Bi-directional Mayan Archaeology Outreach Grant

Maya Area Cultural Heritage Initiative - MACHI


The Maya Area Cultural Heritage Initiative (MACHI) is pleased to announce the initiation of a renewable challenge grant in 2011 for archaeological projects in the Maya region – southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras or western El Salvador. The purpose of the grant program is to promote bi-directional knowledge exchange between archaeological projects and local communities in order to advance collaborative and participatory research. Projects involving nationals and indigenous researchers are strongly encouraged. In addition to a block grant, MACHI will provide support to awardees in the form of consultation with the bi-directional knowledge exchange coordinator and assistance in the development of materials. The long-term goal of this initiative is to promote the conservation of Maya archaeological heritage.

Required Program Elements
1) The archaeological project must facilitate the BI-DIRECTIONAL exchange of knowledge between either a community that is located near the site of the archaeological project or with a relevant interest group with an indigenous composition. Grant applicants are free to design a program around any topics of bi-directional knowledge exchange but must demonstrate community interest in the topics and a community willingness to collaborate. The proposal should include a concrete plan that includes the creation of some of the following contexts (or similar ones) for knowledge exchange.

2) In line with the long-term goal of archaeological conservation, the awardee will agree to conduct a GPS survey of current site damage via looting, stone displacement, agriculture, and population expansion, and to provide a short report (including an annotated database with UTM coordinates of damaged locales)

Eligibility Criteria
1) Must be a multi-year (planned) project. Preference is given to projects in the initial or early stages (within the first five years) of investigation.
2) Preference is given to applicants who can provide matching funds for the knowledge–exchange program. Projects unable to demonstrate the existence of matching funds will ONLY be considered if they have not secured major funding for the archaeological season.
3) The program must have a dedicated bi-directional knowledge exchange coordinator. The coordinator may participate in any other aspects of the project but must have the ability to devote a minimum of 20 hours a week to the facilitation of knowledge exchange. The facilitator may be any permanent project member, including a graduate student.
4) ALL project personnel (including field school students, when applicable) must be available a minimum of 2-4 hours/week for participation in exchange activities.
5) Preference is given to projects located in proximity to a community. Applications that propose work with indigenous communities are strongly encouraged, although projects proximal to non-indigenous local communities will also be considered.

Please visit or contact Shoshaunna Parks at for an application and more information.

Shoshaunna Parks