Maya Garden: Public Drop In Gardening Sessions

Interested in volunteering at the UBC Farm but the shifts are already full this week? Why not get your hands dirty with the Maya Garden?

The Maya-in-Exile garden at the UBC Farm continues to be a place for cultural sharing and sustaining ancestral practices. Every year during the growing season they host drop-in volunteer sessions in their garden at the UBC Farm. Join us for a lovely morning at the farm, learning about traditional Maya cultivation hands on. Join us to learn some Mayan, practice your Spanish, connect with the earth and help support the preservation of the garden’s heritage and cultural practices.


Date and Time

Every Saturday (June-September) | Drop In Between: 9 am  – 2 pm | Everyone is welcome

Come for a few hours or stay longer if you wish, we welcome new faces and have a lovely group of once strangers, now friends that come around each week to help make this garden beautiful.

The elders and leaders of the project move between the garden and our stall at the farmer’s market on Saturdays, so look for us at either place.
If it’s hot that week, we are there earlier. Hope to see you there.

Questions ? Please ask away on our Facebook group or email us at


About the Maya-in-Exile Garden

The idea for the Maya-in-Exile garden began in 1986 when five Maya families came to Canada as refugees from Guatemala. For thousands of years, their ancestors, the Mayan people have worked the land planting corn, beans and squash (the three sisters). The Maya civilization and culture has evolved around the planting of corn. The main goal of these Mayan families was to keep the Mayan traditions and culture alive by continuing to grow Maya crops in Canada. This has allowed their children to learn about their culture and strengthen their identity. It has reminded them of who they are and where they come from.

In 1999, a friend and supporter of the Maya Indian Support Group and volunteer at the UBC Farm informed them about the possibility of applying for a project plot at UBC. The group welcomed the idea and in 2000, the garden was established at the UBC Farm. Initially, the garden planted the three sisters. Later on, they incorporated greens such as amaranth (bledo), yerba mora, and epazote, among other crops. Each season begins with a traditional Maya ceremony to ask permission to Mother Earth and the Creator to break the land and bless the seeds. Before they harvest corn, another ceremony is offered to thank the Creator and Mother Earth for all that has been produced. The garden continues to be a place for cultural sharing and sustaining ancestral practices.

Read more about the indigenous gardens at UBC Farm.