||Maya archaeology has been slow in incorporating serious outreach goals into initial research designs. Despite superficial efforts, most large-scale Maya archaeology in Guatemala and elsewhere remains a mining operation: a boom of employment for local communities (and career creation for scholars) is followed by government-sponsored restoration and tourism projects with outside labor, sudden local unemployment, and the consequent catastrophe of looting, park invasion, and ecological devastation. This continues despite the fact that the “Indiana Jones” public appeal of Maya archaeology provides visibility and opportunities applicable to ethical ends. Responding to this obligation the Cancuen Regional Archaeological and Development Project has helped create Maya co-managed parks and intercommunity collaboration, as primary, not secondary, goals. The battle with political and racist forces was won, but now the reluctance of archaeologists themselves is a principal obstacle to moral imperatives.
A new stage of addressing these challenges has begun at the Cancuen archaeological/ecological/ritual site and reserve in the Peten, Guatemala. In 2010 we have assisted indigenous organizations to establish the first “BASICO” (K6-12) Qéqchi´Maya school in the region, a fully-funded residential facility. In addition to education in all subjects, students will receive some courses in archaeology and ethnohistory. The “field school” is a hundred meters from student dorms. All students will experience archaeology and some may go on to become archaeologists. Then, hopefully, they will help determine the future and nature of archaeology in Guatemala.