The Maya Research Program is a U.S.-based non-profit organization (501C3) that sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Middle America. Each summer since 1992, we have sponsored archaeological fieldwork at the ancient Maya site of Blue Creek in northwestern Belize and ethnographic research in the village of Yaxunah, Mexico. The Maya Research Program is affiliated with the University of Texas at Tyler.
A key MRP goal is to encourage the participation of students and volunteers -- anyone who wants to experience the real world of archaeological or anthropological research and understand how we learn about other cultures may join us. We see this as a critical educational component of MRP's work, and it helps us accomplish our research goals as well! The ages of our participants range from 18 to over 80. So many of our participants return year after year that MRP has become an extended family. About half of our participants are university students under 30 years old and the other half are professionals and retirees. While the majority of participants come from the United States and Canada, we have students from Australian, European, Latin American, and Japanese institutions as well. For students, academic credit can usually be arranged. While many students go on to careers in other fields, many go on to become successful graduate students in archaeology or a related field and return to focus on MRP projects for their theses and dissertations.