Most of us Maya Masewal(Yucatec Maya) in Belize continue living in the Kuchkabal known as Chactemal. Chactemal territory was southern state of Quintana Roo(Mex) and Northern Belize with its Capital believe to be present day Santa Rita(Corozal). Chaktemal in Maya means The place where red trees grow. Another possible translation is: Chaac means "rain" as the lord of rain, tea means "there", and emal means "go down", that is "Where the rains come down". In answer to a demand to submit to Spain, Chaktemal chief, Nachan Can, replied that his only tribute would be "turkeys in the shape of spears and corn in the shape of arrows".

The isolation from the region and the combativeness of the Maya meant that the Spaniards never achieved total subjugation and therefore did not manage to establish permanent populations. The Maya defended northern Belize for over 200 years against the Spanish and continue against the British.

Chanlacán, an important town in the Chactemal chiefdom, was the site of the so-called caste war, a Maya rebellion that broke out in 1847 and remained active until 1902 when the town of Chan Santa Cruz was finally taken over by federal troops from Mexico and officially concluded the conflict. Northern Belize saw many battles between the Yucatec Maya against the British. In 1866 The battle of San Pedro Yalbac which the Maya defeated the British , 1870 the Maya briefly took Corozal ,the Battle of Orange Walk and others. After the war many Yucatec Maya became Cañeros. The area of modern Chactemal continue to see the resistance of the Maya people who work as Cañeros today in Belize.

Note: The Indigenous language spoken in the Kuchkabal of Chactemal and Dzulinicob is Maya (Yucatec Maya). Chetumal (Chaktemal).


By Belize Yucatec Maya