Donations can be made to support several cultural heritage preservation and education initiatives at Mayapan, including: 1) purchasing part of Mayapan for conservation, 2) funding university education for Yucatec-speaking Maya students from Mayapan's local pueblo, Telchaquillo, 3) funding school supplies for local elementary school children (books, uniforms, educational materials to be used by teachers).
Option #1, acquiring tracts of Mayapan will occur periodically as local landowners from Telchaquillo put their land up for sale. The land will be purchased temporarily by archaeologists working at the site and then permanently donated to Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (the legal proceedings of these donations are time-consuming, but worthwhile). INAH currently owns only 1/26th of the walled portion of Mayapan, the monumental center, which is open to tourism. Recently, non-local investors have begun to purchase portions of Mayapan and destroy the archaeological remains for large agricultural operations. Tracts of land sell for modest prices of a few thousand dollars, and partial donations are helpful.
Option #2, funding university education for future archaeologists from Telchaquillo is also modest in cost (around $1000 per year for four years). Mexico underwrites many student expenses, but daily bus transport to Merida is expensive. Students can also benefit from in-kind donations (laptops, external hard drives).
Option #3, helping local schools. Each year the subsistence farmers of Telchaquillo must meet modest costs for school supplies and uniforms, plus medical costs for normal child illnesses. Modest donations to individual families of a few hundred dollars can make a big difference as the mean income for day laborers and farmers is about $15 per day. The local elementary school can also use modest assistance for books and other teaching resources. In-kind donations would also be a unique and valuable contribution, such as laptops and satellite internet service for the village school. Currently, there is no internet access in Telchaquillo, a small town that only recently acquired electricity and still has no indoor plumbing. The village has no formal sports programs, unlike larger towns in the area. Funds to support a soccer coach or two to organize an intramural league within the village would make a big impact on the quality of life for Telchaquillo.
The Mayapan project hopes to eventually set up a non-profit foundation to accept donations. In the meantime, interested donors can coordinate with Project Director Marilyn Masson to make direct donations to one of the causes listed above. One-hundred percent of all donations will be attributed to these efforts.