CMPI is dedicated to the cultural enrichment of both the Pixan Ixim and wider Omaha communities. These programs allow us to celebrate and showcase our culture, which builds confidence in our community, teaches our children the Mayan worldview and traditions, and promotes cross-cultural friendships.
Learn about CMPI:
CMPI's Education Initiative acknowledges that not only do the Maya have a lot that they want to learn, but they also have a lot that they want to teach and share with others. The Maya community understands the importance of passing their language, culture, history, and worldview down to their children.
- English as a second or third language
- Citizenship classes
- Driver's education classes
- Civic engagement activities
- Q'anjob'al language and Maya culture for kids
Even though the Maya community is CMPI's target population for the education initiative, there are many participants who come from other nationalities. Students from any background are welcome.
Cultural expression through both music and dance are very important to the Maya community. Therefore, the Arts and Culture initiative was formed to provide opportunities for the Maya to practice and share their culture.
CMPI hosts many events each year where 10 musicians play traditional marimba music which the community dances to. These events not only celebrate Maya culture but also create an opportunity for the wider Omaha community to interact with and learn about the Maya.
In January of 2009, CMPI implemented a Maya Arts and Culture program called Celebrando Nuestra Cultura Maya (Celebrating our Maya Culture). Since then, CMPI has imported a Marimba (a musical instrument made of wood and played by 10 musicians) from Santa Eulalia, in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
The program has also won four grants from the Future Latino Fund of the Omaha Community Foundation. These $10,000.00 grants have made it possible for CMPI to put on events that foster intercultural exchange. For example, the Santa Eulalia Festival and the Mother's Day celebration bring together the Maya and the wider Omaha Community for intercultural enrichment. Furthermore, the grants from the Futuro Latino Fund have made it possible for the community to teach their children how to play the marimba—an important element of Maya worldview and spirituality. In 2011, CMPI created a Maya dance troupe and imported Maya Dance Regalia from Guatemala.
CMPI promotes the health and wellbeing of the Maya Community in Omaha, Nebraska through its health initiative. This initiative includes a Maya Health Needs Assessment Study, a Peer Health/Community Health Education and Capacity Building project, and a Maya Interpreters network.
The Maya Health Assessment Study is an effort to assess the health status of the Maya community in Omaha, Nebraska. The Study is conducted with the approval of CMPI's Board of Directors and Creighton University's Institutional Review Board. The ultimate goal is for the Maya community to assess/understand its own health status and implement measures to prevent illness and to promote health. Drs. John Stone and Renzo Rosales with Creighton University are Principal Investigators.
The Peer /Community Health Education & Capacity Building (PCHECB) project teaches high school students of Maya origin how to navigate the website of the National Library of Medicine. These students will in turn teach their peers and community members how to navigate the website in order to find health-related information. Thus, PCHECB has been implemented by the community for the development of the community.
The Maya Community Health Worker (CHW) and Interpreters Network has the mission to:
- Promote health among the Maya community in Nebraska
- Eliminate language barriers between social institutions and the Maya community by providing high quality health, legal and community interpretation services.
The network consists of a group of 9 Q'anjob'al Maya Speakers trained as Community Health Workers and Interpreters for the Q'anjob'al and Quiche Maya community in Omaha, Nebraska. This network is instrumental in breaking down the language barrier between health care professionals and Mayans in Omaha. The Mayans are indigenous to the Americas and some have limited English and Spanish proficiency. This language barrier becomes a problem when seeking various services, particularly health care. Even though CMPI leaders were long aware of this problem, it is being confirmed in preliminary findings of the Maya Health Assessment Study. The creation of the Maya Interpreters Network is also an excellent opportunity for the Maya to revitalize their language. Currently, CMPI and One World Community Health Centers Inc. have partnered to provide medical interpretation in the Q'anjoba'l Maya language for patients in their clinic in Omaha.
The Maya Leadership Development Center is an intentional community where four Maya young adults live in community and direct the education initiative. Through living and reflecting as a group they share their faith and work together to improve and learn from their community.
CMPI has developed a Pastoral Care program for the Maya-Catholics in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Omaha. This pastoral care program provides opportunities for members of the Maya Catholic community to practice and grow their faith.
Every Saturday community members gather at St Francis of Assisi to pray and reflect, following the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church. Every third Saturday of the month there is a Eucharistic Celebration at St. Francis of Assisi. Prayers and Mass are conducted in the Q'anjob'al Maya language, Spanish, and English. Participants in this prayer group, serve at many parishes in the Archdiocese of Omaha.