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JA'AB project

We began our first great literary adventure in 2013. Ja’ab, in Yucatecan Mayan, means year. We wanted to demonstrate during the first year of the New Era predicted by the Mayan culture that we could develop a new way of producing and consuming Literature. Finally, and with a lot of effort and enthusiasm, we built 12 youth books that were written collectively by hundreds of young people in 12 cities (San Salvador, Copán Ruinas, Santiago Atitlán, Antigua, Belize City, Tulum, Cancún, Valladolid, Maní, Mérida, Campeche and San Cristóbal de Las Casas) from the five countries that conform the geographical Mayan area (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and México). It is the first worldwide collection of young, regional and collective books made by hundreds of people in an independent and non‐profit way. We published 1,000 collections of Proyecto Ja’ab with a lot of effort. We donated most of them to the General Direction of Libraries in México. The remaining collections have been distributed through various social, educational and cultural projects.



Several groups of young people in Mérida became professionals in various areas related to the world of books. Ten universities in the city were involved in the production and the promotion phase of the collection: Universidad Modelo (Degree in Interactive Design), Universidad Marista (Reading group and Degree in Graphic Design), Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana‐UTM (TSU in Digital Design), Universidad del Valle de México‐UVM (Degree in Architecture), Escuela Superior de Artes de Yucatán‐ESAY (Degree in Visual Arts), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México‐UNAM (Degree in Intercultural Development and Management) and Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán‐UADY (Degree in Mathematics and Degree in Latin American Literature), among others. We also collaborated with other universities outside of Mérida. Below you can see an animated film made by UTM students who also generated promotional animations for each of the 12 books of Proyecto Ja’ab collection (see Library section).


*Cartel ilustrado por Arbee Farid Antonio Chi.

We shared the experience of Proyecto Ja’ab in various spaces both in México and in Catalonia: Feria del Libro de Antropología e Historia of INAH in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, the Great Museum of the Mayan World in Mérida during the Yucatán International Book Fair (FILEY), the Catalan National Library in Barcelona, Casal Català de la Península de Yucatán in Mérida, the House of Culture in Cancún, the Town Council of Valladolid, the House of Culture in Calkiní, among others, and also in several universities. A group of students from UADY that were led by Rebeca Ruiz Guerrero performed the play Un camino de voces (A path of voices) with texts from the 12 books of Proyecto Ja’ab collection.

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