In mid-October, Asheville Sisters Cities, Inc. organized and hosted a delegation visit from one of the Maya sister cities, Valladolid, Yucatan. This 17-person delegation included leaders in business, education, politics, and cultural tourism from Yucatan, including the current Municipal President (Mayor) of Valladolid, Alpha Alejandra Tavera Escalante and staff from the Ayuntamiento de Valladolid. The delegation visited Boundary End on Sunday, October 15, along with members of the Asheville Sister Cities Valladolid and San Cristobal de las Casas committees. After touring the beautiful grounds with horse stables and a unique Stone Circle, they visited the library where Dylan Clark provided a brief tour that included the history of the Stuart collection and some of the highlights related to the anthropology of Yucatan in particular. Several of our friends from Valladolid expressed interest in helping to facilitate opportunities for students from the Universidad del Oriente to visit BEC through educational exchange programs to conduct research.
One of the highlights of the visit was the opportunity to show a few examples from the textiles collection in the library, especially because a few of the delegation visitors were also weavers and were quite excited to share insights about the different techniques and styles represented among the examples we looked at.
After a picnic lunch, they visited the Stone Circle on the grounds and learned how it was made according to equinox alignments that we observed this year at the end of September.
According to Dr. Dylan Clark, BEC Archivist and Curator, there is a new Indigenous Studies minor at UNCA, and they are building a very interesting program. Dylan showed the visitors the BEC library and the scenic trail to Douglas Falls. They were also interested to know about the history of the extensive library collection as well as information about Maya Field Workshops conducted by Dr. David Stuart.