Modern Maya home


You can tell that the Maya are traditional people by looking at their houses. The Modern Maya choose to live in the homes in which their forefathers lived fivethousand years ago. Often a Maya family has several structures on one smaal piece of land. 

The building in the middle is most often the kitchen. The kitchen always was and will be the centre of a Maya family, and the fireplace with its three stones has kept its mythological meaning for thousands of years. In the kitchens the wife prepares the traditional tortillas and you can find the famous metate (grindingstone). In the direct surroundings of the kitchen you can find several homes: The home of the parents and often the homes of their chldres who recently founded their own household. The children and their spouses can go to work while grandmother takes care of her grandchildren.

In each house you will find a hammock, a custom the Maya accepted since the colonial period. Originally the hammock was a custom of the Caribbean cultures (like the Taíno Indians) but introduced by the Spaniards during their conquest. Besides the hammock you will find a personal altar, on which the Maya place some pictures or statues from saints. But almost every Maya house has something that reminds of the period before the western influance, like a replica of an statue from the Ancient gods.

Next to the mentioned buildings there is also a well and a toilet (a small thatched building). In the garden are grown different types of plants that are used for traditional medicine, but also for in the meals. In this garden you will find animals like chickens and pigs for some variation in their diets.