The ancient Mayan world centered on the Yucatan Peninsula, spilling over to the lowland rainforests of Mexico to the east and Belize in the west, finally climbing up to the Guatamalan highlands through to the Pacific coast of Guatamala. The eastern edges of Honduras and El Salvador were also part of the Mayan world. Today, most Mayan people now live in three areas: the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas state in Mexico, and the Guatemalan highlands.
Mayan Daily Life
The Mayans mainly focused on farming, and mostly men did it. They farmed beans, squash, tomatoes, chili peppers, carao (chocolate), avacado, and last but certainly not least, Maize (corn). Maize was the Mayans most important crop. Mayans also used plants, herbs and such, for healing people from illnesses.
There were many materials used in the time of the Mayans. They used chert and obsidian to create tools. They used bone to create needles and fishing hooks. Wood was also used for many things. They used it for making handles for things, levers, and bows for hunting and warriors. Later on in the 1200's they used copper for tweezers and fishing hooks. Besides chert and obsidian, basalt was used for scrapers, chisels, axes, and grinding stones.
For decoration, beads and dresses, they used bone, jade, oystershells, and any other dark green stone they can find. Usually the girls would make the clothing and jewels, along with other chores such as bringing in wood and water. They would make sculptures and necklaces out of these rescources. They also wove baskets and clothing. They would use natural dye from indigo plants (which produced blue) and the chochineal (a bug) which would make red.
The Mayas Today
Today the descendants of those who built the amazing archaeological zones live within the Mexican States of Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, Quintana Roo and Yucatan as well as the Central American Countries of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.
The Mayas live in small extremely poor communities keeping the same ancient life style, speaking their native language, harvesting the land the same way as their ancestors did and paying tribute to their old traditions.
Some of them are bilingual as they learn Spanish to be able to communicate with the other inhabitants in the area; however, it is still possible to find communities where the visitor will not hear any other language but Maya.
Friends of the Maya Foundation is born thanks to the interest of Mr. José Manuel García in enhancing life within of the World of the Maya. The Maya people have shared with him and his family their rich culture and generous spirit over the past 20 years. Today a great number of friends, entrepreneurs, clients, suppliers and people who believe in this project have supported this action...
Friends of the Maya Foundation coordinates the activate participation of individuals, local and international organizations and corporations to achieve our objective in delivering immediate and lasting improvements to the World of the Maya while preserving its uniqueness
Regions with significant populations
Parts of modern-day countries of El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras
Mayan languages, Spanish, Kriol and English
Christianity (predominantly Roman Catholic), Maya religion