Maya Mathematics Workshop and Guatemala Trip 2006

Andrzej Gutek is a mathematician and an artist. In the summer of 2006, Andrzej participated in a week-long Maya Mathematics course in Guatemala. The presenters were Christopher Powell and Ed Barnhart, Director of the Maya Exploration Center.
Before the workshop, Andrzej spent two weeks learning Spanish at Centro Linguistico Internacional, one of many language schools in Antigua. It was the beginning of the rainy season, and on a few occasion the roads became roaring rivers of water and mud. At those times the local taxi, "tuk tuk", was very helpful.
While in Antigua, Andrzej visited several museums, including Paseo-de-Museos. The museum included a small collection of Maya artifacts.
 
A trip to Valhalla Experimental Station, an organic cosmetics macadamia nut plantation, was one of the trips organized by the Spanish language school. A facial was a highlight of the trip!

Maya mathematics workshop participants visited Guatemala City, Antigua, Maya ruins and a museum in El Baul, Panajachel, Santiago Atitlan, and Chichicastenango. Antigua is a vibrant city of parks, churches, fountains, and tourists.

Parque Union

Church San Francisco

Fountain in Antigua

La Merced
The ancient Maya are not gone! On the contrary, they are present in every facet of Guatemalan life. A stroll through any town makes this obvious. Proud of their heritage, they wear the traditional costumes, worship their gods, and engage in both modern and traditional activities.

Polishing jade

Calendar ceremony of a Maya Day Keeper

Backstrap weaving

El Baul, Stela 1

More information about Maya can be found at Maya Exploration Center.
Carol Ventura has a very interesting book about the Maya backstrap weaving of Jacaltenango, Guatemala.
Proyecto Lingüístico Francisco Marroquín, a language school in Antigua, publishes books and dictionaries of Maya languages. One can learn Spanish and several Maya languages there.