Acropolis - upper fortified part of a Greek city and a building assemblage of room blocks and palaces

Agouti - a tropical striped rodent about the size of a rabbit

Aguada - a reservoir

Allspice - the berry of the Pimenta of the myrtle family or the spice prepared from it

Amate - a Mesoamerican fig tree

Amigos de El Pilar - AdEP, Friends of El Pilar -- A community based group linking their economic concerns with El Pilar

Armadillo - a small mammal that has body and head encased in bony armor

Arroyo - a watercourse or a water-carved gully or channel

Axcanan - a red flower also called Polly Red Head -- A favorite source of nectar for hummingbirds -- Alternate spelling - Ixcanan -- Also called piper shrubs

Be Pukte - Mayan for to Bullet Tree Be Pukte Café and Cultural Center - AdEP Headquarters, sells arts and crafts and food

Biface - a tool having two faces and usually made of stone

Black orchid - national flower of Belize

Bromeliad -a family of chiefly tropical American and epiphytic herbaceous plants including the pineapple

Cabeza - Spanish for head

Canan Ka`ax - Mayan for 'well-managed forest'

Ceiba - Maya sacred tree, cotton tree (Kapok) and national tree of Guatemala

Chaca - Mayan name for the Gumbo-limbo tree

Champa - local term for a pole and thatch building.

Chert - a rock consisting of essentially of cryptocrystalline quartz, fibrous chalcedony, or flint and used to make tools

Chicle - the latex of Chicozapote and the basis for chewing gum

Chicozapote or Sapodilla Tree - the source of chicle also source of termite resistant very dense lumber used for beams and lintels

Chikin - Mayan for west

Chorro - Spanish for rushing water and name of small waterfall 2.5 km from El Pilar Center

Chultun - a storage area carved into stone

Cobble foundation - a foundation made of naturally rounded stones larger than a pebble and smaller than a boulder

Cohune - English name for Corozo Palm

Cola de Faisan - Spanish for peasant tail

Colche - Mayan for wattle and daub

Consolidate - Stabilize architectural elements of excavated exposures, not restoration

Copal - a tree whose resin was burned as incense by the Maya also called Pom

Copan - major Maya center in Honduras

Corbel arch - an arch but made by gradually narrowing the distance between two walls in stair steps and bridging the final space with a capstone, not a true arch

Corozo - a tropical palm bearing an oily nut

DBH - "diameter breast height" a term used to designate plant size

Duende - phantom protector of the forest, in the Maya forest they are small men who were beards, large hats and have no thumbs

Escoba - Spanish for broom also name of a palm

Fauna - the animal life developed or adapted for living in a region

Flora - the plant life developed or adapted for living in a region

Guanacaste - a large tree with mottled red patterned bark whose wood is used to make dugout canoes

Guava - a shrub or small tree in the myrtle family with sweet yellow fruit

Gumbolimbo - a tree with smooth, peeling, coppery bark, and reddish resin, also called the "tourist tree" and Chaca in Mayan.

H'mena - Mayan for 'place for the priests'

Hatz - Mayan for "Jack-in-Bush" used as analgesic for headaches and as an herbal bath

Hectare - or Ha, a metric area measurement, 1 Ha = 2.47 acres or 330 x 330 ft.

Heliconia - a decorative flower related to the banana found in swampy areas and pollinated by hummingbirds

Hun kal - Mayan for 20 or a score

Hunahpu - EP8 eastern pyramid in Plaza Copal and one of the Maya Hero Twins

ICOMOS - International Council on Monuments and Sites Ixcanan. See Axcanan , Mayan for "guardian of the forest"

Ixim - Mayan for maize or corn in English also spelled ixin

Jaguar - a large brownish yellow or buff cat with black spots and top predator in the Maya forest

Jicama - an editable fleshy root of the legume family

Jobo - Mayan for wild or hog plum tree

Jute - snails found in springs like those on the El Pilar Community Creek Trail

Kibix - Mayan for the cowfoot vine and has male and female plants

Kilometer - about 5/8 of a mile

Kin - Mayan for sun

Kinhunkal - EP 20 western pyramid in Plaza Manax and highest structure in El Pilar

