Explore the mountains and minds of the Ixil Maya and the three Ixil-speaking municipalities of Nebaj, Chajul, and Cotzal in the Guatemalan department of Quiche. A journey into the ancient Ixil Maya homeland offers unforgettable opportunities to explore this traditional Maya culture and stunning geography on an unusually personal level.
Illustrated with alluring photographs and hand-drawn maps, this guide provides: up-to-date logistics of travel and accommodation; critical insight into Ixil history and culture; portraits of Ixil professionals; and detailed explorations of markets, local enterprises, archaeological sites, and ecological wonders.
The repercussions of the recent civil war in Guatemala, globalization, information technology, and improved roads are fast transforming Guatemala, including these remote mountain communities. This guide addresses these factors with Ixil youth, professionals, and traditional elders, all searching to recover from civil war death and devastation, and to adapt to social and economic trends that hold promise for community recovery and Ixil-led development.
Almost two decades after the signing of the 1996 Peace Accords ending Guatemala's 36-year violent civil war, justice for the victims remains illusive. In May 2013, a resoundingly guilty verdict in the trial of the ex-president, General Efraín Ríos Montt (who presided over some of the most brutal, scorched earth offensives of the war period in the Ixil region), was annulled by Guatemala's Constitutional Court on reasons of legal technicalities. Regardless of the eventual outcome of this trial, the public testimonies of scores of Ixil Maya witnesses and survivors stand as irrefutable evidence of disproportionately ruthless torture, death, and forced displacement carried out by State forces in Ixil Maya towns and villages, and within a number of other ethnic Maya communities.
The author offers numerous ways that visitors can honor Ixil Maya identity, help preserve the extraordinary ecology of these mountain communities, and contribute to sustainable future development within the Ixil region.