Maya for Travelers and Students

Book Review
By Joanne M. Birce of Alma Libre

Maya for Travelers and Students: A Guide to Language and Culture in the Yucatan
By Gary Bevington

Maya for Travelers and Students book cover
You’ve visited the Yucatan, you’ve seen some of the ruins and you’ve heard the unusual language that the local indigenous people are speaking. No, it’s not Spanish; it’s Yucatecan Maya, a beautiful language that until a few years ago was running the risk of becoming extinct.

In the book “Maya for Travelers and Students: A Guide to Language and Culture in the Yucatan” author Gary Bevington not only takes you through the basics of the language he also teaches you about the culture. Beginning with Maya’s background, he covers the grammar, verbs, pronunciation etc., but he also reveals how to use the language. How you would actually greet a Mayan person, learn about their family, talk about their different foods. He writes about their celebrations, work and domestic life.

The books also contain a 3 way dictionary of Maya/Spanish/English to get you started. Maya is structured similar to English giving us Gringos a head start. The hardest thing is the pronunciation, but the local people are thrilled to help you with that. It is heart warming to see how excited a Mayan person becomes when you use just a few words of their ancient language. A little Maya goes a long way in Mexico and Bevington has given us a good base to get started with “Maya for Travelers and Students”. Plus after reading this book you will be able to watch Mel Gibson’s new movie Apocalypto, about the Maya, without having to read the subtitles! Available now at Alma Libre Bookstore in Puerto Morelos.

Buy This Book