Georgeann Johnson – President
Georgeann is a retired Educator with a Masters in Education from San Francisco State. She has long-standing interests in community-building, archaeo-astronomy, photography, Maya culture and history, and sustainable advancement. She is involved in numerous local non-profits and building community collaboration and activism in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, including sustainable agriculture and organic farming projects and women’s rights advocacy groups.
Claudia Boles – Treasurer
Ms Boles was born to American parents in Nicosia, Cyprus, and spent her formative years in Western Europe. So began her life long infatuation with world travel and the adventure of exploring diverse cultures and traditions. While earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in international politics from East Carolina University, she took a year abroad to study at the University of the Americas in Cholula, Mexico. In 1983, she completed the requirements to become a Certified Public Accountant at the University of Texas. Today she lives in Austin with her two sons and manages her own accounting firm.
Mary Lou Ridinger – Secretary
Mary Lou is an accomplished Archeologist, explorer, researcher, lecturer and business administrator. From the 1970 Salvage Project during the construction of the Subway in Mexico City to the discovery of the lost Maya jade sources and the subsequent creation of an important local marketplace for jade in Guatemala, she has been a leading character in the story of contemporary Central America.
Francisco Estrada-Belli, Phd – Director
Francisco Estradada-Belli (Phd Boston University 1998) is an archaeologist focusing on the beginnings of Maya civilization and remote sensing techniques. Since 2000, he has been conducting a large-scale research project in the area of the Maya city of Holmul in northeastern Peten, Guatemala. Among his publications are “The First Maya civilization”, “Rain Gods and Maize: the Ideology of Preclassic Maya Rulers at Cival, Guatemala”, “2006 Ancient Mesoamerica”, “A Maya Palace at Holmul, Guatemala” and the “Teotihucan Entrada: Evidence from Murals 7 and 9.
Ixquik Poz Salanic – Director
Mayan K'iche woman, originally from Zunil, Quetzaltenango. Ajq'ij (Mayan Time Keeper) and active members of the Association of Ajq'ijab 'Komon Tojil, Zunil, Quetzaltenango.
Lawyer and Notary, collaborator in the Law Office for Indigenous Peoples on issues related to the rights of indigenous peoples.
Founder of SCHOOL KIKOTEMAL
Robert Sitler Phd, Director
Robert Sitler is Director of the Latin American Studies Program at Stetson University where he teaches classes in Spanish, Mayan culture and the Latin American humanities. He has a relationship of over 3 decades with the Mayan world, especially with the Mam-speaking community of Todos Santos Cuchumatán in Guatemala.
Jim Reed – Director
Jim is a Maya researcher and aficionado who has been involved with Maya studies for 40 years. He is currently editor of the IMS Explorer, an informative monthly newsletter by the Institute of Maya Studies (based in Miami, Florida). He was past President of the Institute in the year 2000.
Lic. Laura Rodríguez Torres – Director
A Native of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and always inspired by it, Laura studied Cultural Sciences at the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana. She specialized in Arts Production and Administration, working in official and private institutions. Laura now owns her own company in Mexico, planning public and private events. Her strongest interests are the interrelationship between History, Art & Culture, Tourism and Economics.
David Sedat – Director
David has been an active Maya archaeologist for over 30 years associated with the University of Pennsylvania Museum. David is a specialist on the origins of the Maya and the development of Maya writing, and in the early 1970’s undertook pioneering fieldwork in the Salama Valley and Alta Verapaz of Guatemala. For 15 years (1989-2003) David was Field Director of the UPM’s Copan, Honduras archaeological project where he led the team that discovered two extraordinary early royal tombs. David Sedat now lives full-time in Copan where he directs The Copan 2012 Experimental Botanical Station. In 2009, David was honored by being named a Purpose Prize Fellow for his innovative efforts towards regenerating the steepest most eroded landscape in Copan, and helping combat poverty and nutritional issues in the Maya area.
Willy Barreno– Director
Willy Barreno is originally from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala at the age of 23 he migrated to the United States, he worked as a chef and community organizer in the field of human rights and indigenous in different states.
After 12 years of living in the USA. He decided to return to Guatemala to recover its identity and rediscover its roots. As part of his current job, Willy is the co-founder of the binational network DESGUA is working to promote fair trade and social enterprise initiatives in Guatemala. Ajq'ij (Time Keeper), Founder of KIKOTEMAL SCHOOL.
Robert Sitler Phd, Director
"Cycles of the Sun... Mysteries of the Moon", by Vincent Malmstrom PHD in geography, Dartmouth University.
is about the evolution of the mesoamerican calender and orientation of sites and changes over thousands of years of the directions and orientations of Mesoamerican archaeological sites.