them all the time. Bring a hammock or use one of theirs for a fee."
This would be a great place to be for the December solstice in 2012, especially for the big "morning after party" the village is holding on December 22, 2012. Come eat traditional foods, brunch, and cultural entertainment to celebrate the dawn of a new era (but don't bring any booze. Yaxunah is a dry village. No liquor is sold, and there is no cantina).
Dr. Bascopé, who has traveled and lived in southern Mexico for decades, has one last reminder: "the state of Yucatan is the safest state in Mexico— probably safer than many of the cities we live in in the United States."