5 AJAW 3 SIP (May 15, 2012): The Stage is Set

The rooms and auditoriums are ready. The campus is looking more beautiful than ever. The invitations have gone out, stamped and signed by Rector Carlos Bojorquez Urzais, president of University of the Orient. Dr. Bojorquez has personally embraced this event, opening his campus to the incoming throng of Maya epigraphers from the four corners of the Maya homeland (see blog post 11 Ajaw 3 Wo for the initial announcement).

This beautiful new campus on the northern edge of Valladolid, Yucatán, will be hosting the Congress of Maya Epigraphers in June.

La UNO has to be the only University that incorporates a Maya hieroglyph in its logo, in this case the glyph for “east.” Thus, University of the Orient.

The instructors will be tops in their fields, with all classes taught in Spanish. We have Erik Velazquez, Octavio Esparza, and María Elena Vega, all from UNAM and Marc Zender, Nick Hopkins and Bruce Love from the US.

The Guatemalan participants will be coming in a chartered bus on a two-day odyssey from Guatemala City to Valladolid; passing through Peten, through Belize, changing buses in Chetumal, and continuing north to their destination.

Chartered bus for Guatemalan participants.

Six will be coming from Chiapas, speaking three Maya languages, and of course many from the Peninsula itself, including Campeche, Quintana Roo and the state of Yucatán.

And I am very happy to announce that Belize will be represented for the first time in our history of working with Maya scholars.

It must be said that the public education system in the Peninsula has already made significant steps in introducing ancient Maya culture in the curriculum. This primary school workbook introduces the concept of hieroglyphic writing to school children.

This booklet is standard fare in the bilingual education primary schools in the Yucatán Peninsula.

Uuchben ts’íib, ancient writing, gets a prominent display in the children’s school book.

The positive publicity expected from the upcoming Congress can only reinforce the trend toward greater use of hieroglyphs, calendar and Maya mathematics in the schools.

The next blog post which will come just one week before the event kicks off.

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