This travel project, “Return of the Maya Elders to the Beginning of Time”, is a concept that has been developed by Jim Reed of the Institute of Maya Studies. Jim is a researcher who has spent many years studying the ancient and present day Maya culture. He has also kept long-term friendships with Maya daykeepers in Guatemala. Now that the relationship between the Maya long count calendar and indigenous Maya daykeepers has been established, there remains a gap between the knowledge of the Maya daykeepers and the archaeological sites that pointed to the astronomical correlations with the calendar.
A winter 2011 trip is being organized to bring together Izapa researchers and Maya elders at the site. The purpose is to introduce the daykeepers and elders to the Izapa site, the place where the calendar system most likely originated. Most Maya daykeepers have never traveled far from their villages in Guatemala and few have ever visited Izapa.