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History of Chichicastenango

The Future

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  La Academia de Arte y Cultura Maya hopes to provide courses of study which can satisfy the longing of  Guatemalans of Maya Quiche descent for knowledge about the glory of  Maya civilization. Many Maya seek spiritual and artistic inspiration in a quest for their own  heritage and identity in the 21st century while others look for access to the latest scientific research on the Maya in Archeology and Epigraphy.  The  Academy will try to respond to these different concerns.

  The Academia will provide art  classes for children and young artists. Some of these classes will stress drawing the people of Chichicastenango in their colorful traditional costumes , others will focus on rendering the Colonial architecture. Studying Maya pottery painting and mural painting will help students to  acquire the artistic skills of design  and painting of their past for their own future.  But styles change, and the Academia will not be ‘academic’ but stress creativity and art as part of life in the 21st century.


  The Academia will be a place where aspiring artist have the opportunity to develop their talents in a professional manner. The town of Chichicastenango  is famous as the place where the famous Maya manuscript Popol Vuh was  discovered. Today Chichicastenango retains the charm and beauty of a Colonial town and thousands of foreign visitors flock here to see the colorful market on Thursdays and Sundays. This tourist based economy provides an opportunity for local artists and artisans.

  The academy also aims to provide visitors from other countries with an opportunities to learn about Maya art and crafts such as mask making and textile design, and courses and lectures for tourists are being prepared.


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Don Miguel Leon Ignacio
Land donor to Academia
Juan Leon Cortez
President of Academia


Miguel Leon Cortez
Artist, Teacher