Archaeological Commitment to Participation from the Local to the International: Discovering the El Pilar Community

  • Anabel FordEmail author
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)


The El Pilar community is dynamic and includes proximal villages, the districts of Cayo and Petén, the nations of Belize and Guatemala, and the greater international community interested in the cultural and natural environments of the tropics. Participation at El Pilar comes from all these levels. From its first archaeological recognition in 1983, El Pilar was destined to play a role in the conservation and development of the Maya forest. Large and imposing, with monuments straddling the political boundary between Belize and Guatemala, El Pilar has a complex relationship to these different communities: it is locally linked, nationally divided, and integrated across all levels by an appreciation of the Maya forest and ancient Maya culture. Work at El Pilar has created challenges and potentials over the past three decades and has permeated local households through community outreach at primary schools and village organizations. The site is recognized for a unique brand of tourism promoting Archaeology Under the Canopy that unites traditional Maya farmers and ancient Maya settlement patterns, for the international exploration of solutions past directing a path to sustainable conservation and development.


Archaeology Community participation Maya El Pilar 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exploring Solutions Past ~ The Maya Forest AllianceSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.MesoAmerican Research Center, University of California Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

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