Even before the emergence of community archaeology, Don and Prudence Rice involved local communities of Peten in archaeology. Proyecto Itza continues this tradition. The majority of our students are Peteneros and one of our primary missions is their education. We also seek to facilitate the interaction of Guatemalan and USA students. They are taught the use of the surveying equipment, excavation techniques, and artifact analysis. Many of our Guatemalan students have used these skills to obtain employment. In 2015, the project trained 8 new students, gave field opportunities to 3 advanced students conducting practicums, and employed 5 archaeologists–all locals. In addition, Evelyn Chan and Carlos Sanchez, both Peteneros, are critical planners and managers of Proyecto Itza. Peteneros are an asset to the project.
Proyecto Itza also does public outreach in the form of presentations and tours of excavations to local high school students and other interested parties.