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Saturday, March 2
The Indiana Daily Student

Experience Maya Culture in Bloomington at the Artistic Maya Cultural Festival


 The Viva! Maya Culture Festival of Poetry and Music, an opportunity to experience authentic creative arts works of the Maya culture, will be hosted in Bloomington from Wednesday to Sunday. 

The Viva! Maya Culture Festival is a collaborative effort with ÓperaMaya, a poetry and musical arts organization based in Mexico. Its mission is to showcase the past and present culture of the Maya through artistic expression.  

The event includes workshops and displays of literature and musical works. Featured artists include winner of the Mexican National Prize in Poetry, Wildernain Villegas Carillo and Maya rapper, Pat Boy!.  

“I am very excited to come here and have a sense of community to share Maya culture,” Carnillo said. “This festival is very similar to what we do in Mexico, so it is great to be here in person and share this.”

Director at La Casa, IU’s Latino Cultural Center, Lillian Casillas, organized the festival’s first event with an opening ceremony and dinner Wednesday  

“It’s an important part of Latin American culture, and it gives folks from all over a chance to meet new people, learn more about different cultures and get deep into the roots of Maya,” Casillas said.  

For the rest of the festival, attendees will be able to listen to readings from Wildernain Villegas Carillo and his award-winning book, “Ik’ t’aano’ob utia’al u ts’ o’ onol iik’,” (Poems to Hunt the Wind). They will also be able to attend music displays by Pat Boy! at several different venues in the Bloomington area.  

“It’s a good opportunity to learn more of the language and to learn more about the perseverance of the Maya culture over thousands of years,” IU student, Jazmin Hernandez, said.  

To continue the festival, a master class of Maya culture with Carillo will be held at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean studies at 3:30 p.m.  

Carillo will then conduct a Maya poetry reading at Monroe County Public Library at 7p.m. followed by a rap concert with Pat Boy! at 8p.m.  

 The festival continues with another poetry reading along with a writers workshop with Carillo at University Elementary school at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 20, followed by another concert and music workshop with Pat Boy! at 11 a.m.  

The festival continues with a Maya artisan textile display from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico available for viewing at the Arts Alliance Center in the College Mall. The Textiles will be on display starting 5 p.m. Jan. 20 to 6 p.m. Feb. 28.  

Carillo will be conducting another poetry reading at the Arts Alliance Center in the College Mall at 6 p.m. followed by another rap concert with Pat Boy! at 7p.m.  

The Cuarteto Mexico, a classical chamber ensemble will be giving a live stream concert which can be accessed on the ÓperaMaya website at 7 p.m. Jan. 21. 

The festival will end with a closing ceremony and presentation of Maya culture artists on the ÓperaMaya website at 7 p.m. Jan. 22.  

The itinerary for the events of the Viva! Maya Culture Festival can be reached at  




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