Maya Research Program

What is the Maya Research Program?

The Maya Research Program (MRP) is a non-profit organization (501 C3) that sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Middle America. Each summer since 1992, MRP has supported archaeological research in northwestern Belize and ethnographic research in Yaxunah, Mexico. The Blue Creek Archaeological Project includes research at the sites of Blue Creek, Grey Fox, Nojol Nah, Tulix Mul, Tz'unun, and Xnoha, (You can read many MRP publications here.)

MRP has been instrumental in documenting and protecting numerous Maya sites in northwestern Belize. Over 3000 students and volunteers have participated in the project in the past 28 years.
The current Blue Creek project team includes faculty members and graduate students from over a dozen universities worldwide and is affiliated with the University of Texas at Tyler.

Our goal is, first and foremost, to conduct research that helps us better understand the complex ancient societies of the Americas. MRP is proud to have a diverse staff of talented scientists contributing to this goal and many of our affiliated scholars are recognized as leaders in their fields. Recent support has come from the Archaeological Institute of America, National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, Humanities Texas, the Heinz Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. In addition, the project was recognized as the winner of the Archaeological Institute of America's Excavation Outreach contest.

Another key MRP goal is to encourage the participation of students and volunteers -- anyone who wants to experience the real world of archaeological or anthropological research and understand how we learn about other cultures may join us. We see this as a critical educational component of MRP's work and it helps us accomplish our research goals as well. The ages of our participants range from 18 to over 80. So many of our participants return year after year that MRP has become an extended family. About half of our participants are university students under 30 years old and the other half are professionals and retirees. While the majority of participants come from the United States and Canada, we have students from Australian,  European, Latin American, and Japanese institutions as well. For students, academic credit can usually be arranged. While many students go on to careers in other fields, numerous students go on to become successful graduate students in archaeology or a related field and return to focus on MRP projects for their theses and dissertations.

Contact Information
  Address:  Maya Research Program: 1910 East Southeast Loop 323 #296; Tyler, Texas 75701
  Phone: 817-831-9011