Friendship Bridge – Evergreen Circle
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 6:30pm
Evergreen Church of the Transfiguration
(Douglas Hall on the east end of downtown Evergreen)
R.S.V.P. to John Daigle, email@example.com
During our travels to Tikal and Yaxha in Guatemala last year, my wife Vicki and I were honored to receive a very special wedding blessing from a Maya shaman (J’Men).
It was conducted by highly respected Reginaldo Chayax Huex, director of BioItzá a protected biosphere headquartered in San Jose on Lake Peten Itzá. He is one of fewer than 60 remaining persons who are fluent in the Itzá dialect of the Mayan language.
Many of our Evergreen, Colorado friends and neighbors have asked us to share our knowledge of both the ancient and present-day Maya culture. Over the past 40 years, we have collected quite a bit of information in our travels to Guatemala (Tikal, Yaxha, etc.) and Mexico (Palenque, Yaxchilan, Coba, etc.)
So we’ll be showing video clips of our exploits and pass along information I’ve accumulated while attending Maya Field Workshops with David Stuart and “auditing” classes with the legendary Linda Schele at the University of Texas at Austin.
Among our topics:
- Our background and interest in the Maya culture (both ancient and contemporary). This will include a 5 to 10 minute video clips of our travels to iconic Maya sites of Tikal, Yaxha and Uaxactun, Aguateca, Palenque and Yaxchilan as well as present day Flores and the Lake Peten area.
- A short clip of our “wedding blessing ceremony” conducted by Reginaldo Chayax Huex and his son, Aderito Chayax
- Ancient Maya art (sculpture, ceramics and textiles) and how they can be seen in present-day art and textiles.
- Mayan hieroglyphs, how they can be read and their relation to present-day Mayan languages.
- How the accomplishments of the ancient Maya ancestors can be shared with the present-day descendants as a point of pride and inspiration.
Of course present day Maya face incredible economic and political challenges. So to some, a study of their ancient past may seem frivolous. Hopefully we offer some insights into how the ancient heritage can inspire a successful future.
We appreciate the invitation of Friendship Bridge to speak at Evergreen Circle. They work with indigenous Maya women where the rate of poverty in Guatemala is highest. Among other important goals, they assist with a successful microcredit program to foster:
- A greater ability to weather economic shocks, such as illness or natural disaster
- Decreased malnutrition
- Decreased spousal abuse
- Improved hygiene and health care
- Increased number of children attending school, especially girls