Alfonso Tzul

Maya Forest Gardener

Alfonso Tzul, a modern Maya farmer and retired agricultural extension officer, is a great fountain of knowledge.  His fluent Mayan, his eloquent English, and his clear Spanish make him accessible all over the Maya forest.  Comfortable in the forest garden on a tree stump with Narciso, giving a talk for the Prime Minister, and able to answer any question put to him, Alfonso is an intellectual treasure.

Today, Alfonso still is experimenting in his milpa.  He has been selecting for maize that shares valuable characteristics at the same time he is planning a variety of other crops.  He also takes time for teaching and spends time in the Känan K’aax primary school garden teaching children the importance of the plants.  He is also an advocate of the Mayan language and takes every opportunity to use it.