Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Getting Settled

The first few days in Patzún have been amazing. There is a wonderful view in every direction, there are plenty of adorable animals, and everyone I have spoken with has been more than kind.

My host family welcomed me with open arms and has made Patzún feel like a home away from home.
As for the Kaqchikel classes, they have been tiring, but fun. Everything has been demonstrated in Kaqchikel, which is exhausting because of the amount of attention it requires, but also incredibly helpful for practicing.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 27, 28: Arrival - Guatemala City and Patzún

We've safely arrived in Guatemala! The countryside is unbelievable, the people are awesome, and tomorrow we get to start Kaqchikel classes!
The view as we descended towards Guatemala City
We arrived at La Aurora airport in Guatemala City and met up with our shuttle group to head over to the hotel.
Hotel room view!
We enjoyed a nice dinner and then headed to bed so that we could get up the next morning to take the bus to Patzún, where we will be spending the month working on our research. We enjoyed our two hour drive to Patzún accompanied by Ted's 1980's Trivial Pursuit game and beautiful mountain vistas.
beautiful mountains everywhere
When we arrived in Patzún, we headed to Pedro's house where we had lunch. Apparently, today was a celebration to mark the end of the feria which had taken place for the past week. Pedro ushered us outside to watch the processional and see the dancers.
Meeting Pedro

The processional passes by Pedro's house

We then arrived at our respective host family's houses and had the evening to get to know them and prepare for the month ahead!
Welcome, Ted!

Welcome, Nancy!
The plan is to take two weeks of classes at Asociación Renacimiento, a local NGO, in Kaqchikel and then have two weeks of mentored research working with language consultants in the area. After we settle in, we'll have more information forthcoming about our research and experiences in Guatemala.

Friday, May 26, 2017



Welcome to a new year of the Guatemala Field Station blog. The majority of us will be arriving tomorrow for the second annual trip to the University of Maryland's Language Science Center Guatemala Field Station, held this year in Patzún, Guatemala. This is a joint effort between the Language Science Center (LSC) and Wuqu' Kawoq, a local NGO in the Guatemala highlands that concentrates on bringing health services to rural communities. Our team is led by Dr. Maria Polinsky, Dr. Omer Preminger, and Dr. Pedro Mateo Pedro, experts in fieldwork and Mayan linguistics. The Field Station offers researchers unique opportunities in on-site research, training, and collaboration with local students and scholars.

Our main goals are (i) to do linguistic field work with Kaqchikel, an understudied Mayan language spoken by about half a million people in the highlands of Guatemala and (ii) to continue this collaborative effort started last year. This year we have linguists from all different backgrounds who are coming together to participate in the field station from many countries (including the U.S., Canada, Russia, Hungary, Germany, Poland, and, of course, Guatemala!) and with many different research interests.

This year the trip will run from May 27 to June 25, 2017. We will be updating the blog as much as possible during this time, so please stick with us for updates!

Final Post 2017

We've all safely arrived back in our homes after a wonderful adventure to Patzún. A big thank you to our host families, to Wuqu Kawoq, ...