In order to preserve the astounding natural and cultural heritage of the Mayan World, five countries – Mexico (five states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatan), Belize, Guatamala, El Salvador and Honduras, joined together in a ground-breaking regional development program know as “Mundo Maya.”
Once the domain of one of the most important ancient civilizations to flourish in the Americas, the Mayan World is an area of majestic archeological sites, breathtaking landscapes, teeming wildlife, Spanish colonial cities and colorful indigenous cultures. After 3,000 years, the Maya continue to captivate the imagination of the world. From schools and universities across the United States, to the entertainment industry and the professional and academic communities, the Maya remain one of the most popular cultures, attracting a growing number of visitors from North America, Europe and the Far East.
Mayas of Today
Mayas of the Past
In 1994, shortly after the introduction of the World-Wide-Web, Mundo Maya took on a dramatic dimension when Windows on the World, an industrial partner of the San Diego Supercomputer Center of the U.S. National Science Foundation, situated on the campus of the University of California, San Diego, began the monumental task of working to protect the Mayan culture and people, by developing and implementing the Mundo Maya Internet site to increase international awareness of the people, thus strengthening the culture for generations to come.
Working with the Federal, State and local governments, and in conjunction with the private sectors within the Mayan regions, the Maya World Internet Project conceived and directed by Dr. Tomer Anbar, was engineered using systems theory approach and an multidisciplinary architecture to promote massive group interaction. Ultimately the project when launched in 1995, was designed to improve the lot of area inhabitants with low-impact tourism and sustainable development programs which give visitors the opportunity to explore the area online, shop the arts of the region through electronic commerce, view unique areas through webcams, and speak via ‘internet phone” to local area inhabitants. This opened up new opportunities to learn about the culture, its history and archeology, join in educational projects, book travel to discover its countless natural and cultural attractions and meet the modern-day Maya, all without harming the fragile eco-systems.
The Maya World interactive web site is credited by the Mayan world governments to having contributed immensely to the preservation of this cultural heritage and national treasure. It also set in motion a mechanism which has been producing significant results on behalf of the economies within Mundo Maya, with direct benefits to the Mayan people.
The Mayans and Their Achievements: 2000 B.C. – 1000 A.D.
The Maya were the first in the Americas to conceive and use the zero; they plotted the orbit of Venus; sailed both oceans and built prodigious monuments, now eloquent witnesses to a glorious past.
The Maya did not disappear…they still illuminate this part of the world, an area of almost 500,000 square kilometers, now occupied by the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Yucatan, and the countries of El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, and Guatamala.
With their colorful garments, they work the land as their ancestors once did, speak the old languages and practice ancient rituals to bring rain, bless the crops or the honey harvest.