Kinich Ahau - Maya sun god

Kum - Mayan for the nixtanal or masa for tamales

Lakin - Mayan for East

Lec - a gourd used by the Maya for a container

Lubaantun - Mayan for the fallen or collapsed stone building and also a Maya site in the Toledo district of Belize

Machete - a large heavy multi purpose knife

Manax - Mayan for a wild cherry tree

Mesoamerican - the geographic area from central Mexico to northern Salvador and Honduras

Mopan - the Eastern branch of the Belize River flowing from the Petén of Guatemala past Bullet Tree Falls

Mucuna - velvet bean, a weed-smothering, nitrogen-fixing herbaceous legume used to rejuvenate poorly managed soils

Nabacuc - Mayan for allspice

Naranjo - Spanish for orange tree and the important Maya center 30 km from El Pilar in the Petén

NGO - Non-Government Organization

Nohoch Aak - Mayan for big Turtle also EP 10 a pyramid in Plaza Copal

Nohol - Mayan for South

Okpich - Mayan for maidenhair fern.

Palenque - a beautiful Maya center in lowland Chiapus, Mexico, due west of El Pilar

Palmito - a salad made from the heart corozo palm -- Taking the heart may kill the tree.

Peccary - a generic reference to all wild pigs

Pila - Spanish for watering basin

Pimental - a grove of allspice trees

Pimienta Gorda - Allspice

Pisote - coati mundi

Pisote anda solo - a large black male coati mundi that lives alone

Plaza Axcana - a small plaza in the south of El Pilar

Plaza Duende - public plaza at El Pilar

Plaza Escoba - plaza east of El Pilar destroyed by the main road

Plaza Faisan - northern most public plaza of El Pilar

Plaza Gumbolimbo - first plaza of restricted northern El Pilar

Plaza Ixim - plaza of north El Pilar with access to the acropolis

Plaza Jobo - patio of the H'mena acropolis at El Pilar

Plaza Kibix - east patio of the H'mena at El Pilar

Plaza Lec - northern-most plaza at El Pilar

Plaza Manax - north patio of H'mena acropolis at El Pilar

Plaza Quelite - western plaza in the north of El Pilar

Plaza Subin - eastern-most plaza of H'mena at El Pilar

Pom - Mayan for Copal

Poniente - Spanish for West

Prehistory - time before the written word

Quelite - Spanish for amaranth

Ramón - Spanish for browse, in the Maya forest it is a large buttressed tree with leaves used as animal fodder and the nuts are made into flour for a flat bread

Range structures - buildings made up of a long series of rooms, ordered in a row often called palaces

Sacbe - Mayan for white road, a causeway

Second Growth - regenerative growth after vegetation clearance from human activity such as agriculture, logging, or building

Slake - to heat limestone and crumble by treatment with water to make lime

Subin - Mayan for Acacia tree

Tapir - a large chiefly nocturnal ungulate related to horses and rhinoceroses

Tigergrass - a bracken fern that grows in poorly managed soils and is used to identify these areas

Tikal - the major Maya center in the Petén of Guatemala

Tzunu'un - Mayan for hummingbird

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
Wakah Chan - Mayan for sacred tree

In this text, as elsewhere in the Maya world, you will encounter many unusual names -- note the abundance of the letter X in spellings of Maya words. The X in Mayan is pronounced with a "sh" sound, as in "shoe." Thus, Plaza Ixim in the north is pronounced "eeSHEEM." With a little practice, words like Max, Xaman, Axcanan, and Xbalenque will come rolling off your tongue as if you were a native Maya!

Xakah - Mayan for detained and structure EP3 in Plaza Copal

Xaman - Mayan for north

Xamanaj - Mayan for northern palace, used at El Pilar for the building located in Plaza Lec

Xbalanque - structure EP9 western pyramid in Plaza Copal and one of the Maya Hero Twins

Xibalba - Mayan for the Underworld

Xikna - Mayan for winged temple and the name of structure EP7 at Plaza Copal

Xunantunich - Mayan for stone maiden, a site overlooking the Mopan River in Cayo, Belize

Yaloch - a lake north of El Pilar

Zotz Na - Mayan for Bat house