In Guatemala, a country ravaged by civil war for most of the past 50 years, the Mayans make up around half of the population. But the fields of education, politics and the media all belong exclusively to the Spanish language, while smiling white faces and messages in Spanish look down on the Guatemalan people from billboards across the country.
Many Mayans complain of feeling like foreigners in their own land – a sentiment compounded by the dominance of Spanish.
Notice the “eye” symbol: it is the symbol for zero. This mathematical quantity was developed by the Maya independently from the Arabs. The Romans had I, II, III. This discovery allowed advanced mathematical computations in astronomy and mathematics.
As significant was their written language and the development of a calendar more advanced than that used in Western countries today. As you watch the excellent video below you will learn how the the bishop, Landa, burned almost all of the books written by the Mayan scribes over centuries.
The indigenous Maya are recovering their languages and culture after centuries of repression and genocide.
Tikal Rising from the Jungle
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