Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/19/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Once-mighty civilization was wiped out by invaders

The once mighty Mayan civilization is enjoying global interest as revelers and doomsday prophets wait Friday, December 21 which marks the end of the 5,200-year era as predicted in the elaborate Mayan calendar. What won't be in discussion is how native Mayans today are now marginalized, and live in abject poverty throughout Mexico and Native America. For the framers of the current purported apocalypse, the world has apparently already ended.

The poverty rate for the indigenous community here is a staggering 80 percent. Mayan descendants accounts for 42 percent of Guatemala's 14.3-million-strong population.

The poverty rate for the indigenous community here is a staggering 80 percent. Mayan descendants accounts for 42 percent of Guatemala's 14.3-million-strong population.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/19/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Maya, genocide, Guatemala, indigenuous people, United Nations, poverty, unemployment


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Maya civilization at its peak had one of the richest cultures in the Americas. In Guatemala today, however, where nearly half of the population is indigenous, Maya descendants have fell victims to genocide.

"The indigenous population was always seen as cheap labor and this persists to this day," Guatemalan anthropologist Alvaro Pop says. A member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Pop says that "they are seen as a tool and are not the focus of public policies."

The Maya civilization reached its peak between the years 250 and 900 -- but then slipped into decline around 1200.

During Spanish colonization 300 years later, the Mayas were dispossessed of their lands and reduced to poverty and servitude.

There are currently an estimated 20 to 30 million direct descendants of the ancient civilization today living in southern Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Guatemala is where the largest concentration of Mayan descendants resides today. Ethnic Mayas often find themselves on the margins of society here, with limited access to education, health care and other basic services. Their native languages are not officially recognized.

The poverty rate for the indigenous community here is a staggering 80 percent. Mayan descendants accounts for 42 percent of Guatemala's 14.3-million-strong population.

According to the United Nations Development Program, nearly six in 10 indigenous children suffer from chronic malnutrition, and the infant mortality rate has hit an alarming rate of 40 per 1,000 live births.

Guatemala's civil war that pitted the army against leftist guerrillas from 1960 to 1996 took the heaviest toll against the Mayan population.

"There were external reasons which exacerbated the population's poverty and led to a stigmatization of indigenous people," according to Pop.

In addition, more than 600 massacres of indigenous communities were recorded during that period and tens of thousands of Indians sought refuge in southern Mexico from the brutal counter-insurgency by the military, according to a 1999 United Nations report.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Americas

Women, children freed from slavery in Peruvian coca operation Watch

Image of Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group.

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group. BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - "Many of these ... continue reading


U.S. and Cuba reopen embassies in groundbreaking move to normalize relations Watch

Image of Official relations between the two countries were severed back in 1961, a diplomatic gulf widened by an embargo on travel and trade.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

The U.S. and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic ties for the first time since 1961 on Monday; a groundbreaking development advocated by Catholic bishops from both countries and set in motion by Pope Francis. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's an ... continue reading


CORRUPTION RAMPANT: Few surprised with prison escape of Mexico's 'El Chapo' Watch

Image of Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman from maximum-security prison last week. Mexico is notorious for having one of the most corrupt governments in the world.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


How did he do it? Surveillance video released with inside look at El Chapo's elaborate escape plan Watch

Image of Joaquin

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the second time in 14 years, the most powerful drug trafficker in Mexico and FBI's Public Enemy No. 1 has escaped prison using a tunnel. After Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was confirmed to have escaped from the country's most secured prison, the largest manhunt in ... continue reading


Did Pope Francis chew coca leaves during his visit in Bolivia? Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' recent visit in South America, there were claims he requested to chew some coca leaves to help him cope with the high altitude. Bolivian authorities stated earlier that the Pope made the request during his stay in La Paz, but the Pontiff clarified ... continue reading


Thousands of Argentineans cross into Paraguay to see their country's Pope Francis Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of prideful Argentineans crossed in to Paraguay to see their Pope Francis speak at the border town of Caacupe. The Pontiff praised the women of Paraguay in his sermon. He recalled how many were left widowed and orphaned after the War of the Triple ... continue reading


Pope Francis stays calm after receiving shocking, outrageous gift from Bolivia president Watch

Image of Pope Francis appeared stunned by the strange gift.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' short trip in Bolivia, President Evo Morales gave him a crucifix of Jesus, nailed in the symbol of communism: hammer and sickle. The Pontiff maintained a neutral and diplomatic approach as he was handed the gift, which is a significant item in the ... continue reading


ON THE LOOSE: Mexico's most feared drug lord - They Can't Keep Me - 'El Chapo' escapes maximum-security prison Watch

Image of The leader of one of the world's most powerful and deadly drug trafficking operations, El Chapo was able to escape from custody previously in 2001 from a high-security prison by hiding in a laundry cart.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a humiliating blow to the Mexican government, the nation's most feared and powerful drug lord -- Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman skipped out of maximum security prison. Guzman is believed to have crawled through a hole in the shower area of his cellblock at the ... continue reading


Paraguayan women need to preserve nation's heritage, and build its future, Pope says Watch

Image of These are

By CNA/EWTN News

Saying Mass at the Marian shrine of Caacupe on Saturday, Pope Francis reflected that it is the task of the "women, wives and mothers" of Paraguay to keep alive their nation's faith and heritage. Caacupe, Paraguay (CNA/EWTN News) - The Roman Pontiff said July 11 ... continue reading


Pope's trip to Ecuador has very special meaning for missionary Watch

Image of On July 6, his first day in Ecuador, Pope Francis has already visited the Divine Mercy Shrine in Guayaquil.

By CNA/EWTN News

Everyone at the Vatican is praying for the fruits of the Pope's apostolic visit to Latin America, but there is one person with a special insight into the papal trip. Quito, Ecuador (CNA/EWTN News) -- Sister Andrea Romero Saltos is an Idente Missionary and the ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Numbers 12:1-13
1 Miriam, and Aaron too, criticised Moses over the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 6-7, 12-13
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:22-36
22 And at once he made the disciples get into the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 4th, 2015 Image

St. John Vianney
August 4: St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter