BALAM JA WAY
Between Forest and Farm,
Mayan and Modern
Ja (ha) Way (Maya - Jaguar
Water Spirit) is our base and was a Maya satellite
settlement of Sarteneja.
buildings on Balam Ja Way are architechurally designed in a Maya modern synthetic style.
This design reflects the merging of traditional culture with the 21st century needs of the
On Balam Ja Way we are building a three story
facility for accommodation, education, and research and two other ancillary
dwellings. The main
facility is occupied on the lower level, with the upper levels still under construction. Balam Ja
Way uses solar lighting, gas cooking, and well water.
Balam Ja Way has an aguada lake surrounded by Maya
constructions including a large mound of uncertain origin with numerous pottery
shards and built of material dredged from the aguada, a Maya wall, a Chul Tun or Maya cave, and possibly bathing
The main facility is constructed as an integral ferro-cement structure,
consisting of reinforced pillars and beams, with walls and floors reinforced by a
rebar grid covered with building and wire mesh. This structure provides great strength, and is
hurricane, earthquake, and tsunami resistant.
B'alam Ja Way under construction
from road. The Maya colours of red for the east, white for the north, black for the
west, and yellow for the south (not visible), are reflected in the colour of the
We created the three Maya
heiroglyphs that spell Balam (Jaguar), water (Ja) and spirit (Way).
Jaguars, tapirs, and many birds
have always visited the aguada at B'alam Ja Way for water, especially during
the dry season.
B'alam Ja Way follows the Mayan
theme through incorporating stonework with local limestone in its
Walking up the Mayan stairs,
stepping onto the elevated slab, and then crossing the slab into the building is
symbolic of the buildings function to blend Mayan and modern
The landscaping around B’alam Ja Way has reached the formative stage with
different usage areas defined and about 70% of larger trees
The Jaguar Spirit was the only entity in Mayan cosmology that
could travel between the underworld and the living world, and was a reflection of the jaguars great
power. Jaguars can weigh 350 lb and have the most powerful bite of any big cat. Jaguars prefer to
kill by ambush and crushing the skull. We envision ceremonies on the Mayan mound that involve the
The Maya archeological sites are one of four primary
Balam Ja Way. The others being native vegetation, horticultural areas, and the
aguada. See panarama 230114
top: a jaguar. Right top: an armadillo killed by a
jaguar as shown by the two deep canine teeth marks. Lower
left: a Mayan sacrifice of a jaguar.