A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
This fictional story is inspired by Mayan culture and tradition. Central parts of Mayan mythology are shown through the story. The audience can learn about characters from Mayan folklore and overarching stories, which are explained further on the podcast's website. The story is not meant to be an exact retelling of Mayan mythology nor is it a replica of Mayan cultural practices.
Bravery, critical thinking, and the power of family are featured as valuable traits. The two main characters who are siblings learn the strength of family and the value of teamwork in order to face obstacles. Understanding and appreciating cultural history and ancestors is a major theme throughout.
Positive Role Models
The main character, Aurela, is brave in the face of danger and takes responsibility for the problem she caused. Characters along the journey show kindness and generosity of spirit, like a talking snake that gives Aurela advice. Aurela's father, the main adult in the series, has Aurela and her sister's best interests at heart and is supportive. Specter, the villain, is devious and manipulative. At one point he disguises himself as Aurela's father to try to trap her and her sister.
Much of the story takes place in the Belizean jungle. The main characters are Mayan natives living in a contemporary Mayan village. Through their conversations, we learn about different aspects of daily Mayan life. Mayan culture and tradition is foundational throughout the story. Consultants were brought into the show's production for cultural accuracy. The podcast is inspired by the creator's real-life experience staying in a Mayan village in Belize. Many elements in the story are inspired by ancient Mayan folklore, mythology and tradition. The creator gives a disclaimer that the show is fictional and not meant to be an exact replica of cultural practices. The two heroes are strong, resilient young women.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is referenced but steers clear of anything graphic. The conquistadors' violence toward the Mayan people is mentioned. Aurela is coerced into giving a drop of blood to solve a puzzle. Specter is mean and tricky, he tries to trap Aurela and her sister by pretending to be their father. Specter pushes Aurela into a well in order to send her to the underworld. Sound effects and music are sometimes used to create a dark and scary tone.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Mayan Crystal is a contemporary take on Mayan folklore and the story of an adventure shared by two sisters. While there's some suspenseful adventure, scariness is generally kid-friendly and created by music and sound effects rather than violent content. The sisters, the stars of the story, are encouraged to think on their feet and look out for one another, and the bond of family is a central theme in the story. Though the podcast is inspired my Mayan culture, mythology and folklore, it is in no way a retelling of ancient Mayan folklore, nor is it a replica of Mayan culture, as stated by the creator.
Is It Any Good?
There's an appealing combination of adventure and mythology in each short, fast-paced episode. Courage and quick-thinking are central themes in The Mayan Crystal, as well as the bond between sisters and the value of an open mind. The suspenseful adventurous nature of the show will appeal to older listeners while steering clear of graphic violence for younger ones. At times, the storytelling relies more on the characters describing what is happening rather than actually showing it, but The Mayan Crystal stays focused on introducing its audience to glimpses of Mayan folklore and culture while keeping them entertained.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.