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PIEDRAS NEGRAS

PIEDRAS NEGRAS
Peten, Guatemala
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BACKGROUND

Piedras Negras (Black Stones) was the capital of a Maya kingdom that stretched along the banks of Central America’s Usumacinta River between the fourth century B.C. and the ninth century A.D. (...)

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HOW WE HELPED

At the end of the twentieth century, more than a thousand years after its abandonment, the remnants of the city of Piedras Negras lay in the dense jungle of Guatemala, its stones choked by overgrowth and eroded by the elements. The site was threatened by a proposed Mexican dam project that would flood parts of the Usumacinta River Valley. (...)

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WHY IT MATTERS

Maya civilization thrived in the first millennium A.D. in the jungles of Central America now occupied by Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. Ten thousand Maya, who speak the pre-Hispanic language Chol, reside in the Usumacinta River Valley today, and the local communities work with visiting preservation teams to preserve their heritage. (...)