10 Ahaw 13 Keh: Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara

10 Ahaw 13 Keh (November 19, 2022)

Awakening Achi: Revitalizing the Ancient Script in Cubulco, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala

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Achi participants in the workshop in Cubulco, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala

In this coming week of Thanksgiving and remembrance, we give thanks to all of our Maya friends, and to all of their ancestors who live on in language, culture, and tradition—and now through the use of the Ancient Maya script. This month, we hear from Mateo Ajualip Rodríguez from Baja Verapaz in Guatemala. Mateo conducted an introductory workshop for Achi Maya speakers in Cubulco this past September.

We wish all of you and yours a festive and safe holiday season, giving thanks to all of you for all of your ongoing support.

Mantiox Chawe,

Michael Grofe, President

Mayas for Ancient Mayan
Baja Verapaz, Guatemala

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Presentation of final workshop results

Introductory Level
Ojeer Mayab’ Tz’iib’
Ancient Writing System

Responsible: Mateo Ajualip Rodríguez
With the support of: José Arturo Calo Ortiz
Place: Cubulco, Baja Verapaz
Date: September 06, 2022
Number of participants: 28


A training workshop on the Ojeer Mayab’ Tz’iib’, aimed at Mayan speakers and non-Maya speakers, was carried out in the department of Baja Verapaz, Guatemala. The training was a success, with a number of participants, where women and men participated with joy to understand the magnitude of the ancient writing system of the Maya people. This training was carried out in the facilities of the Maya Achi Cultural Center, a strategic place to gather Achi speakers, so that they can learn about the linguistic richness of the ancient language.

The training workshop was attended by people from the municipalities of Cubulco, Rabinal, San Miguel Chicaj, and Salamá, in face-to-face mode, where individual and group work was carried out. But first of all, a theoretical introduction of the emergence of the writing system was given, so that participants could learn and thus be able to write through the syllabary. This process is important, so that the Maya speakers themselves can understand the rules and orders of writing and its breakdown process to write it in any current language.

We had the support of the Maya Achi Cultural Center, the space, the furniture, as well as the technical projection team.


The training process in Ojeer Mayab’ Tz’iib’, carried out in Cubulco, Baja Verapaz, was satisfactory, since 28 speakers of the Maya Achi language from the department of Baja Verapaz participated from the municipalities of Cubulco, Rabinal, San Miguel Chicaj, and Salamá.

The printing of the necessary material for the participants was achieved, where the theory and the Mayan syllabary system are embodied, so that the participants had the necessary tools so that they could do the exercises with the given examples and develop knowledge from the ancient writing.

Material was delivered, such as: a brochure on the Mayan Hieroglyphic System, sheets of bond paper, B2, B3 pencils, as well as an eraser, so that they had the necessary tools to practice the Mayan tziib’ system.


Beginning of the workshop where the birth of the ancient writing system was explained, the advances and how this linguistic richness in glyphs was lost

Explanation of the use of the syllabary, how it orders and the formation of the syllables to be able to write in the ancient language and writing

Beginning of the writing in glyphs: This exercise was requested to the participants after the explanation of the writing rules, and they must write their name in glyphs.

Presentation of a participant with her name in glyphs, a first experience of rewriting in the ancient script

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Writing the name of their place of origin

Presentation of the name of your community, by the participants

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The participants, writing in the ancient Mayan script

After the workshop, the space for Lunch


This training in Maya epigraphy is of the utmost importance for the linguistic enrichment of the Mayan languages, as it helps to understand the order and rules of the current Mayan language. For this reason, it is important that the Mayan speakers themselves have the knowledge to write and read in the system. of ancient writing.

More people participated in the workshop given than expected. It had been planned for 20 people, but with the interest of more people, 28 people from different municipalities gathered. With this knowledge about Mayan epigraphy, the writing system in glyphs, the participants also had the support of other people to achieve the goal of teaching the Ojeer Tz’iib’.