Documentary Photos and Story The World of The Maya in The World & I Magazine

Documentary photos of  Mayan Culture and story text written about the Mayan people’s culture along La Ruta Maya or The Mayan Route is the cover feature story for The World & I magazine (December 1996).

This documentary photo-reportage and story text about Mayan culture called “The World of The Maya” was the cover feature story in The World & I magazine (The Washington Times). It was photographed along The Mayan Route or La Ruta Maya. The photos and text I wrote show the Mayan culture, Maya archaeological sites Mayan festivals, the Mayan’s rituals, and daily life of Mayan people in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala along with photos of the Garifuna culture in Livingston, Guatemala.

La Ruta Maya, or The Mayan Route, photo-documentary covers the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico (Yucatan and Chiapas) and illustrates Mayan culture, traditional Mayan villages, markets, archaeological sites, Mayan rituals, festivals and traditions from Pre-Columbian time to Spanish Colonialism and the present.

These documentary images of The Mayan Route where photographed on color transparency film from 1995 and 1996 during three trips of 5 to 6 weeks each trip along The Mayan Route.

See more documentary images of La Ruta Maya – The Mayan Route.

See more documentary photos of Mayan Culture

Story text and documentary photos of Maya Culture in The World & I magazine.


Written / Photography by Robert Leon

The nucleus of the mundo Maya (world of the Maya) is the Guatemalan high plain, located in one of the most densely volcanic areas on earth. Here, Mayan customs form a mix of cultural contrasts and juxtapositions. Some present-day customs date to the ancient Mayan empire or the Spanish conquest. Daily life, farming, religious ceremony, and the use of handwoven costumes involve traditions that have survived for centuries. Other behaviors indicate that the contemporary Western world is influencing Mayan society. But the continuity of Mayan culture contrasts dramatically with the ever-changing scenarios of modern civilization. The strength of tradition, enduring over time and hardship, safeguards the cultural integrity of the Maya.