Skip to content

Guatemala’s Indigenous Community Expresses Concern Over New Maya Museum

May 26, 2015

By: Ligia María

mayamuseum-guat-640

“We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle, or zoos,” Maya human rights activist Rigoberta Menchú said in a 1992 interview shortly before she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. If she was speaking today, Menchú might have included “museum” among the list of things that Guatemala’s indigenous are not, after news of a proposed Maya museum in Guatemala City was announced last month.

Dezeen magazine reported on the plans to build Central America’s largest museum of Maya artifacts, Museo Maya de América (Maya Museum of America), in the Guatemalan capital. This comes less than two years after Mexico opened two new Maya museums, one in the resort town of Cancun, the other in touristy Merida. The $60 million construction of the new Guatemalan museum will begin in 2015 and will be completed through a public-private partnership, with the building scheduled to open in 2017. While the initial news of the museum was greeted with blind optimism in the press, a preliminary investigation by Hyperallergic into the realities of the proposed museum raises some serious questions about the exclusion of indigenous voices from the museum, the proposed museum site, and whether the institution would further weaken the public national museum that already exists.

Read more…

Advertisements

Mayas de Campeche pierden tradiciones por discriminación y rezago

May 20, 2015

By: Ligia María

IMG_7040 (Small)

El presidente de la organización de los Pueblos Indígenas Mayas, Marcelino Mis Uc, señaló que aún enfrentan rezago en sus comunidades, por lo que es necesario orientar hacia ese sector las políticas públicas.

Campeche.- Algunas Organizaciones No Gubernamentales en Campeche aseguran que los 176 mil 115 personas que pertenecen a etnias autóctonas de 45 grupos indígenas diferentes, donde la más numerosas es la maya peninsular, aún sufren discriminación y rezago.

En el marco de la celebración del descubrimiento de América, el próximo 12 de octubre, el presidente de la organización de los Pueblos Indígenas Mayas, Marcelino Mis Uc, señaló que aún enfrentan rezago en sus comunidades, por lo que es necesario orientar hacia ese sector las políticas públicas.

Read more…

Cholitas paceñas: Bolivia’s indigenous women flaunt their ethnic pride

May 18, 2015

By: Ligia María

Bolivia fashion

Brilliantly co-loured skirts and fringed shawls swirl and massive gold earrings and brooches glitter as young women sway up and down a room in a 17th century hotel in downtown La Paz.

It’s Saturday afternoon, and modelling class is in session. But these are not size-zero supermodels wearing the latest European couture; they are petite indigenous women dressed in rakishly tilted bowler hats, shawls – and layers and layers of petticoats and skirts.

They are dressed in the traditional costume of the Aymara Indian women of La Paz – known as cholitas paceñas – an outfit which once which denoted membership of a marginalised and downtrodden section of Bolivian society, but now reflects the growing confidence and spending power of the country’s emergent indigenous middle class.

Read more…

Campesinos contra multinacionales

May 15, 2015

By: Ligia María

1423501551_654286_1424110662_noticia_normal gtrande1

“Una de las formas de operar del Estado guatemalteco es decir que el combate contra la pobreza se hace trayendo capital extranjero para la inversión en mega proyectos. Pero llegan esos capitales y el Gobierno lo único que hace es concesionar los bienes naturales de los pueblos a petroleras, a empresas que tienen el interés de establecer proyectos mega hidroeléctricos, o a mineras. Por eso tenemos problemas en diversas comunidades como San Miguel Ixtahuacán, Sipacapa, San Rafael las Flores, San José el Golfo, San Juan Sacatepéquez, San Pablo la costa, San Pablo Tacana, Santa Caterina“.

Quien cuenta estas cosas es Feliciano Velásquez, líder campesino guatemalteco y uno de los fundadores del Frente de Resistencia, En Defensa de los Recursos Naturales y los Derechos de los Pueblos (FRENA), que visitó Madrid a finales del año pasado. Estaba acompañado del abogado Ramón Cadena, director de la Comisión Internacional de Juristas de Guatemala (CIJ).

Este último insiste en el discurso de su compañero, agregando que el gobierno de Guatemala, desde la firma de la paz —en 1996 tras más de tres décadas de conflicto civil— se ha convertido en “el guardián de las empresas privadas”. Por otro lado, asegura, las empresas privadas transnacionales han adquirido tanto poder que superan al poder del Estado. “Y por eso es muy difícil hacerlas responsables de sus actos en el país. Por esa razón es que hemos venido, además de para informar de lo que está sucediendo en Guatemala, a pedirle al Parlamento español, al catalán y al europeo que establezcan un marco legal más amplio que permita establecer la responsabilidad penal de las transnacionales por los actos que realizan sus filiales en el extranjero”, agrega.

Read more…

Ancient Maya Cities Found in Jungle

May 12, 2015

????????????????????????????????????

Original version, Spanish translation below

By: Ligia María

Traducción al Español, abajo

A monster mouth doorway, ruined pyramid temples and palace remains emerged from the Mexican jungle as archaeologists unearthed two ancient Mayan cities.

Found in the southeastern part of the Mexican state of Campeche, in the heart of the Yucatan peninsula, the cities were hidden in thick vegetation and hardly accessible.

“Aerial photographs helped us in locating the sites,” expedition leader Ivan Sprajc, of the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), said.

Sprajc and his team found the massive remains as they further explored the area around Chactun, a large Maya city discovered by the Slovenian archaeologist in 2013.

No other site has so far been located in this area, which extends over some 1800 square miles, between the so-called Rio Bec and Chenes regions, both known for their characteristic architectural styles fashioned during the Late and Terminal Classic periods, around 600 – 1000 A.D.

Read more…

Giant Mayan Frieze Tells Ancient Guatemala Story

May 12, 2015

dnews-files-2013-08-mayan-frieze-jpg grande

Original version, Spanish translation below

By: Ligia María

Traducción al Español, abajo

Archaeologists working in a buried Mayan pyramid in Guatemala have discovered an enormous inscribed frieze richly decorated with images of gods and rulers, the Guatemalan government announced.

Dating to the 6th century, the carving has been hailed by local authorities as “the most spectacular frieze seen to date” and one of the best-preserved pieces of Mayan art ever discovered.

It was found at the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Holmul, in the northern province of Peten, by Guatemalan archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli below a 65-foot-high pyramid which was built over it in the 8th century.

Measuring 26 feet by nearly 7 feet, the 1,400-year-old carvings decorated the outside of a mysterious multi-roomed rectangular building. Found when Estrada-Belli and his team excavated a tunnel left open by looters, the monumental artwork depicts human figures in a mythological setting, suggesting these may be deified rulers.

Read more…

Mayan temple damaged in end of world party

January 30, 2013

By: Ligia María

 

December 24, 2012. TOURISTS flocking to Guatemala for “end of the world” parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archaeological site and urban centre of the Mayan civilisation.

“Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage,” said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, which is located some 550 kilometres north of Guatemala City.

“We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (UNESCO) World Heritage Site,” he told local media.

Gomez did not specify what was done, although he did say it was forbidden to climb the stairs at the site and indicated that the damage was irreparable.

Temple II, which is about 38 metres high and faces the central Tikal plaza, is one of the site’s best known structures.

More than 7000 people visited Tikal on Friday to see native Mayan priests hold a colourful ceremony and light fires as the sun emerged to mark the new era.

Read more…