The Maya Cultural Center
This educational facility will rise in Melchor de Mencos Peten. A rural municipality of approximatly 20,000 inhabitants in the far northeastern corner of Guatemala it lies at the southern limit of Central AMerica’s largest protected tropical forest, The Maya Biospshere Reserve and at the Guatemala-Belize international border. In spite of some trade and tourism passing through this border town, it lacks many basic opportunities in jobs, education and health care for its inhabitant’s to improve their living above the poverty level.
Tourism from Belize to Guatemala largely bypasses the town because it finds few attractions outside its small open air market and a few cantinas. By contrast, the enviornment surrounding the town is one of the most important sanctuaries for endangered species in Central America and it is dotted by countless lost cities of the Classic and Preclassic Maya which provide visitors with incredible settings for wildlife observation and archaeological discoveries.
Natural light and ventilation will enter the exhibit from the couryard through the wide doorways adding to the comfort of occupants and reducing electric power use. Solar arrays will provide electicity to the complex.
The concept drawings by architect Ron Verdier include space for exhibits of ancient artifacts and forest conservation, a library, conference room and a gift shop stocked with archaeology books, children’s books and arts and craft produced by local artisans and inspired by ancient object and forest materials. Local children will learn about the rich culture and environment of their land and will be empowered to protect it and manage it soustainably. Through video conferencing, lectures and other media local children will connect with schools in other parts of the world and share their questions about Maya culture and environmental conservation. A portion of the proceeds from donations will also go to buy books and computers for the local schools and to provide protection for the local archaeological areas under threat.
The estimated cost of construction and set up is $300,000. A $100,000 contribution from the Kellogg Company puts us 1/3 of the way from our goal. Please help us reach our goal by making a donation. No amount is too small. 100% of donated funds will be devoted to this project.
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