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Tag archives for Guatemala

Conservationists Playing with Fire

By Julie Kunen

For millennia, tropical civilizations cultivated their crops through a practice known as slash and burn agriculture. In this practice, vegetation is cut down and burned to clear land and improve the soil with the resulting organic matter and nutrients. Fire also kills or drives away pests and encourages the regeneration of grasses in natural pastures. When used over extensive areas in a cycle of planted and fallowed fields, the practice is sustainable. Today, many agricultural communities that lack access to machinery and chemical inputs depend upon fire for their livelihoods, using it to clear and maintain the fertility of agricultural lands and to delimit property boundaries. Yet, fire is also a great danger to humans and there are many risks associated with the use of fire as a land management tool.

La Florida: Treasures of the Ancients Under Our Feet

Under the town of La Florida in Guatemala, an ancient Mayan city sleeps—explored but never before excavated. Untold historical treasures could still lurk under the feet of modern-day inhabitants.

From the Cockpit – Guatemala by Air

Flying over all of Guatemala in ten flights.

April 27, 2014: Tragedy on Everest, Rowing Across the Pacific, Wrestling Mongolians and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week his guests reflect on the dangers of climbing Mount Everest after the recent tragedy, row a boat across the oceans and bike across continents to circumnavigate the globe, discover what it is like to be a kid in Mongolia, learn what happened This Weekend In History, detect land mines in Cambodia, travel in style with your dog companion, discover new ways which drug trafficking is cutting down the rainforest, gave through space and time with the world’s most powerful satellite array, and understand why Sherpas climb deadly peaks on Wild Chronicles.

Geography in the News: Bananas, the Top Fruit

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Banana Story An interesting book published in 2012 detailed the life of  Samuel “Sam the Banana Man” Zemurray. Therein lies an interesting economic geography of international intrigue and business success with lessons to be learned today about international trade by large corporations. Zemurray,…

Awakening the Language & Culture of Ancient Maya

By Rachel Bruton, The Genographic Project   It is estimated that by 2100, more than half of the 7,000 languages spoken on Earth will have disappeared. Throughout human history, languages have come and gone, but the rate at which languages are disappearing has accelerated dramatically in recent years. Why does it matter? National Geographic’s Enduring…

NatGeo’s 1st. Archaeology Student Award in Guatemala

The International Maya Symposium held every year in Guatemala City brings the best archaeological discoveries of the season to the National Museum.  It is a gathering of academics, scientists, epigraphers, the public and archaeology students that currently participate in research projects.  Thanks to an initiative by Missions Programs SVP Sarah Laskin and EVP Terry Garcia,…

Is Every Civilization Destined to Collapse?

What does it mean for a civilization to collapse? Are we destined to follow suit? Archaeologists working around the world conclude a week-long conference with their perspectives.

Why Did Ancient Civilizations Build Such Huge Monuments?

Why did ancient civilizations begin with the building of such huge monuments? Archaeologists working around the world share their reflections.

What Is “Civilization”?

After days of presentations on five of the world’s great ancient civilizations, archaeologists from sites all around the world debate and discuss the meaning of civilization and what we can learn today from the lessons of the past.

Dig Deeper: Origins of the Maya

The ancient Maya are well known for their overgrown temple ruins and striking carved and painted art. Speakers at the Dialogue of Civilizations unveil the origins of this captivating culture.

Adaptability 1–Detailed Itinerary 0

Abandoning the detailed itinerary she went in with, a young researcher learns to adapt to local conditions as she interviews traditional Guatemalan fishermen.

Students and Scientists Unite Around a Beloved Lake

During the past two weeks I have been fortunate to coordinate with a project funded by USAID, United for Atitlan. This group of local and international scientists has been integral in developing a lake monitoring system for Lake Atitlan and I’d like to bring to light some of their project goals and my experience working with such a dynamic crew.

A First Look at the Daily Life of an Atitlan Fisherman

Follow along as Young Explorer Grantee Sarah Calhoun discovers the rhythms of live among traditional fishermen, hoping to use their knowledge to better monitor and protect their beautiful natural environment.

A Maya Doomsday Prophecy?

It has long been debated whether a Maya glyph refers to an apocalypse that will arrive in 2012, and now the Mexican Institute of Archaeology has acknowledged that there may be a second reference to the date on a brick discovered years ago at the Comalcalco ruin. With royal palaces, strategic alliances and bloodshed, the Maya civilization hardly needs doomsday prophecies to add drama, so revisit National Geographic content on the Maya and the Mayanists who study them. Then take an interactive 20-question quiz on the Maya.