Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Anthropology

Content Description

1 online resource (xiii, 249 pages) : illustrations (some color), maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Walter E Little

Committee Members

Robert Jarvenpa, Marilyn Masson, Ronald B Loewe


community-based development, Maya, tourism, Tourism, Heritage tourism

Subject Categories

Social and Cultural Anthropology


The village of Ek'Balam is located approximately 300 meters from the ceremonial center of the archaeological zone by the same name. The ruins at Ek'Balam are some of the most impressive pre-Columbian stuccoes found in the Maya World. In 1994, the archaeological zone opened to the public, and since then this village of around 350 residents has experienced numerous changes. While residents have always had ties to the regional economy, the opening of the archaeological zone represented their first extended engagement with the tourism industry. A major agent of change in Ek'Balam is a community-based tourism project, funded primarily by an agency of the Mexican government. In 2001, they began searching Mexico for good locations to implement community-based development projects. Ek'Balam became their pilot project, and since then proyectos (projects) have come and gone as quickly and as often as tourists.