Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A visit to Hacienda Regadio and Holca

While doing an internship 10 years ago, I briefly visited the abandoned sugarcane plantation of Regadio and the nearby community of Holca. On Sunday, July 20th some of my friends from Xualtez invited me visit the two places again. Holca is in the same municipality as Xualtez, and although it is closer to the much larger and mostly Spanish speaking municipal seat of Espita, the entire community speaks Maya. In Xualtez, where I am based, as well as in nearby Tusik, few people under 30 years old speak Maya. As part of my ongoing research about the rural youth of Yucatan and culture change, I have been conducting interviews this summer to determine the historical circumstances that account for the shift from speaking Maya to Spanish in Xualtez and Tuzik while the other communities in the same municipality are still composed of both young and old Maya speakers. One of the primary factors that accounts for this change is the opening of the community with roads and other forms of communication and trade that connect larger towns where Spanish is mostly spoken. Holca is more representative of the rest municipality because it lies several kilometers off the only road that connects the community to the principal highway between the larger municipality heads of Sucila and Espita. The fact that there is only one road to go in and out of Holca has helped keep it much more linguistically traditional. Below are a few of the pictures that I took while I was there and at the hacienda Regadio. You can see them full size by clicking on my “Portraits” album.


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