Guatemala Cabinet Ambassador for the Indigenous - Rigoberta Menchu Tum publicly and privately urged this NGO and American International University on about May 18, 2005, a need exists for the Maya to hear their dialects used while being gainfully employed and without experiencing prejudice. At the time Secretary Menchu Tum said,

"Can you people help us come up with ways and means to develop Schools for teaching Maya dialects; that would help tribal members have gainful incomes as well as a chance to hear our tongues used in public without being chastised. Besides once foreigners begin to leave our country speaking even a few words of Maya, for instance Mam or Queche, think of it, respect would evolve. Doing this could after centuries of repression, horror and racism finally give our people opportunities we have not had since 1520 when the Spaniards came here and set a precedence  that has ended up dominating our people ever since."

Following Secretary Menchu Tum's urging, we have learned small Maya classes covering various dialects are now underway. Some of these classes are not closed to travelers if an appropriate remuneration takes place.

Return to Maya Museum or American International University's Travel Study Program.