Asociacion Mayab’s mission is to create the conditions that will allow for the optimal development of the Maya community living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Asociacion Mayab was founded in 2004 by a group of Maya immigrants concerned about the gradual loss of the language and values of their ancient culture among the youngest members of their community and by the lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services for the estimated 30,000 Maya immigrants living in the Bay Area. The organization focuses its work in three areas: social and emergency support, community advocacy, and cultural preservation, which includes language, dance, and embroidery classes.
In 2015 and 2013, Asociacion Mayab received funding from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to sustain and expand the activities of the jarana dance troupe Grupo Jaranero Mayab, with weekly lessons for children, youth, and adults in San Francisco and Marin counties. Jarana is the traditional dance of the Maya people in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, and is an integral part of all traditional and ceremonial celebration in every Maya town and village in the Yucatán. Additionally, grant funds will support the Asociacion’s two annual public presentations of Grupo Jaranero Mayab: the San Francisco Carnaval Parade in May and a traditional community celebration known as Vaqueria in September.
The following video clip shows one of the community activities organized by Asociacion Mayab in San Francisco. These events are known as Vaquerias and are very important in the cultural, religious and spiritual life of the Maya communities in the Yucatan.