Yucatec Maya: farmer

Juan Dzul works as a waiter in the restaurant Casa Tucán in Playa del Carmen. I go there several times a week for my water aerobics class so I have known Juan for a few years now. He lives here in Playa with his family although he was born in the village of Yokdzonot near the famous Chichén Itzá ancient ruins. Like many Maya people, he came to Playa in search of work. He speaks Maya, Spanish, English and some German. It just shows how hard-working the Maya are and they go out of their way to earn a living. Today he is the restuarant manager but in his heart he remains a farmer.

Every penny that he saves goes towards purchasing cattle. His mother and brothers have a family farm in the jungle, outside his native village and that is the way he contributes, while they work the land. His dream is to retire to that farm one day. The Maya have a strong relation to their land, as well as a spiritual connection. It means that they interact with their natural environment in a certain way. Spiritual significance is found in all living things. The Maya revere each animal and plant. They see themselves as part of the natural environment. To hurt the land would be to hurt themselves.

With Juan at Casa Tucan restaurant. 2019.

With Juan at Casa Tucan restaurant. 2019.

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Rhodri JonesComment