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Early History


Dr. Peñalosa expanded the mission of the Yax Te' Foundation to include the repatriation of ethnographic and historical works about the Mayas of Guatemala by commissioning translations of such important ethnographies as Two Crosses of Todos Santos by Maud Oakes and Time and the Highland Maya by Barbara Tedlock. By traveling regularly to Guatemala and with the help of the Foundation's board members who reside there, he established Yax Te' as a presence in Guatemalan bookstores and distributed books to a variety of communities. For examples of Dr. Peñalosa's book donations and other Yax Te' activities, click here.

Dr. Peñalosa was particularly interested in disseminating materials written by and about the contemporary Mayas of Guatemala, especially to the Maya themselves. Through his efforts, the first novel by a Maya author translated into English, A Mayan Life, by Gaspar Pedro González, has become widely adopted as a college text, and US students at both university and K-12 levels are familiar with the fiction and poetry of this writer and others. His foresight and dedication helped enhance academic and public awareness of the contemporary literature of Guatemalan Mayas as part of the literature of the Americas.

After devoting many years to Yax Te', Professor Peñalosa decided in 2002 to retire from that work in order to build a new book enterprise, Quaking Aspen Books. Yax Te' continues to expand its mission and its catalog as it maintains Dr. Peñalosa's early vision.



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Yax Te' Books • Department of Spanish and Portuguese • Anderson Hall • Temple University • 1114 West Berks Street • Philadelphia, PA 19122

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