Lives in Ruins: Life in the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá

Lisa Breglia

While millions of international tourists a year visit the World Heritage site of Chichén Itzá in southern Mexico and eagerly bask in its ancient wonder, few people appreciate the contemporary significance of the archaeological site. Using archival and ethnographic research, I discuss 1) how modern science and modern Maya people came to view this “ancient Maya” site, 2) the role of the heritage site in contemporary community life, and 3) the heated debates over who has the rights to benefit from the enormous incomes that such “wonders of the world” generate from international tourism.

A/V requirements: Laptop, Screen