The Living Maya Experience

As I’ve mentioned previously, the southern Belizean district of Toledo is home to the majority of Belize’s Maya inhabitants, with around 20,000 of them spread over 60 villages.  And while many of them seem happy to live in their thatched wooden houses and tend to their beans and corn on the farm, living the kinds of rural lives their people have lived for generations, some of them are slowly embracing the kinds of cultural tourism that the nearby Garifuna people have been pioneering. Continue reading

The Maya Village

Of all of Belize’s ethnic groups, the Maya are the most indigenous of the lot – they were in Central America long before the arrival of the first white men, and some of their ruined cities are over two thousand years old.  Nowadays, the Mestizos and the Creoles make up the country’s main ethnicities, and the Maya (who now comprise about 10% of the population) are spread round the country’s hinterland, near the borders with Mexico and Guatemala.  One of the areas where they’re most concentrated is Toledo district, in the far south of Belize.  With over 60% of Toledo’s population being Maya, and with them living in over 30 villages, it’s one of the best places to spend some time with the descendants of the original inhabitants of the area.  And I finally get my opportunity to go there by working for a few days in Punta Gorda, the very last town on the Southern Highway. Continue reading