The Tribal Trust Foundation (TTF) strongly believes in fostering people’s connection to the Earth by
preserving indigenous culture and promoting worldwide environmental stewardship. Our goal is to
develop an environmental education program that offers long-term sustainable solutions that can be
replicated all over the globe. The Maya Project, our effort in Tulum, Mexico, serves as a global model
for engaging communities in voluntary education initiatives based on furthering indigenous knowledge
and practices. The Maya Project is a collaborative effort to bring recognition and awareness of Mayan
culture to the forefront with the goal of creating a societal imperative that ties the Earth to its people.
TTF is taking action in an area of the world that is a microcosm of a global issue. The Maya of Tulum
have been evicted, displaced, disenfranchised, and even killed in the third largest tourist destination in
Mexico – Tulum. Tourists visit and do not see the Maya. We are addressing environmental justice for the
Maya, the original people of this sacred, ancient land and we are responding to their request for help
preserving their traditional and sustainable way of life. The negative impact of corporate greed, corrupt
government, drug cartels, and tourism is destroying the environment by polluting water, destroying
trees, and cementing acres of land for development. The pristine natural wonder of the Sian Ka’an
Biosphere Reserve, located in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, near Tulum, is also being compromised
by pollution. Yearly hurricanes and the prevailing ocean currents deposit debris from the Caribbean
basin, threatening the 2nd largest coral reef and ocean preserve in the world. Because it is legal to
throw garbage into international waters, cruise ships, as well as government and cargo ships, contribute
daily to pollution in the Atlantic Ocean. The pollution eventually flows onto the Yucatan Peninsula and
the Sian Kaan, an ancient Mayan and noted UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For thousands of years, the Maya have known what developing societies and our common cultures
are just coming to realize – we are all connected. The loss of Maya culture contributes to a globally
growing homogenized human perspective that does not value diversity, conservation, and preservation.
We are living at a time when animals and plants are rapidly becoming extinct and entire habitats are
suffering. As Earth’s balance is compromised, indigenous cultures and values are endangered by loss
of connections between Earth and soul. The ancient Maya calendar predicts that 2012 is a year of
transformation. Many people think that this means the end of the world. We believe it is about a new
way of being in the world, a recognition of our tribal connection and collective responsibility to effect
positive planetary transformation. The Maya Project aims to be a signal of the beginning of this shift.