Alonso may be available to guide your group to any Mayan archeological site in the Mayan world. Please contact us if you would like to book him for a private tour. www.funkytours.com/contactus.htm
An artist of Tzeltal Maya heritage, Mendez was born
in the highlands of Chiapas and raised in San Cristobal
de Las Casas. His mother worked as a secretary for famed
explorer and archaeologist Frans Blom in the 1970's and
as a result, Mendez grew up amongst anthropologists,
botanists and ethnographers.
As a teenager, he was awarded a grant to complete high school and attend college in New England. Living with relatives in New York obtained a BA in Fine Arts and Latin American Literature from Middelbury College, Vermont in 1987.
Mendez learned many trades in the during his college years, making a living as an electrian and a carpenter in New England and Arizona.
In the early 1990's he married American dancer Susan Prins and he, his wife and their new born son, decided to move back to Chiapas in 1995. Settling in Palenque on land that would become El Panchan, the Alonso and Susan became involved in the local artist community and eco-tourism. Mendez's skills as an artist, an ecologist and a builder combined with his personal interest in the ancient Maya, made him a welcome addition to archaeological teams working at the ruins.
First with the Palenque Mapping Project and subsequently with INAH and the PGC, Mendez has worked at the ruins for the last five years as a project artist, a surveyor and an archaeologist. His reconstruction drawings of the ruins and faithful reproductions of Maya ceramics have gained him a reputation as one of Palenque's most talented artists.