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1980s: Yax Te' Press founded by Dr. Fernando Penalosa

Yax Te' Press was founded by Dr. Fernando Peñalosa in the late 1980s. After retiring from a distinguished career as a sociolinguist at California Sate University at Long Beach, Dr. Peñalosa became interested in the community of speakers of Mayan languages who were moving into southern California in flight from the political repression of the Guatemalan civil war. He began to publish, import, and distribute books by Maya writers in response to the need for books in Mayan languages. In 1996, he reorganized Yax Te' as a not-for-profit organization, the Yax Te' Foundation, receiving tax-exempt status as a 501 (c) 3 organization under the laws of the State of California in February 1997. Click here to read more about the early history of Yax Te'.


Yax Te’ moved from Cleveland, Ohio to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where it is directed by Hana Muzika Kahn, Ph.D.  It continues its affiliation with the Maya Educational Foundation.


The mission of the Yax Te' continued as Yax Te' Books under the auspices of the K'inal Winik Cultural Center at Cleveland State University. Dr. Laura Martin directed Yax Te' Books with expanded activities that included workshops for teachers in Ohio and Guatemala. These workshops used Yax Te's publications as textbooks and as the foundation for the development of classroom materials.

September, 2006

Yax Te' separated from Cleveland State. It continues to publish and distribute books and other materials by and about Mayas and their cultures, under the direction of Nadine Grimm and Laura Martin. Yax Te' is also affiliated with the Maya Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a similar mission of education about Mayas and Mayan cultures. The Foundation provides grants to Yax Te' for the production of some materials and accepts donations in support of specific projects. Yax Te' now also distributes materials produced by other organizations affiliated with the Foundation. Click here to read more about the recent activities of Yax Te' Books.




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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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