Despite the countless expectations over the prediction announcing the end of the world, the descendants of the Maya have other earthly issues such as giving food to their children and seek jobs.

While a wave of tourists floods the nations on the Maya route to learn such an ancient culture, the Mayan descendants live under very difficult conditions.

Some voices are critical regarding the merrymaking as Guatemalan indigenous leader Rigoberta Menchu, who does not approve so much fuss concealing the oblivion and marginalisation the descendants of those wise persons currently suffer.

The Mayas in Guatemala, for example, are divided into 22 linguistic communities or ethnic groups, where Kiche outstands, the most numerous with 28 per cent followed by quiche with 19.3 per cent.

Pending from tourism and culture, the Monument 6 from Tortuguero, Mexico, monopolises a large part of tourists interested in the celebration.

It is a T-shaped stone plaque depicting the end of the current 13-Baktun era in 2012. The fragment of the plaque found in 1958 in that archaeological site in Tabasco state narrates de main events in a power age from 644 to 670 AD.

Archaeologist Jose Luis Romero, who works at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) considers the interpretations claiming the end of the world are distortions of what was really expressed in the fragment.

However, while nearly 200,000 tourists celebrate the 13th Baktun in Guatemala and a similar figure visit the rest of the Maya route, the descendants worry about feeding their children in Guatemala and in Mexico, Honduras, Belize and El Salvador (the rest of the Maya route).

(This article was published on December 22, 2012)
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