Today, December 26th, is Wuqu’ Kawoq in the Mayan calendar. For many of those working in our organization we are aware of the significance of this day and why it is the name of our organization. However, I understand that sometimes our name requires more of an explanation for those not familiar with the Mayan calendar or the Kaqchikel Maya language. And what better day than today to take the opportunity to revisit what this day means and how it became our name.
The Mayan calendar is a 260 day calendar made up of 20 days (which can be likened to the months in a Gregorian calendar), with 13 of each of these days. However, rather than operating as the Gregorian (or modern, western) calendar that we know, in which the months go in order and contain all of their days together, the Mayan calendar operates with a continuously rotating day and counting number basis. For example, rather than being Jan 1, Jan 2, Jan 3, etc., it would be Jan 1, Feb 2, Mar 3, Apr 4 etc. until each day name has counted through all 13 numbers.
The day that we officially became a recognized, registered non profit was January 1, 2007, or in the Mayan calendar, Wuqu’ (meaning 7 in Kaqchikel) Kawoq (the day name of this day). So while January 1, 2012 will be our 5th year anniversary, today is actually our 7th completed year in the Maya calendar.
Each day name in the Mayan calendar holds a specific and unique meaning. Kawoq is especially meaningful for us because it is a day for midwives, whom we closely partner with in Guatemala. It is also a day for healing, especially women, and a day to overcome problems. Please join us in celebrating this day in the Mayan calendar and how it has become an important part of our work in WK.