When Rafael Dzib Canul heard that a new park in San Francisco’s Mission District would be named In Chan Kaajal, a combination of surprise and joy came over him. “It’s an honor for us. How can there be a place in San Francisco named in Maya? Not even in my town back in Mexico do they name things in Maya,” he says.

That was back in 2017, when the Recreation and Parks Department inaugurated the park, the product of relentless community organizing. In Maya Yucateco, ‘In Chan Kaajal’ means ‘little village’ or ‘mi pueblito’ in Spanish. The name was chosen to honor the growing Maya community from the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico that has made the Mission District its home.

And now In Chan Kaajal serves as the stage where the Dzib Tuz family hears and collects the stories of this community, through a docuseries project called Mundo Maya, or Maya World.

The creators of Mundo Maya are Cindy, 27 and Kenny Dzib Tuz, 21, Rafael’s children. The Dzib Tuz family is Maya. While Rafael and his wife, Rita, originate from the town of Oxkutzcab, Cindy and Kenny were born and raised in the Mission.

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