Book Review: A Place Called Petén

MAYA ROADS (Chicago Review Press) by Mary Jo McConahay


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Once the hub of Mayan civilization, today’s Petén jungle of Mexico and Guatemala is troubled with drug trafficking, deforestation, and development. McConahay chronicles 30 years in the region—spelunking with archaeologists, unearthing political crimes, and participating in the skull-carrying ritual of the Day of the Dead. Maya Roads witnesses, with the clarity of a well-traveled journalist, the history of a people and reveals the determination of Maya descendants to live in and of the rainforest, their rapidly transforming ancestral home.

168-cover-thumb.jpgHave something to say? Send a letter to This article first appeared in the November-December 2011 issue of Utne Reader.