Chortí Maya -
Over 100,000 people a year visit Copan Ruinas
to see the Classic Period (300-900 AD) Mayan ruins, and probably no more than a
handful see the modern Maya of Honduras, the Chortí Indians
The Chortí have started a small eco-tourism project. They make corn husk dolls,
which the children of the community go into sell. If you rest in the park for a
while, some little child from La Pintada will come and try to sell them to you.
They are also promoting a tour to go and see Hacienda San Lucas, a small coffee
hacienda, and to continue on by horseback or pick up truck to see the Chortí
village of La Pintada. It’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. A few of the
stores such as El Baul and Casi Todo carry Chortí ceramic pots.
The Chortí make crafts by village with Tapesco making the mats and Carrizalon
making the clay pots. Sometimes tour companies, like Go Native tours, will take
you to these villages. Rincon del Buey is the easiest Chortí village to get to.
Go to the pick-up trucks and little buses that go between Copan Ruinas and the
border (frontera) and ask to get off at Rincon del Buey. You just walk down the
path into the village. There are just small houses and the Maya crops to see.
The Chortí have an office in Copan Ruinas, across the street from Casa de Café
who can tell you what is going on with the modern Chortí. The Chortí are often
in Copan around the market. Look for dark skin and very straight long hair on
the women who wear very brightly colored clothes. The Mayas of Honduras do not
wear traditional woven clothes like the Mayas of Guatemala. There is one Mayan
man who gives tours around the ruins explaining the plants in the nature walk
around the ruins.