Life in a Guatemalan Indian Village

By Benjamin D. Paul

Benjamin Paul, who later became the head of Stanford University's cultural anthropology department, describes the customs of the Maya of San Pedro la Laguna. Although many things have changed since the article was written in 1950, it still provides a deep and very human understanding of the people of this Tz'utuhil Maya town.

The Maya Bonesetter as sacred specialist

By Benjamin D. Paul

San Pedro la Laguna is famous throughout Guatemala for its curanderos de huesos, Maya bonesetters. This short article, written in 1976, describes the process of becoming a curandero.

Careers of Midwives in a Mayan Community

By Lois Paul

In 1978 anthropologist Lois Paul, Benjamin Paul's wife, published this article about midwives in San Pedro la Laguna. One of the midwives in this article, Juana, is the subject of Barbara Rogoff's award winning 2011 book Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town.

The Operation of a Death Squad in San Pedro La Laguna By Benjamin D. Paul & William Demarest In the conflict between the Guatemala military and guerrilla fighters, the worst violence in Guatemala occurred between 1980 and 1985. It manifested in different ways in different Maya towns. This article describes how it happened in San Pedro la Laguna.

Symbolic Sibling Rivalry in a Guatemalan Indian  Village

By Benjamin D. Paul

This article about sibling rivalry, written in 1950, captures many aspects of life in San Pedro la Laguna. At that time San Pedro was a small isolated village. Many beliefs and customs have changed or disappeared since then.