Phillip Boyett is a M.A. candidate in Latin American Studies, LAGO member, and co-founder of a non-profit organization named Ko’ox Boon (pronounced co-osch bone). Ko’ox Boon means “let’s paint” in Yucatec Maya, and the goal of the organization is to promote creativity and self expression of Maya speakers in Yucatan, Mexico.
Ko’ox Boon now has three main initiatives: the flagship program is an annual, six-week arts and creativity camp in the rural town of Yaxhachen, Yucatan free of charge for children ages 4-14. Second, Ko’ox Boon is establishing a casa de cultura [cultural center] in the town as a space for public art projects, hands-on learning experiences, and resources for local embroiderers. Lastly, Ko’ox Boon is marketing a line of fashionable t-shirts by local embroiderers under the brand of “Yaxha.”
In two years, Ko’ox Boon has expanded from a simple community mural initiative to the art camp/cultural center/embroidery model by cultivating over 30 part-time volunteers from Yaxhachen, Mexico, and the United States. Ultimately, the goal of the project is to develop a sustainable model for community development based on local interests and capacities. If you want to learn more about Ko’ox Boon, you can visit their website.