Formal Approaches to Mayan Linguistics 

The Formal Approaches to Mayan Linguistics (FAMLi) Workshop aims to bring together linguists to present work on contemporary Mayan languages and tackle new and outstanding puzzles in the field. FAMLi encourages participation from researchers working in any linguistic framework, and with any level of formal linguistic background, to present data and analyses of Mayan languages. By attracting a diverse group of participants, FAMLi hopes to facilitate communication between Mayan language researchers, and to create contacts between Mayan scholars and the broader theoretical community. The first meeting, at MIT in April 2010 was a big success (check out the website for info from this meeting). I'm organizing the second meeting, which is taking place in August 2012 in Patzun, Guatemala. It is the first international conference on Mayan languages to take place in a primarily Mayan language speaking town.

 

Wuqu' Kawoq

A big part of my life is Wuqu' Kawoq, a medical nonprofit I helped found in 2007 (I currently serve on the advisory board). We work in Guatemala at the intersection of medicine and language. We run medical clinics where speaking Kaqchikel (Mayan) is the norm, and we work to support indigenous practitioners, such as midwifes. Our longterm goal is nothing less than to change the culture of healthcare in Guatemala. A healthcare system where Mayan language care is on the same footing as Spanish langauge care would not only improve health outcomes for the most at risk population, it would play a crucial role in language maintenance.