La Ruta Maya Conservation Foundation is a non-profit organization whose objective is to support the rescue, conservation, and preservation of Guatemalan cultural values by promoting education, dissemination and valorization of the Mayan cultural heritage in the Mesoamerican region.
The main activities of La Ruta Maya take place through the following programs:
Recovery and repatriation of archaeological objects:
The Foundation has created a collection of pre-Columbian art consisting mainly of objects with a great artistic and/or archaeological value that have been recovered in foreign countries or obtained as donations from existing collectors in Guatemala and abroad.
The Foundation also receives donations to support and promote the implementation of its various programs.
It also seeks to establish partnerships with museums in the region to give on loan important objects for understanding of pre-Columbian art in the region. Efforts are made to lend them for exhibition in museums abroad, as well.
Collection Registry and Management:
Each object in the collection is inventoried and legally registered as cultural heritage of the Nation at the Registry of Cultural Property of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Guatemala. Presently, more than 3,000 archaeological artifacts have been registered. Each object has a file that includes its legal registration form, a history of restorations and other conservation processes, photographs, associated bibliography and data of similar objects that has been published.
The Foundation does not purchase archeological objects for its collection in Guatemala as it does not want to foster the looting and illegal trade of artifacts considered national patrimony. However, the foundation accepts objects given voluntarily by individuals and institutions.
Since December 2007, La Ruta Maya organizes exhibitions of pre-Columbian art and slingshotss, textiles and traditional dance masks, with the aim of showing the public the variety of artistic manifestations still present in the Maya region. Examples of the Pre-Columbian collection have been given on loan to museums accredited in the country such as Miraflores Museum, Popol Vuh Museum, and the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Costume (in Guatemala City), as well as the Archaeological Museum of Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua Guatemala.
Starting October 2010, La Ruta Maya presents temporary exhibitions in the lobby of Occidente Financial Center (which are renewed each 6 months), and since November 2015, in the Lobby of the Occidente Insurance Building, both on the 7th avenue zone 9 , Guatemala city. Other temporary exhibitions have been organized in venues such as the "Graciela Andrade de Paiz" Art Center (at the Historic District of Guatemala City), the Training Center of the Spanish Cooperation, in Antigua Guatemala; the Casa Noj Cultural Center and the art gallery of Interbanco (both in Quetzaltenango).
Education and research:
Registered archaeological objects are available to researchers and university students for academic work and internships.
News and discoveries in the Maya region and Mesoamerica, as well as the collection of the Foundation, are made available through different platforms: web page, press releases, specialized magazines, academic publications, and social media.
La Ruta Maya has edited books, and has sponsored several publications that disseminate Guatemalan art and have educational value.
- Handbook "Manos de Mujer" (1996) on child nutrition and hygiene at home, oriented to the education of women living in rural areas.
- The book"Las Hondas Guatemaltecas/ The Guatemalan Slingshot" written by Anabella S. Paiz and Valia Garzón (2007) highlighting the slingshot as a way of individual cultural artistic expression.
- The catalogue of the exhibit "Mayan Art and Nature through Time" (2009), with the collaboration of FUNDEMÁS, El Salvador.
- Edition of the children's guide "The Maya and Nature" (2009), pending of print.
- Catalog "The Mayas of Kaminaljuyú" (2010), in collaboration with the Miraflores Museum, which includes objects of La Ruta Maya Foundation.
- Collaboration with the text of an article and the loan of objects for photography for the magazine on Pre-Columbian Stamps, of the Galería Guatemala series, by the G&T Continental Foundation (2011).
- Articles for the general public in the CULTURE section of the newspaper PUBLIRUTA (www.publirutagt.com; Consorcio de Radios Nacionales CRN) from 2014 and IMS Explorer Newsletter since 2016 (www.instituteofmayastudies.org; Institute of Maya Studies)