Most of the Maya people in Belize live in remote, isolated villages, so the best way to learn more about them is by participating in a cultural tour. These culture tours include traveling to a Maya village and learning more about their traditional way of life, their history, language, music, and culture.
Participants of a Maya cultural tour will enjoy many hands-on activities like preparing a traditional meal from scratch. The Maya have been farming corn (maize) for thousands of years, and the corn god played an important role in the ancient Maya pantheon. Maya cuisine today still revolves around corn, so participants will learn how to grind corn in order to make delicious tortillas and tamales.
Another ancient food used by the Maya for thousands of years is chocolate, which is made from the “beans” or seeds of the cacao plant. Cacao is an important agricultural product in Belize today, and the Maya have many traditional recipes made from cacao. Participants of a Maya cultural tour will learn how to make ancient beverages like hot chocolate from cacao beans grown right in the village.
Other hands-on activities that participants can enjoy include learning how to weave using reeds grown in the region. These organic, sustainable sources of fiber are then plaited or woven to make bags and baskets as well as hammocks, which were invented by the Maya people thousands of years ago. Other fun hands-on activities available for a Maya cultural tour include learning how to carve and fashion musical instruments from locally grown bamboo.
There are no physical requirements for attending a Maya cultural tour, so participants of all ages are welcome. Participants are advised to bring a camera, sun protection, and insect repellant as well as to dress appropriately for a jungle setting. A Maya cultural tour is an all-day event and lasts around eight hours.
If you’d like to experience Maya culture for yourself, be sure to book your tour with Untame Belize. Untame Belize also offers other exciting tours such as ATV expeditions in the jungle as well as arranging accommodations at Davis Falls Inn, a charming guest house in southern Belize.