Promoting Cultural Pride
Respect for Mayan Culture
At Ak' Tenamit, we don’t believe that promoting development and educating young people in indigenous communities should draw them away from their culture. In fact, our work in the Río Dulce region has resulted in a local cultural renaissance, with more young people learning traditional music, dance and spiritual ceremonies.
Q’eqchi Maya culture plays an important role in the curriculum at our secondary boarding school.
- Students receive a bilingual – Spanish and Q’eqchi – education that is complemented by English classes.
- A Maya priest provides students with training in their culture, history, and religion, and leads traditional ceremonies.
- Students learn to play traditional marimba music and dance traditional dances, which they perform at campus celebrations and events around the country.
- Several students have been trained as Mayan Spiritual Guides, thus insuring the inter-generational transfer of traditional knowledge.
“I came [to Ak’ Tenamit] to find myself. I am Q’eqchi, what does it mean to be Q’eqchi? At first it was hard for me to accept [this culture], that it was ours. Now I see that it is important to value it and if we don’t value it, who else is going to?”
- - Luis Rax, 2010 graduate, Sustainable Tourism