Since the early 1970's the development of tourist resorts along the coast of the state of Quintana Roo, such as Cancun, caused a lot of socioeconomic and cultural changes for the Maya of this region. Maya men worked as bricklayers in the early stages of this development. Later, young men started to work in the tourist area as tour guides, barmen, waiters, bellboys, and other services.

Young Maya women joined the migration to this area of Mexico. Now there are many Maya villages and towns inhabited mainly by old people and children who are the parents and children of the emigrant young men and women.

In the last two decades, migration to the USA has become more frequent and now there are tens of thousands of Maya people living in Los Angeles, Houston, parts of Florida and other towns and cities. These international migrants often form cultural associations and continue the practice of religious festivals similar to those usually carried out in Maya towns in their homelands.