Yaxunah | Yucatan
Come learn Mayan, practice Spanish, and even learn to write hieroglyphics, and take advantage of many other educational opportunities.
Yaxunah is also an ejido – that means many heads of households are certified as members of a kind of corporation that holds the lands around the village in common. Families have rights to farm plots and to cut the wood products from the forests for firewood, home construction, and craft work, but they cannot sell the communal land, rather pass its use-rights on to their children. We provide opportunities for you to learn about this form of governance and the environment that surrounds the village.
Traditionally, Yaxunenses (as the people of Yaxunah are called) subsist as corn, beans, and squash farmers. In the afternoons, you will see young women going to the mill with containers of corn balanced on their heads. Later, over an open flame, they will make the ground corn masa into fresh, hot, delicious tortillas for their families. Many women will be happy to let you try your hand at making tortillas, and discuss traditional recipes with you.
In recent times the community has looked for other work out of a necessity to be a part of the national/global cash economy. Villagers have turned to carving wooden “Maya-esque” wall plaques and masks for tourist markets and have sought assistance from Non-Governmental Organizations and State agencies for community development projects. Yaxunah provides a unique vantage point from which to observe culture change as it happens. Come learn about the various crafts they make – woodcarving, jewelry carved from horn, hammock making in the ancient style, etc., and how the community incorporates itself into the regional cash economy.