The Maya peoples (/ˈmaɪə/) are an ethnolinguistic group of indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. The ancient Maya civilization was formed by members of this group, and today's Maya are generally descended from people who lived within that historical civilization. Today they inhabit southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. "Maya" is a modern collective term for the peoples of the region, however, the term was not historically used by the indigenous populations themselves. There was no common sense of identity or political unity among the distinct populations, societies and ethnic groups because they each had their own particular traditions, cultures and historical identity.
Image 35Illustration that recreates the structures of the archaeological site of Yarumela or El Chircal in Honduras, this place reflects the Olmec influence that existed in Central America in the pre-classic period. (from Mesoamerica)