Thursday, April 2, 2009

2010? — The Mundo Maya Loop

[Update: the scheduling has changed yet again...]
(Now shooting for Spring 2010) I intend to drive a loop around the living Maya world, which I have wanted to do as long as I've been living among the Maya in southern Belize.

Photo by Galen Frysinger.

The intention is to start out by car from my Mopan Maya village in southern Belize, and visit four main regions: the Yucatán, Mexico (Yucatec Maya); Chiapas, Mexico (Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabales, Ch'ol, and the remnants of the Lacandón Maya); the Guatemalan Highlands (K'iche', Mam, Poqomam, Kaqchikel, Ixil, and others); and Peten, Guatemala (where I'll visit the "other" Mopan people in San Luis, and search for any remnants of the Itza language); then return home.

Of special linguistic interest are the Yucatec, Lacandón and Itza, whose languages are closely related to Mopan. All these languages are fading, and Itza and Lacandón are said to be all but extinct. I wish to hear for myself.

At this writing I am picturing the loop as anticlockwise (as described, not sure why), but I might do it clockwise — I haven't decided.

IF YOU have people near my proposed route, have an interest in the living Maya, and/or have advice or suggestions or stories, kindly post a comment here or email me. All input is much appreciated.

Background map courtesy MundoChiapas.com.

Galena Alyson Canada 4 March 2008 Vashon Island, Washington, USA
Updated 26 April 2008, Stann Creek, Belize, C.A.
Updated 2 April 2009, Vashon Island, Washington, USA
Updated 29 August 2009, Vashon Island, Washington, USA