How to Help


Project Philosophy

Ancient Site, Modern Town

19th Century: The Finca


Economic and Cultural Challenges

The Cooperative and
the Town Today

Cautions for Western Visitors

Employment and Other Needs

Tourism and Crafts

Development Goals



Chocolá Community: Project Philosophy

The philosophy of the project is that, ethically, epistemologically, and practically, the archaeological research cannot be separated from the life and continuance of the modern Maya community. Archaeology no longer can function to extract objects and knowledge from Third World ground for export, as “conquest knowledge,” or documentation of the booty of conquest, to the First World.

By the same token, First World liberalist initiatives in the Third World cannot any longer function only to produce an ecological and cultural “park,” reifying or fixing in place, as if dead, Maya and other cultures for the enjoyment of First World citizens. A multivocal approach is necessary that seeks to integrate local indigenous knowledge, perspectives, history, and autonomy, into what otherwise must still attempt as much as possible to be an accumulative, science-based knowledge enterprise.

On a more practical level, helping the impoverished, marginalized townspeople find alternative development strategies that are sustainable, that is, that preserve local knowledge and cultural practices, is essential. Currently, unplanned and disordered growth of the town in the form of shack housing cutting into ancient mounds and destruction of archaeological remains occurs because the sons of small-plot farmers lack even the funds sufficient to escape their prison of unemployment, abysmal sanitation and a future with no prospects.

In many respects, but minus the individual suffering and the devastating impact of 500 years of history, the quandary mirrors the Locality vs Globalism dichotomy: one cannot have the one simultaneously while respecting and encouraging the apparently completely contradictory other.

Click on the links to the left for more information on the Project's community development efforts and archaeological research.

The Project (PACH) is currently working
to build awareness of the community's needs.
Here, the Project welcomes the German
ambassador to Chocolá.

Helping to build hope for the future of
Chocolá's people is an integral part
of the Project's mission.


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