Learning How Sustainable Tourism Can Help Preserve Local Cultural Traditions

Speaker: Xyaat

Xyaat offers community-based tours that are culturally responsible and educational in Señor, a living Maya community in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is a cooperative initiative of community members of the town with the goal to foster respect for Maya language and culture. In addition, Xyaat promotes environmental projects, including organic farming, and mentors others in the community-based tourism.

Don Abundio, a member of the Señor community, shares with a tourist the story of his Mayan ancestors, who fought against the European-descended population during the Caste War of Yucatán (1847–1901). Photo courtesy of Xyaat.

Alignment with School Curricula

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About This Speaker

Key Info about the Speaker

Name: Xyaat
Websitewww.xyaat.com / xyaat.wordpress.com
Type: Cooperative
Founded in: 2003
Headquarters: Señor, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Operates in: Quintana Roo, Mexico

Watch This Video

Xyaat. "Cooperativa Xyaat." Promotional video of Xyaat. YouTube video. Posted by Paola de Natividad Yah Canul, December 2015.

Who Will Be Your Interlocutor?

Name: Marcos Canté Canul
Title: Founder and Director of Xyaat


Learning Goals of the Videoconference

  • Identify current threats to the preservation of local cultural traditions through the example of Mayan heritage.
  • Examine the negative effects of mass commercial tourism on social and environmental sustainability.
  • Explain how sustainable tourism can support the preservation of local cultural traditions by giving tourists exposure to everyday, unstaged life in rural communities.
  • Identify the role of community-based initiatives in supporting local development through the example of a sustainable tourism cooperative.
  • Explain how Mayan communities had to fight for their identity throughout the course of Mexico’s history.

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