Margarito's Forest

The goal of the Maya Book Project is to support Guatemalans in their effort to reclaim Mayan culture through the publication and distribution of the book Margarito's Forest in the indigenous languages of the Maya. 

All royalties from the sales of books will go to the Maya Book Project to provide more books to schools and organizations in Guatemala.

To donate to the Maya Book Project or to learn more about the Project, visit The Maya Book Project page on this website.

While the Book Project's primary focus is the use of Margarito's Forest in Guatemala, there has been significant interest in use of  the book in U.S. classrooms.

 To learn more about these effort, visit In the Classroom

Order Books

You can order the English/Spanish version of the book below.  The K'iche'/English version and Mam/English are now available in the U.S.  Teachers may request a free examination copy by emailing Hardball Press

Margarito's Forest

El Bosque de Don Margarito


This heartfelt story of family, tradition and environmental conservation is perfectly paired with collages made up from original illustrations by Allison Havens and hand drawn pictures from Saq’ja elementary school children. Reading Margarito’s Forest offers an intimate and welcoming perspective into this environmentally friendly community. It’s easy to read Maragarito’s Forest and find inspiration to cultivate your own forest.

New York Botanical Garden review"Children's Books Explore the Power of Community"August 4, 2017

Margarito's Forest is a beautiful book, in both a visual and literary sense. The first that strikes you are the illustrations which are colorful, incorporating children's artwork, Mayan textiles as well as the illustrator's drawings in a collage format. This is a great book to read to your child or to use in a bi-lingual classroom.

Terpenning ( review)January 6, 2017

This book is stellar. Andy Carter weaves the beautiful story of a Guatemalan family through brilliant illustrations by Allison Havens, which synthesize traditional textiles, artwork by local children, and her own whimsical drawings. The tale opens up the world of a different culture to readers of all ages, sharing Margarito's family's experience through different languages, points of view, and historical background. It's a must-have!

Mollie Stone ( review)December 20, 2016

A well told and compelling story that is beautifully illustrated. A wonderful companion to my 5th grader's Maya studies, showing how the Mayan people live on today, not just in the past.

Paul from Brooklyn ( review)August 11, 2017


Most Inspirational Children's Picture Book​

Latino Book Awards

2017 Commended Title

CLASP, Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs

CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use. CLASP offers up to two annual book awards, together with a commended list of titles.

Best Book of 2017​

Bank Street College of Education

About the Author

Andy Carter is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Roosevelt University. He is a founding board member of the Resource Center, serves on the Local School Council at the William Ray School. He is a master gardener, a guitar player, and an environmental activist. In April of 2007 he made his first of five trips to the village of Saq Ja’, Guatemala as a delegation member from University Church.

On that trip he was struck by the stark contrast between a lush old-growth forest near the village, and the fields and scrub brush that surrounded it. He was told that Margarito, a man with a peculiar love of trees, had planted the forest. On subsequent trips he carried out a series of interviews with Maria Guadalupe, the daughter of Don Margarito, to find out about this Mayan man and his forest. Margarito’s Forest is based on information he gathered from these interviews.