Colonial Period

The Colonial period should be considered as part of this sequence, since although the conquest meant a drastic change in the lifestyle of the Mayan groups, nor was it an end. Apart from the purely military purposes, the biggest disaster was caused by epidemics, which reduced the population to less than 10% of its original inhabitants in many regions. In the religious sphere, Mayan populations also were forced to change beliefs, which never happened completely, and thanks to many clandestine practices, traditional beliefs have survived to the present day; of course, through syncretic processes that assimilated many Christian elements. However, this was not new, since in pre-Hispanic times it was very common assimilating deities of other regions of Middle America. The economy also transformed greatly, although the agricultural base remained in the rural communities and it keeps on being the way of trying the daily sustenance.

Analyzing these 4,000 years of history, the Mayan culture must be recognized as one of the most ancient of America and around the world. It is a cultural heritage which forms an intrinsic part of each country, and is expressed through the remnants of their cities, their admirable works of art and stories written with hieroglyphs, but also in the elements of their culture that day by day are part of the daily life of those who live in this privileged region. This is why Mayan cultural expressions can be found today through their colorful textiles and handicrafts, gastronomy and religious festivals.