Most of the ancient Maya were farmers. They were very good farmers and grew more food than they needed. This extra food was called surplus crops. The surplus was stored in warehouses in each city-state to be used for trade and to feed people in each city-state who needed it.
Farmers and their families each had their own home. They ate very well. They ate corn porridge, tortillas filled with cooked vegetables. Most of the roads were built by slave labor. When farmers were not farming, they helped to build the wonderful temples and estate of the nobles, and other buildings in the city.
The women on the farms helped in the fields at planting and harvest time. Most of their time was spent cooking, cleaning, and sewing. Women took produce to market to trade for other goods. They carried produce in baskets balanced on their heads.
Men and boys began working the fields at dawn. They did not get home under early afternoon. Their wives and mothers had water ready for their evening bath. The Maya were very clean people. A bath was part of their daily life whenever possible. After their evening bath, the men had time to make tools and be with their children.
Farmers and their families worked very hard. Their life was not easy. But it was the life they knew. They did have days off to attend religious festivals and family celebrations.